Home PodcastMariam Mia Empowering Minds: Turkish Agency Unveils Cutting-Edge Science Lab at JMS

Empowering Minds: Turkish Agency Unveils Cutting-Edge Science Lab at JMS

by Zahid Jadwat

Pupils at the Johannesburg Muslim School (JMS) now have a shining new laboratory to take their science education to the next level. The lab, donated by the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), was unveiled by the Turkish ambassador this Wednesday.

Speaking at the launch of the science lab, Ambassador Aysegul Kandas said she was excited to be at a school that placed Islamic values at its core. She said it was great to see the finished project, one that cost 25 000 USD.

Also present at the event were Moulana Ebrahim Bham from Jamiatul Ulama South Africa and delegations from TIKA and the Gauteng department of education respectively. Learners were thrilled about the prospect of enhanced learning in a lab setting.

“It’s exciting and thrilling. I feel like if we have a lab to do our experiments, it makes it easier for us to understand and relate with science. Just learning the work in class isn’t enough. Actually seeing it would give us more of an understanding and experience with science,” said Grade 10 learner Nuaim Rangila.

Another learner, Maleehah Varachia, reflected Rangila’s sentiment. “We’re really thrilled to have such an environment that improves our education. It helps to give us a visual [and] practical education.”


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Gratitude for the science lab

Expressing the school’s gratitude for the new lab, deputy principal Rabia Mia said TIKA’s contribution was more than just that. She described it as a “milestone’ for the Crosby-based school.

“It embodies the importance of fostering scientific knowledge and innovation amongst our learners. The science lab represents a significant milestone in our school’s journey to provide holistic and well-rounded education to our learners.”

She added that the “cutting-edge” equipment and resources would enable the lab to “serve as a hub for scientific enquiry, discovery. It would also enable students to do hands-on experimentation and research that will ignite their passion and curiosity, she said.

Muallima Maymoonah Bham, a teacher at the school, said, “I’m very excited. It’s very difficult to teach from a textbook. We live in a society where children are exposed to social media. They want to feel, they want to touch, they want to see. We need to captivate them in other ways.”


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Legacy of education

Addressing learners, dignitaries and representatives present at the launch, Moulana Bham stressed the importance for Muslims to spearhead scientific initiatives. He said this was part of their heritage and needed to be paid forward.

“We are supposed to be in the forefront of every branch of knowledge. If you look at history, you will find that Muslims were always at the forefront of every branch of knowledge,” he stressed.

Ambassador Kandas emphasised the need for female learners to be empowered. “Women are the foundation of society. [They] will raise the future children of South Africa. I would like to thank everyone here who made today happen. I always feel very happy when I see the completion of a project.”

She further took the opportunity to thank the school and its students for their donation towards relief aid after the Turkiye earthquakes. “The trauma of all those orphans and all those broken families will continue for years and it’s a long process of recovery,” she concluded.


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