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 Home » News » Saudi - Saturday 22 Apr 2006

IISD Principal Retires

DAMMAM- THE director and principal of the Indian International School in Dammam (IISD) for the past 13 years, Group Captain Muhammad Anwar (IAF Retired), is retiring this summer.

"I am retiring with the greatest satisfaction that I have served well the IISD community to my best. I have reached the point in life when one has to say it is time to go," said Anwar, principal of the school from 1993 to 2006.

Joining the school in 1993 with only about 4,000 students, Anwar saw the growth of IISD student population to over 12,000 today, the biggest school in the Kingdom and the Gulf region in term of student enrolment.

During his term, the teaching staff also increased so much so that today there are 550 teachers. School employees now number 40, and in addition there are 102 maintenance and janitorial staffs, and 80 buses serving the transport needs of the growing student population.

One of his significant achievements was setting up a good and effective team-work system at IISD. That system, which was anchored on teaching-staffs development, improved the quality of teaching and instilled students' discipline. Graduates of IISD were the toppers in most government qualifying and entrance examinations.

During his tenure, school facilities have also improved. IISD has recently transferred the boys' section to a new building, while the main building remained for the girls students.

"The team work I developed and built has been very effective. When we transferred from the cabins we called school in the early 1990s to the present building, we - the teachers, students, parents - did all the moving of school equipment by ourselves because the company we contacted to transfer and move our facilities and equipment was charging us SR.75,000. I said this is a big amount and so what I did was to organize teams of teachers, students and parents to transfer our equipments and materials to the school by ourselves."

That sense of teamwork has remained and became the focus in academic teaching.

"I organized teams of teachers headed by people of proven track record and created academic coaching posts to monitor and look after students' performances with the objective of providing academic coaching to the best students as well as to the poor performing students."

Anwar admitted he had tough times when he joined the school as principal. "I have to establish students' discipline and I have to the follow the guidelines of the school managing committee."

"Before I joined IISD, I worked from a platform of independent position. However, here in Kingdom, I have to be answerable to the Ministry of Education, the managing committee (the parents' body), and the Indian embassy. It was a very challenging job, but I balanced myself and concentrated in achieving academic excellence, in which we succeeded through team work." He said 75% of IISD students now achieve the high mark in academic performance.

Anwar, who spent 28 fruitful years in the Indian Air Force including about seven years as principal and later on Inspecting Officer of the Sainik Schools, said he will leave the IISD community with the fondest of memories.

"I like the people, I like my staffs very much, 95% of them had been selected by me, I developed wonderful family relations with them and the community, and that strong attachment with them remains.

It will be painful to part, but I have to go. And I must leave with high dignity and grace."

"I must say too that IISD parents are very cooperative and very aware of the competition in the outside world, which is why they try to provide the best education for their children and which we, in the school, are trying to support all the time."

Anwar, who is 67 years old, plans to settle in New Delhi and will be periodically traveling to Bihar from where he hails."My wife and I will be living a simple retired life. I thank all - the teaching staffs and parents - for their support and the fondest of memories I will always cherish."

Anwar will be succeeded by Mohammed Shaffe, who was principal of the International Indian School in Jeddah from October 2001 to March 31, 2006. Shaffe said his immediate plan is to follow and implement the legacy of Anwar.

By Joe Avanceña
The Saudi Gazette

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