The school was originally named Seth Kooverji Khimji Lohana Gujarati School (SKKLGS) after a Gujarati social worker. It was renamed as Malala Yousafzai Govt Girls Secondary High School in February 2012 after the young Nobel laureate.
“Let’s not change history,” said Kapil Dev, a human rights activist from Pakistan in a tweet. He requested the Sindh education minister to revisit the decision. “Government should rather open new schools to honour of our icon Malala,” he said. Malala’ father Ziauddin Yousafzai said that the school’s original name must be restored. “We are bound to respect our history,” he responded to the news in a tweet.
Saeed Ghani, Sindh’s education minister, said he has asked his department to submit a comprehensive report on the matter.
“The name will be restored officially after due process but surely any other school will be named after Malala which has no such kind of old name,” he tweeted.
V M Ganatra, an 83-yearold advocate who studied at Seth Kooverji Khimji Lohana Gujarati School till Class 4 says that he vividly remembers the school days and some of his teachers. He and his family moved to Bhuj in the pre-independence period.
Kooverji Khimji was a respected philanthropist with contributions in the education sector. His name in history highlights the Gujarati Sindhi contribution in the making of Karachi and needs safeguarding, tweeted social media users.
Few prefer to enrol in govt schools
Mohammed Arif Aajakia, a French-Pakistani of Indian origin and former deputy mayor of a Jamshed Town near Karachi said there were many Gujarati schools earlier but all have been shut down over the years. In schools which remain functional, teaching is done in local languages.
Dr Mahadev Lohana, a medical practitioner in Kutch who has lived for 25 years in Sindh region said that estimates peg that there two million Gujaratispeaking people in Karachi.
He said there are references in books that Taravanti Bai was appointed as Gujarati Language Teacher in 1982 by the Sindh government. She used to teach in SKKLGS. She retired on April 18 last year. Dr Lohana said due to low enrollment percentage in government schools, teachers could not continue teaching in Gujarati for long.
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