Private schools differ over observing ‘I am Not Malala Day’

  • A considerable number of private schools avoids APPSF president’s call to observe ‘Black Friday’
  • Not a single religious party come forward to record protest over Malala’s arrival in Pakistan

LAHORE: The private schools differed on observing ‘I am not Malala Day’ that was announced by All Pakistan Private School Federation (APPSF) president Kashif Mirza to be marked on Friday over the arrival of Nobel Laureate Malala Yousufzai in Pakistan on a four-day tour.

As per the details, the APPSF president announced to observe Friday as a ‘black day’ in ‘all’ the private schools to condemn the visit of the Nobel laureate to Pakistan as he termed her book ‘I am Malala’ as ‘controversial and against the Islamic injections and ideology of Pakistan.’

MALALA AS A ROLE MODEL: All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association (APPSMA) president Kashif Adeeb Jawadani told Pakistan Today that they were just educationist and do not want to indulge in the politics. APPSMA is also representing the private schools of the country.

“We are taking Malala as a guest in Pakistan and she is a role model for millions of Pakistanis as well because of her achievements,” he said, adding that there was no need to make her visit as controversial. He said that they can take a stance against Malala in future if she says something that would be against Pakistan or religion.

“We should treat Malala as a guest right now,” he said. “Kashif Mirza has his own stance on Malala as he has also written a book ‘I am not Malala’ but he cannot impose his narrative on us and therefore we didn’t observe I am not Malala day in our schools,” Jawadani said. A considerable number of private schools didn’t observe the day and not a single religious party came forward to record the protest over the arrival of Malala.

GOVT MUST BAN MALALA’S BOOK: APPSF president Kashif Mirza said that ‘special arrangements’ were made in private schools to give lectures in order to aware the students regarding Malala’s book that according to Mirza was written at the behest of western forces.

“Malala is playing in the hands of western forces and they are using her for their ulterior motives as depicted in her book that is against the ideology of our country and also against our armed forces,” he said, adding that the curriculum was also being changed by using the money from the Malala Fund.

It is worth mentioning here that Mirza wrote a book in 2015 named ‘I am not Malala, I am a Muslim, I am a Pakistani’ that Mirza termed as story of proud Pakistanis in response to Malala’s book ‘I am Malala’. Talking to Pakistan Today, Mirza said that APPSF went on strike when Malala was attacked by Taliban and the entire staff and students of the private schools expressed solidarity with Malala but that does not mean that they will accept every material written in her book.

He said that more than 50% enrolment in private schools was of girls and an equal percentage of teachers was also female and they were striving for the women empowerment as well. “The APPSF has decided in principle that Malala’s book would never be made part of the libraries or the curriculum in private schools,” he said.

“We would never want that our children follow Malala no matter how many high awards she wins and that the gates of White House and Buckingham Palace remain open for her,” said Mirza, who runs his own chain of schools named ‘Lahore School System’ having 53 campuses in 25 cities of the country. He urged the president and the prime minister to ban Malala’s book.


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