Academic Intensive Care Unit (AICU) ; An innovative project to bring drop-out children back to school

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Dr. Abdul Qadeer, founder, and director, Shaheen Group addressing a gathering during inaugural function of an AICU at New Delhi.

By Abdul Bari Masoud

New Delhi:  Aiming to bring-back drop-out children to school, a pilot project of “Academic Intensive Care Unit (AICU)” launched in Muslim-dominated Jamia Okhla here in the presence of educationists and education-activists. It is a unique type of project conceptualized and realized by Bidar-based Shaheen Group which is also sponsoring the Delhi unit.

It is a sad fact that dropout rate is the highest among the Muslims and it needs to be addressed in the right earnest. It is an undeniable fact that dropout is a major cause of worry for parents as well as the government across the country. It is also a well-known fact that the dropout is more prevalent in Government schools and Government-aided Schools compared to privately managed ones. The dropout occurs mainly in three stages: 7th to 9th, 10th, and 12th Grades. Keeping these factors in mind, the Shaheen group tried to address the problem.

Talking to Muslim Mirror, Dr. Abdul Qadeer, founder, and director, Shaheen Group, said there is a misconception prevailing in the Muslim society that the poverty is the main reason behind the highest drop out among Muslim children. When a student failed to grasp any subject say mathematics or any other subject, he starts developing indifference toward the subject that leads frustration about education in him, he argued. He agrees that poverty is paltry say 15 to 20 percent responsible for leaving the school in the middle of education but it cannot be a major cause of drop out.

 We diagnose the problem that most students, who are weak in Mathematics and languages, are not able to understand the teaching, he said.

Dr. Qadeer said the dropout is not merely an educational problem but a social problem that affects the whole society. Keeping this in mind, we tried to address the issue on a priority basis by devising a project and named it ‘ACADEMIC INTENSIVE CARE UNIT’, which is an innovative concept of imparting high-quality education to the dropout and probable dropout students between School Grades 1st to 12th, he added.

A critical patient needs special care likewise AICU is an innovative concept of grooming weak students by giving them special care.

An audience view of inaugural session.

The success rate of this project in Bidar is 100 percent for the last 15-years consecutively and more than 1,000 children were benefited from this project so far.

 He also claimed that because of this Project’s success, the entire Bidar District (Karnataka) has become tuition-free. It also eliminated private tuition system in all other educational institutions of the district.

 Dr. Qadeer, who especially came to attend the launch function of “Academic Intensive Care Unit” (AICU)   at Abul Fazl Enclave Okhla, said the need of the hour is to have an intensive program with a focus on the targeted groups.

The unit is sponsored by the Shaheen Group and established by All Indian Educational Movement (AIEM) at it office building. The Inaugural function also addressed by Prof. M. Aslam, AIEM president, Kaleem Ul Hafeez, Abdul Rashid Agwan and Syed Mansoor Agha. AIEM additional secretary Abdul Rashid said they faced a lot of trouble for starting this unit.

 Dr. Qadeer said the Shaheen group has planned to set up at least 10 centers across the country and this plan cannot be realized without the cooperation and help of the community.

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