Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

Syed Mujahid Ali Shah: A school teacher by choice


Syed Mujahid Ali Shah, is an Academic Supervisor  and  Middle School teacher teaching in a Government school in the remote village of  Phekar in District Nagar which is officially declared as hard area and disaster risk zone. Previously he had been teaching in one of the most prestigious and high paying  institution of Public School and College Jutial Gilgit for a period of 11 years. He was elevated to the position of Wing Head as well at Public School Jutial. Beside he taught in Switzerland and Germany as honorary teacher while he was on an international capacity building training. But he chose to work in his village of birth and  feels so lucky to get an opportunity to impart his knowledge and  experience worldwide  with  his students in his village .He  participated in  an international long term  training, a study program and attended various seminars and workshop in German speaking countries of Austria, Switzerland and Germany as well as in Nepal.But the most fascinating of all  which  Mr. Shah has explored is  the knowledge about German language which according to him has an unbelievable similarity of diction with that of his native language of Brushaski.

Students  at his school are very keen to learn German when they find identical words with similar meanings in Brushaski.

With students at Public School Jutial
While teaching General Knowledge, when Mr. Shah told the students that in German a “goat” is called as Zieger, a student yelled with excitement as”Oh in our language of Brushaski for goat its called Zieger too” who asked the teacher to know a few more German words. When Mr. Shah taught that “Herr” in German means  “man” in Brushaki. “Oh really?” astonishes another student  who is not ready to believe that the words are so similar in Brushaski and German.Mr. Shah told me that when he first learned German in Germany and became able to listen the words in the street, his astonishment was the same as his students showed to him when they heard a word sounding the same in their language.

Mr. Shah is fluent in German as he had spent more than 3 years living in Germany. For a one year long duration he lived in  Munich to pursue a long term  capacity building training in rural development which was offered in German language back in 2006-7.During this training he traveled to Switzerland and Austria and lived their for internship as part of the training program for a duration of one and half month in each country. “While  working in a  Nature Park as internee in the German speaking part of Switzerland I visited a high school  in Sovognin village in county Grenzen were students got so amused to find German words in  Brushaski  when I introduced it as my mother tongue ; they finally requested to make a speech in Brushaski despite they could not understand it whole.” says Mujahid  recalling his internship days in the county of Grenzen in Switzerland. “Now I regularly take an extra German language class after school timing for free of cost which is equally attended by students and my fellow teachers” ,”It boosts my confidence on one hand and keeps me still closer to Germany which is indeed next home to me after Pakistan” says Shah.

 Another two years he spent in the city of Greifswald  Germany where he finished his Masters  in Ecology at University of Greifswald.After his graduation, Mr. Shah  got a legal option of resident in Germany as per German law which allows any person with higher qualification from any German educational institution  to pursue his career in Germany which he declined to fulfill a dream which was to educate the children in his native village.

Teaching at Middle School Phekar
 According to Mr. Shah there are so many words identical in meaning and pronunciation in both German and Brushaski but so for except linguists and men of letters nothing is known to general public.”This connection  between two languages is not an ordinary thing to overlook rather we may invest scholarship to further investigate the anthropological and linguistic questions associated to these two languages prevailing thousands of miles away” says Mr. Shah.
The contributor is a research fellow in M.Phil Program at Department of Education KIU, Gilgit. She is conducting research on best teaching practices in the public sector..

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