|In many ways, Riad Mahmood is today Head Start's torch bearer. But the struggle to keep the torch of hope alive came from his mother, Samina Mahmood. Years ago when her husband suddenly passed away, Samina's world had turned topsy-turvy. She got hold of herself, realized that life must go on and took some bold decisions to get on with the tapestry of life that she and her late husband had started to weave.
She's traveled the long and rough road, and she carried three treasures during that journey - simplicity, patience and compassion. Every bit and each of these treasures reflects in Samina till this day. And they come out of genuine concern for the child. "Starting school should never be traumatic; it should be comfortable. When the child comes here for the first time it's a totally new experience for the little one. We explain these at orientations with new parents," says Samina.
The comfort factor is an important aspect at Head Start. The child is in a strange place and strangers all around. "We ask for someone from the child's home to come and just sit here till the child feels comfortable," explains Samina who is Montessori-trained. The other factor is child safety. Each day when school closes, Samina can be seen at the gate 'handing over the child' to their parents or guardians. Samina doesn't have to do that. After all, she's the boss. But then, that's Samina - always caring and affectionate.
Samina spends enormous amount of time meeting and talking to parents, explaining various aspects concerning the school and their child. "These exchange of ideas and discussions have helped immensely," says Samina. She believes that a child, parent, teacher partnership goes a long way in creating a 'feel good' factor amongst parents that their child is in safe and competent hands. Now, isn't that what every parent looks for?
Perhaps, the happiest moment of anybody's life is when dreams come true. Samina's moment of glory has come. "It's very satisfying that we've come this far," she says and credits Riad for having taken the initiative to carry Head Start forward. Humility is one of her better virtues and granting the fact that Riad most certainly deserves credit, Samina's role as the pivot in the Head Start growing process cannot be ignored.
|Head Start Montessori School
CA Site No.32 (P), 16th Main, 4th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore 560 034.
Phone: 25537025, 25533540