For The Lyceum School, 2012 has been a good year.
They were the only school in the entire country to make it to Best Delegate, the premier Model UN website’s Best International Delegation list for 2011-2012 and they successfully adopted the student government system – with a democratically elected president. And for the first time in years they had their graduating class farewell at the Carlton Hotel.
They were also active members of RoundSquare, a worldwide association of schools that shares a commitment beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility. Students were sent to Bangladesh and the UK to talk about global inequalities and technologies for a sustainable world.
And so the smiles of the 400 immaculately dressed students were understandable as they walked on stage to shake hands, strike a pose and collect their graduation certificate from the principal, Shereen Saeed Khan.
On Saturday the lawns at Beach Luxury Hotel were crowded with proud parents armed with SLR cameras. Before the event started, Yasin Bizenjo or Yasin Bhai as he is better known, Sir Zaidi and Victor were busy huddling – probably trying to decide on how to get the students to sit throughout the entire graduation ceremony. As students and parents started pouring in, Victor broke the huddle and said something every Lyceum student has heard a million times, “A2s this way! Quiet! A2s quiet! Almitra! You all get going.”
In her welcome address, the principal welcomed the parents to the school’s 25th graduation ceremony and said that the students were lucky to be graduating in the year of the school’s silver jubilee. While wishing the graduating class the best of luck, Khan borrowed a quote from an American senator who once said that graduation was not the end that is why it was called a commencement.
The first round of awards and certificates started with the CIE High Achievers 2011, which went out to Priya Anoop, Mina Khan, Mujtaba Zaidi and Fahad Jumani.
The second round of awards was distributed in memory of their namesakes and faculty members. Aeman Muneeb was awarded the valedictorian award which was named after Dr Asdar and Nurun Nehar Asdar, the parents of Shehrazade Ahmad – Lyceum’s academic director. The Razia Shabbir Ahmad Urdu award was given to Marium Asif Younus. Razia Shabbir – or Jiya, as she preferred to be called – was the school’s founding principal and Urdu teacher. The Maimoona Hamid Language award was given to Mishal Shujaat. Hamid taught language and literature and was a founding member of the school’s executive council. Myra Javaid received the Maki Kureshi Award for Literautre. Kureshi was one of the finest English Literature teachers. She graduated from Smith College in the 50s and taught at the University of Karachi till she retired, and then joined the school as the first head of the literature department. The Murreum Sikander award for sociology was presented to Alisha Sethi.
The Qamar Bano Hussain Award for discipline was presented to Lalarukh Murtaza. Qamar apa is described as an institution, often seen in the school hallway stopping girls and telling them that their shirt was too short or they should tie up their hair. Govinda Nandlal Kessrani, Aiman Abdul Majeed and Alizeh Mehek were the recipients of the Yasin Bizenjo community service award. Students also received awards for excellence in commerce, science, arts and extra-curricular activities.
Bilal Zuberi received the Rohda Vania award for Integrity. The award was dedicated to Rohda Vania, a former principal.
Tears rolled down some cheeks, as other got in line to collect their year books. As students prepared to head home for the night, one of them remarked that it was an almost perfect night – the only thing missing was Bashir Bhai and his fries.
Published In The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2012.