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Blackboard Awards 2024

Amara Jawaid

Hikmah School at Northern Ireland Muslim Family Association


Subject or primary school year: GCSE RE Islam.
Your place of birth: Pakistan.
Studied at: Karachi University, Pakistan.
First job: Product Development Assistant.
What it taught me: Team working and importance of communication.

Family/status: Married with two children.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Be the person you want to be, but with dedication, passion and knowledge.

I have a rather unconventional non-teaching background with a Bachelors in Home Economics and a Masters Degree in Clothing/Textile Design in Pakistan. Living in NI since 2007, I noticed a significant lack of teaching facilities available for pupils wishing to take GCSE RE (Islam) which the vast majority of schools don't even teach. I am working in a voluntary capacity in NIMFA, providing those services for over seven years.

Part of the role is to coordinate with schools to discuss subject choices with their RE staff and the examination requirements. Pupils attend from a diverse background and from a range of schools from all over NI to attend their weekend classes. The unique composition of my cohorts over the years enables healthy and active discussion within the class, given their cultural and personal life experiences. Teaching such a diverse class is rather satisfying and rewarding and I always look forward to it.

Students receive personalised feedback and one-on-one support after each internal assessment so they know their strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to achieve very high scores with over 50% of the class consistently getting 100% marks over the years, which is really remarkable given the theoretical nature of the subject.

Blackboard Awards 2024