Ms. Ayesha Masood
Founder Trustee/Managing Director
Dr. Ambar A. Qaiyum
Trustee/Director of Instruction
The year was 1997.
A group of well-educated ladies noticed the prevalent education system which was unthinking and aimed at producing only man-power for industry and not inventors and innovators. They realised that students from these institutions were pouring into the market place trained with skills designed to work in an age that has already passed.
To add to this dismal picture, the moral and social fabric was tearing apart. These women found meaning and purpose in their lives and set out to address this with concrete solutions to make it a reality.
They networked, got organised and established a Montessori school in a Community Centre.
The Oasis Timeline is a testament to what greatness can spring from prayers, tears and hard work, led by a strong desire to add value to the lives of children.
In 1999 we formed the Isra Trust and started Oasis International School with a VISION STATEMENT which read that “All our students will leave school as well balanced, lifelong learners- competent, confident, productive individuals, morally sound, emotionally & spiritually secure. “
Today we stand by our first stated vision. Even in its reframing in 2019 it retains the same hope and vision of 1999.
Our story is the realising of our Dream . A dream that demanded to be fulfilled for in its fulfillment lay the future of our children. Our dream for Oasis was not fettered by the limitations imposed by the world at large on such visionary ideas. It’s in the nature of dreams to be unreal. We chased these dreams and today what you see before you was unimaginable 20 years ago. An Oasis in the Desert of Education that continues to raise the bar and sets higher standards in the pursuit of excellence.
Becoming aware of what our children needed we became a group of innovators who held ourselves to a higher standard. We instinctively empathised, reflected on the need of the hour, sought a reflective curriculum woven with ethics. We did not know it, but what we practised instinctively was Design Thinking. Design Thinking demands that we Define – Ideate – Prototype. We went ahead and tested our curriculum repeatedly, from Montessori, to an Eclectic International Curriculum; with best practices of the best available in the world, to the UK National Curriculum put in place by Michelle Dickinson (ex Head Teacher from a school in England) to finally the IGCSE. We found the best possible methodology to deliver teaching that led to next level learning, with the help of Consultants who were best in the field. This unending quest continues as we have moved across four campuses.
During the time period between 1999 to 2002 the school started functioning in a residential area with 2 Teaching staff, Our Principal Ms Azeeza Easa, 1 Admin. Staff, 2 Helper staff (including security).
In the year 2005 the strength of the school grew to 400 Students (co-educational) supported by 40 Teaching staff, 4 Admin Staff and 15 Helper staff (including security). We were now housed in 3 different buildings for want of one big land.
In 2008, with the help of our parents and well-wishers, we were able to purchase, build enough to move in on a 3 acre plot with 500 students.
At present the school has state-of-the-art learning & office spaces and large playing fields. There are 1000 students. The school has 100 Teaching staff. and 10 Admin Staff members. The school also has a team of dedicated 46 helper staff members that also includes security.
We are grateful to all parents, who had faith in us, our well-wishers and our dedicated staff who helped us in this journey.
responsive global citizens.
Thank You, Ayesha, I’m sure that story made everyone whose been with us through these 20 years very nostalgic. It’s been a memorable 1st 10 years … primarily because when we started not many believed in the vision of faith schools, others thought it was impossible and impractical and yet for others it was only a dream. A daunting task for all those who accepted it at the initial stage including teachers, students and parents. Yes we owe a lot to those parents and well wishers who stood by us, lending us their support to get us here , devising strategies as we moved from bungalow to bungalow , and finally raising funds to help Oasis own and develop this piece of land where we stand today. We are immensely grateful to each one of them.
We need to take into cognizance that 10 years ago faith schools, like ours were mushrooming all over the world. Some doing well in pockets but most were known to be not so great for many reasons.
We set out quite instinctively to challenge this reputation- to be different, to set standards for others to follow. We must be better than the best among faith schools and be as good and as any international or any mainstream school.
We continued with our good thinking curriculum- adding more value to it with a student centered pedagogy, some well-designed co-curricular activities, integrating academics with a good set of experiences and always focusing on developing our staff.
The journey started with partnering with Cambridge initially for the IGCSE and check point and more recently for the Cambridge Primary and Lower Secondary too and that makes us a Cambridge Pathway School in 2017. Our choice of Cambridge is mainly for its thinking content, authentic assessments , wide range of subject choice, which includes -the formal subjects, including some very relevant subjects like Global Perspectives , entrepreneurship, Business Studies ,Islaamiyaat and Arabic – a good combination contemporary and the traditional faith based ones.
Around 2012, Ms Latha Balan to join us as the Director of studies. She was working with Bangalore International earlier and has also worked with Mrs.Warrior, our 1st consultant when at Mallya Aditi International School. It’s a small world!
No school can run without an efficient finance department. We also appointed Mr. Joseph around the same time. He has been instrumental in helping us budget the two new beautiful blocks B and C that have been built in the last 10 years, with a multipurpose conference hall and the C block with their open classrooms and creative spaces
We also had our emotional ecosystem audited by TTF before taking on their Safe and Sensitive. Schools programme. For wellness and the nurturing the EQ quotient we have school cinema – a contemporary life skill programme . We have partnered with LXL ideas, and Bala Janaagraha and our BalaJanaagraha tie up has brought us accolades every year with our grade 8th managing to come up with some amazing innovations. This year it was ‘the last straw ‘-.
Every year we have had either a science exhibitions, a Carnivals, or an annual day and sports days, Art exhibitions like the best in the field that showcase our pedagogy –active, experiential and of inclusive learning.
A mile stone in our efforts in improving teacher quality and creating a learning culture, has been our certification as a Cambridge Professional Development Qualification Centre in the year 2014. We are among the very first few schools in India to get this affiliation and have now qualified more than 60 of our staff. It means a complete turnaround of the school learning environment. We are also among the very few in India to offer training for the qualification in Educational Leadership to middle management, co coordinators, principals and heads of other schools . Not only is our staff gaining from this experience but also teachers and heads from other reputed schools like Deans academy, Vidyashilp, Christel House, Princeton, New Baldwin’s, Knowledge academy, Grandeur international, Heritage School that we train.
Besides Oasis teachers are all qualified in Jenny Mosel’s Quality Circle Time, A practice well-liked by students and a programme that is recognized world over for building a safe and sensitive eco system. Something that continues unto AS level and is appreciated by students.
Another unusual feat has been partnering with our very talented parents for the past 4-5 years to successfully run a Service Learning Programme. 40 projects in the span of 4 years. These projects provide students an opportunity to explore the issues of a torn depleted environment and an unequal world owned by the rich and inhabited by the poor, ailing, sick. All this to create an attitude of compassion and concern and making way for them to dream and find ways they can be part of solution to the issues faced. At the last Cambridge conference in Colombo, there was almost no mention of academic competencies this time …, It was about developing EQ and the social quotient. it was about supporting children to recognize their potential and passion and an authentic purpose in what they choose to do. and consequently,in contributing to the issues facing the world today. The rat race for materialistic ambitions is not the goal of education today. It never was. The Service Learning Programme of Oasis is a flagship program unique and contemporary, a need of the hour and yet based on traditional and faith based goals of education- service of God through service to society.
The Kickstart –an interschool Football event hosted by Oasis at the FSV Sports Arena is a memorable event for each Oasisian, footballer or not. A proud moment for the Oasis Football team and the school when we were runner up, 2nd only to a seasoned TISB senior boys team.
We’ve been sharing our ideas and experiences at conferences in other schools and conferences, in India and abroad. Our confidence in whatever we are doing is only increasing when we realize we are offering much of what other schools offer at less than half the fee- A Cambridge Program with Cambridge qualified teachers, The AS and A levels Life skills, service learning , leadership Programmes .We are poised to be as good as any other in the field. We’ve been ranked with the best and that is worth shouting about.
All this to prove that a faith school can be as good as the best.-superb infra structure, great set of teachers, an awesome thousand students and some enthusiastic parents and well wishers
Having countered one challenge, time to look at the 2nd allegation – and that is ,’faith school products do not get assimilated into the mainstream society.’ Till a few years ago we we were able to prove this wrong with data and statistics .Our students are shining in the best college classrooms .Our alumni are doctors, engineers, others in architecture and design and some home makers already- married, and raising families. They integrated and participated and contributed when they stepped out from our nurturing, protected , God centred school environment, doing well for themselves and their communities.
However as we move into the 21st century, collaboration, communication and participation with the society much earlier has become extremely essential for our students, individually and for us as a school collectively. We and our children can no more remain isolated. The pace of change and the kind of unprecedented ways in which information is being generated and passed on is unimaginable. We are in an age of disruption- in an age of explosive technology advancement and Artificial Intelligence.
There are as many mobile phones as people today, with 35% of the world working online, 1000 YouTube videos added every day, increasing users of face book and twitter by the seconds, open schooling systems and perhaps soon, very soon, no schools at all. Our children are being bombarded with information, are exposed to a ruthless world of competition and ambiguity and are continuously under the pressure to interact with unknown. We do not have much control of what and how this information is being processed in their young minds.
It is frankly not a choice any more to remain exclusive. By default we must integrate and interact with the society. All this means we need to get children to engage with differences and diversity, develop perspectives much sooner. Therefore, intentional invitation of diversity is only the next inevitable stage in our evolution. It is a purposeful and strategic, step that Oasis is taking keeping in mind the needs and expectations of our learners in a fast paced diverse world. Secondly we need to understand our priorities and channelize our efforts into more effective ways of doing what we must do. We need to break the many stereotype and labels hurled at the other to build respect and appreciation. This is the only way we can support our learners in confidently engaging and standing up for their values and be free to be who they want to be in the pluralistic societies and world we live in .
The need for morals and ethics that faith can give and faith schools must promote in this VUCA age of Volatility, Complexity, Uncertainty and Ambiguity -an age which does not have the rights and wrongs clearly spelt out, is undeniable. The onus on values , now is high and quite beyond the scope of nurturing during the school hours only. Of course that only adds to the real world challenges we, the parents and the school must now counter together as a team.
We sincerely hope all you parents, well-wishers and supporters of Oasis will take on this challenge and help us as we evolve.
Our rebranding is only a step to prepare for this change. Schooling needs to evolve with the societies around and must prepare the learner to participate and thrive in this fast changing world. Faith, as in any faith, and wisdom are synonymous with freedom as they free one from the pressure to conform to the sometimes unjust, destructive social norms, stereotypes, the dos and don’ts. In fact, freedom is the true function and purpose of faith and wisdom.
The French Egyptian thinker Tariq Ramadaan ‘s quote sums up the message that we must give our children in this complex state of affairs
“Man, is certainly free, but he is responsible for this freedom before God as before men. This responsibility is inevitably moral. In order of this morality, to be free, is to protect the freedom of others, and their dignities.”
Back to Ayesha
A chrysalis does not know its latent potential. We did not know that we had a butterfly within us waiting to spread its wings. We have now spread our wings; with a Huge Campus—with state-of-the-art facilities and a stable International curriculum.
Now, when we are in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, The 6th Great Extinction, an Age where Artificial Intelligence is overtaking Humans,
educating children for uniqueness is the secret to thriving in this VUCA Age of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity.
We at Oasis are constantly working on achieving this ambitious dream by honing our students’ Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Societal and Global skills with an inside out rather than top down approach to learning.
We are now surging ahead with a new Hope of Happiness, Openness, Progress and Excellence . We are today, a crucible of learning of the 21st Century Skills of Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication. Our quest is to liberate young minds by focusing on building deep, meaningful and long term engagements. Our Inspired students are excited learners who are