Tes Awards 2020: Lifetime achievement winner

‘The epitome of an educator…a true hero’ – Siddiqa Mubashar is recognised with a lifetime achievement award
13th November 2020, 8:30pm

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Tes Awards 2020: Lifetime achievement winner

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/tes-awards-2020-lifetime-achievement-winner
Lifetime Achievement Of The Year 2020

Siddiqa Mubashar didn't just play a pivotal role in establishing Urdu in the O-level/GCSE and A-level curriculum, or champion the study of heritage languages during her long service as a teacher. She was also a strong advocate of the rights of women and migrants, and was fearless in her fight against prejudice and celebration of cultural diversity.

After studying a master's in Urdu, Ms Mubashar migrated from Pakistan to the UK at the age of 26. She first worked in community service, supporting vulnerable Asian women, becoming a member of the Rochdale Community Health Council and an executive member of the Council for Racial Equality. In 1979, she found her calling in teaching, and she taught for many years in Newham, London.

A former colleague, Miriam Scharf, recalls that in the 1980s and 1990s "those who taught non-European languages had to battle continually to get recognition...there were endless, what we would now call, 'micro-aggressions' as well as outright discrimination".

But Ms Mubashar always stood up for herself, her colleagues and her students. She knew and was respected by the Urdu-speaking community in Newham, hosted regular cultural events, worked tirelessly for the black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities and students with English as an additional language. She also published three textbooks for teachers of Urdu, which filled a gap in educational resources.

Even after retirement, she was known for helping students through the UK's immigration system, supporting them while they went through the courts to obtain their right to remain. 

Sadly, Ms Mubashar recently passed away but her legacy lives on: seven of her children and grandchildren work in education.

Nominating her for the award, Ms Mubashar's daughter, Bushra, said her mother "was a true hero...the epitome of an educator: she was a diligent teacher, a patient mentor, a fastidious examiner and a successful writer. Her contribution to education, spanning over 40 years, is not simply significant, it is revolutionary."

The judges praised her courage and determination, and her work in ensuring that children were given the opportunity to study community languages. 

Tes editor Ann Mroz said: "This is an exceptionally deserving winner: she fought against racism and prejudice, and empowered generations of students."

 





 

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