By Mehwish Azam
ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP): Some thirty years ago, a diligent Pakistani, Muhammad Ayub from Islamabad decided to change the world with simple yet most effective weapon; Pen. He started off his journey with the simple conversation he had with a car washing boy in the slums of capital.
“Why don’t you study?”, he asked. “My parents are poor so I work”, the kid replied. “I’ll teach you”, said Master Ayub and brought him a notebook, a pencil, an eraser and started teaching him on the roadside. Next day, the kid brought his friends and then the next day 5 more children came to Ayub and he welcomed them with open arms and thus initiated the journey of commitment, hard work and selflessness.
Within a week, the number of students reached upto 50 and it has been growing since then with every passing day. Many of his students work in the morning to support their families and come to school after 5 in the evening.
Muhammad Ayub alias master Ayub has been moving to many places such as outside of shops or in the parking of some government school but most often authorities asked him to pack up.
Talking to APP, Ayub said this journey has not been an easy one. “Many times I had to change the place because of objections from influential people living nearby or shopkeepers complaining about us being a hurdle in their business”, he added.
He finally shifted to his current location in the park, which is adjacent to some of the most expensive houses in the city but also near a slum where minority Christian families reside as most of his students are christian kids.
He said, “In the beginning I was teaching alone. Then gradually, my old students started coming along. Many college and university volunteers also started to teach English and mathematics to 10th graders”.
Hundreds of these students have passed out of high school while many of them have gained Master’s degrees as well.
Asiya, a municipality worker, has been attending Ayub’s school for ten years and finally got a respectable job to earn her livelihood.
Abid Ali, another old student, had been taught by Master Ayub and now was volunteering at the school in the evening alongside his masters degree from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad.
Saniya Morris, 15, said that she loved coming to take these classes. “I have many friends here. We learn together and try to compete with each other in grades.
I want to be a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force”, she said. After taking lessons from her Mathematics and Science teacher, she teaches younger students of junior grades.Master Ayub said, “For the prosperity of our country , we have to give proper education to our coming generations.”
“Education gives you hope and understanding for the future. It is the light that we carry towards hereafter.
My sole motive behind creating this setup was to prevent these kids from falling into wrong hands such as criminals or terrorists”, he said. Ayub expressed the optimism that his students would continue his legacy of teaching the poor kids to make them prepare for the world and its challenges.
He got his much awaited recognition including awards by the ministry of education in 2012 and a presidential award in 2015.
In 2018, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (UK) also recognized Master Mohammad Ayub as the 54th Commonwealth Point of Light in honor of his exceptional voluntary service for improving education and opportunities for the young people in Islamabad.