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GENESIS OF THE AMBUR MUSLIM EDUCATIONAL SOCIETY

The dedicated and devoted Muslim merchants of Ambur evinced keen interest in the establishment of educational institutions in Ambur with the sole object of providing adequate opportunities to the children of Ambur town to pursue education. It is to be noted that the illustrious personalities who took the initiative in this right direction were not exposed to modern education.  They realized the fact that unless a community was educated and well informed, it could not progress or come up in life and would be relegated to the background.  They took concerted efforts and established a school for Muslim boys to function as a centre for not only imparting  instructions but also moulding and shaping their personalities on true Islamic lines.  Conceived in its true Islamic traditions the school was open to all religions and communities and it was absolutely free from the narrow considerations of the caste, creed or colour.

A committee of important and enthusiastic persons was formed for its management called ‘MADRAS-E-MAZHARUL ULOOM COMMITTEE.’ To begin with the Management of the school had to confront a number of basic problems – lack of infrastructure facilities, finance and adequate teachers had to be tackled.  As the founders had the Zeal and enthusiasm, they could tackle them  effectively.  Funds were collected by voluntary donations, monthly subscriptions and house-to-house Hundi collections.  The response of the public in the initial stage was not encouraging as the community had apathy towards modern education.

In August 1906 regular classes were formed, infant, 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  Great impetus was given to the education of young children by awarding prizes and gifts of  free books, slates etc.  During the academic year 1906-07 the strength of the students was about 120 and there were five religious and six secular teachers.  The Management requested the educational authorities to inspect the school and assess its efficiency.  In response, Mr. Arthur Mayhew, the great educationalist and author of “Education of Madras Presidency” inspected the school in June 1907 and an extract from his report is worth producing for estimating the progress made by the infant school within its brief life of 8 months :

“Visited the school on 17-6-1907.  Strength 126.  Six secular teachers and five religious teachers.  The site of the school is ample.  The Pandal is sufficiently large.  But in parts light and air are insufficient.  Furniture and apparatus very fair.  What I saw of the work – the school was encouraging.  It will be well to provide for drill and drawing as soon as possible.  In the lower classes arithmetic should be taught mainly orally or with the help of concrete objects.  English conversations, formation of complete sentences should be insisted on.  The efforts of the Management to provide elementary education in combination with religious education deserves every encouragement. I hope that application will soon be made for recognition and that the standard of the school will be gradually raise.”.

Similarly, on December 1907, Sadre Mudarris, Mdrasa-e-Latheefia Maulvi Mohammed Mohiuddin Hussain Chida and Shamsul Ulema Abdul Jabbar sahib of Bakhiyathul Salihath, Vellor, conducted examinations for boys reading Qur’an, Persian and Urdu.  They were very pleased with the turn-out of the work and congratulated the Management on its great efforts and achievements.  On December 28 and 29 the annual examination was held by the Inspector of Mohammedan schools, Vellore sub-range, and the result of the examination is given in the following :

“At the request of the Committee, examination was conducted for awarding prizes to the school children.  The result of the examination are as follows :

Class No.
Present No.
Passed
IV - A
5
5
IV-B
12
9
III
27
22
II
14
12
I
25
23
Infant
27
25

“It is creditable to find that 96 of the children present for the examination came out successful.  All the registers maintained in the proper forms are brought up-to-date.  On the whole the results were very favourable”.

An application for recognition was submitted in 1908.  The course of study prescribed for elementary schools was introduced.  Class V was opened during the year.  On 5 May, 1908 the Committee purchased two shops in Nageswaran Koil Street.  On 3 August 1908 the Makan (the old school building site) was purchased.  Expenditure had by then grown abnormally and this was met by tapping additional resources – income from the daily and weekly bazaar, and butcher market which was obtained on lease from the Panchayat Board.

The school continued its progress without interruption and recognition was granted.  The Sub-Assistant Inspector of Schools, Vellore inspected the school on 21.11.1908 for the purpose of assessing Government aid.

FULL-FLEDGED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

In 1909 the school became a full-fledged elementary school with adequate staff.  The Management appointed only qualified and committed teachers known for high caliber and efficiency.  The first grant bill of government for Rs. 376 was encashed on 29 March 1909.  The school continued its work in a satisfactory manner and the authorities were very pleased with its steady and continuous progress.

The progress of the school continued and a small library was established. During this period large donations were collected from prominent mechants and patrons.  Janab Peshmam Abdul Khader sahib and Minur Abdul Rahman sahib took leading part in it.  In 1910 Janab Jalal Hajee Abdul Careem sahib was elected the first Secretary and Jaban Maligai Abdul Rahman sahib the first President and Meddekar Moulvi Mohamed Casim sahib the first Vice-President.  In 1913 Janab Nattamkar Abdul Hakim sahib was the Secretary.  In 1914 Janab Moulvi Mohamed Casim sahib succeeded as Secretary and was in office till 1916.  The services rendered by the President and the Secretaries aforesaid were creditable and praise-worthy.

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