Aligarh, October 3:
A two member team of the Internet Governance Forum, an advisory body of the United Nations, visited the Bridge Course and interacted with the students here at the Aligarh Muslim University. It may be recalled that the Bridge Course is a unique initiative for joining the madrasa graduates with the mainstream education at the Aligarh Muslim University and continues to be the center of attraction for high level officials from various international and national bodies as well as academicians from other institutes. During the last session, the students of the Bridge Course got an opportunity to interact with a number of distinguished visitors including ambassadors, senior diplomats and heads of international organizations like ISESCO, members of World Bank, etc.
The successful initiative, which was launched in 2013 at AMU, is currently headed by Professor Rashid Shaz and is a dream project of the Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen Zamir Uddin Shah. The program attracts Madrasa graduates from various parts of the country who get admission in the Bridge Course after qualifying a rigorous selection process through written test and interviews. They are provided extensive language training and attend courses on English, Social Science as well as Maths, Physics Chemistry, Biology and Computers. As compared to last year, owing to it’s popularity among the madrasa students, the intake of the course has been doubled. This year, more than 100 students have taken admission in this course out of which around 30 students are young girls from the madrasa background. The initiative has been lauded by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India and is likely to be replicated at other universities.
Addressing the students at the Bridge Course, Ms. Subi Chaturvedi, who is a member of the multistakeholder advisory board of the UN, stressed on the importance of mainstream education for the Madrasa students. Ms. Subi is an academician turned activist and media personality. She is also coordinating and leading the India campaign for Stop Think Connect and working towards making generating awareness about the best practises amongst the youth and new users of the internet to make it a safe secure and sustainable enabling platform for development.
Expressing her delight on the occasion, she congratulated the students of the Bridge Course for making a new beginning in their career after passing out of the madrasas. She encouraged them to be inquisitive and advised them to never shy away from asking questions.
Later while discussing about the Bridge Course with Dr. Rashid Shaz, Director of the Bridge Course, she stressed that this unique program should be replicated all over the country through the use of online media. Dr. Shaz presented copies of his book, Manifesto of a Unified Islam and La Madraza magazine to the distinguished visitors. Also present during the meeting were Dr. Kausar Fatima, Raheel Ahmad, Dr. Mohammad Ahmad and Ahmad Fauzan.