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Full marks to teacher who groomed two generations

Full marks to teacher who groomed two generations

63-year-old Noel D’Souza plans to pursue a career in politics after retiring from his role as the supervisor at IHS.



By Muaz Shabandri/staff Reporter

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 1:39 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 2:51 PM

Noel D’Souza with his former students. - Photo by Dhes Handumon

Dubai - Spending 36 years as a teacher in Dubai is a long time and Noel D’Souza — a supervisor at the Indian High School knows it all too well.

He still remembers his first class in Dubai at a time when few schools offered private education in the emirate.

“It was an English class in 7A and I remember girls and boys studied together back then. The school had 1,500 students and it functioned from one building,” shared Noel.

At 63, Noel ended his career as an educator last month. A group of students from the school’s 1989 batch reunited with him on Monday evening — just to wish their favourite teacher goodbye. “There are no words to describe how I feel after seeing my students 25 years later. When I look back at my students, I can see the change that came about in their lives and how they have progressed over the years — that’s the ultimate satisfaction,” says Noel.

He still remembers the names of students — mostly the mischievous ones — he says.

“I always remember my students because their memories are attached to particular incidents. Mostly, it’s the mischievous students who get my attention and stay in my memory forever,” added Noel.

Beaming with happiness after seeing the student’s come together, he shared stories from his time as a teacher and supervisor for Grade 9 and 10th.

“Once I had an accident and I required 18 stitches on my leg. On the hospital bed, while getting my leg stitched, the doctor looked at me and smiled saying, ‘I am your student Vidya’. All my pain disappeared. These little magical moments bring a lot of joy in the life of a teacher,” said Noel.

Mohtesham Zia, one of Noel’s students from the 1989 batch said: “My son studied under the same supervisor who taught me when I was at school. This shows how dedicated and hard-working some of our teachers were.”

Wilfred Soans, another student from the same batch, remembered his days as a student at the get-together. 

“Sometimes we are rude and rowdy as students and it’s our teachers who discipline us. I still remember, he never called my parents to complain about me but always used to correct me and warn me. Today, whatever we are is because of their (teachers) hard work,” said Wilfred. He said the group of students met 25 years after school only because of the fond memories they had of their English class.

Another student, Neelesh Bhatia, says the teacher-student relationship has changed over the years with student’s today engrossed in technology.

“In our days as students, we were very attached to our teachers. Dubai was a smaller place with fewer schools. Unlike today, we used to meet our teachers after school and the way they used to teach us was also very personalised,” said Neelesh.

Sharing a memorable incident from school with Noel, Neelesh said: “I remember I had once locked the classroom door so that the students couldn’t enter the classroom and continued playing in the soccer field. I was successful in doing that and the door couldn’t be opened. Noel was the supervisor and he made us all stand in a line.”

Asking each student individually if they locked the door, Neelesh said: “When he came to me he looked at me and said, ‘You would never do it’. He made me feel so guilty and that’s when I realised you cannot hurt a person who doesn’t hurt you. That has lived in my memory.”

Noel plans to pursue a career in politics after retiring from his role as the supervisor at IHS.

muaz@khaleejtimes.com


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