Our time off

8th August 1997 at 01:00
Westborough High School is an 11-16 comprehensive in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, with 730 on roll, 65 per cent of whom are of Muslim and Asian origin. The school is respected for its work within the Asian community and for creating a vibrant multicultural environment.

Abdul Raouf, 33, a former chemical engineer, is a newly-qualified teacher on a temporary contract. He has two children, a daughter aged five and a son aged two.

"To tell you the truth I'm going to be very busy this holiday. I can't relax like other teachers because I'm not paid in the holiday and anyway, I want to work to support my family. I'll be looking for a short-term engineering job for some of the time.

"I got involved with helping and monitoring a group of boys before taking up a full-time science post, working with the Salfia (community) Association in Dewsbury. I now run a homework club for them with Westborough High, as part of the Kirklees Raising Attainment project and we're going to run a summer scheme which I'll be involved with for two days a week. I enjoy the kids in this area so I'm not after the money. I wanted to work at this school (Westborough) because of the work it does with the community. I started on a two-month contract and they've managed to keep me for the whole year. I'm going back in September on another contract.

"I live in Huddersfield and before I came into teaching I'd also been giving tuition to school kids there. When I've finished the homework club in Dewsbury I've been working with these kids between 7 and 9pm - boys on a Tuesday, girls on a Thursday.

"Every summer we do a sponsored walk. Last year we walked around Huddersfield, so this year we're going to investigate a new route. We raise money for the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary paediatric unit and the consultant and nurses come with us, as well as my wife and children. These kind of walks get you together, it's not just Muslims from the Muslim community - we like getting involved with other people. I think it makes them become better people, good people caring for society as a whole.

"I've also let the Kirklees Community Languages Service know I'm available for work. My Urdu is as good as my English and I also speak Punjabi, Hindi and Miripuri, the community language in this area. I work with the courts, housing and social services and the benefits agency and I really enjoy it.

"Our children will need some relaxation so we want to spend a few days in the Lake District and we're going to stay with friends in Bristol. I also want to take them to Chester Zoo. We live with my parents, brothers and sisters in a large Victorian house and it's got a big garden which needs a lot of work doing on it, so I'll need to spend some of my time on that as well."

Nazam Arif, 15, the school cricket captain, has come to the end of Year 10.

"It's all cricket really. I play for Dewsbury Moorlands cricket club, and three of us from there are going for trials to Liversedge; that's a promotion. If we get through, it's cricket coaching for a week.

"On the first day of the holiday I suppose I'll lie in until 12, one or two o'clock, and then I'll go up to me mates and start playing football. I've got quite a few friends where we live and we play football in a field behind the big mosque.

"Half-way through the holiday a close relative of mine runs a play scheme and every day we'll be playing cricket and soft-ball rounders. It's mixed girls and boys so it's good.

"I've got an older cousin, Asif Mahroof, he's 18 and I got the cricket from him. We'll be going out to Leeds shopping for clothes and to the Pizza Hut and McDonald's. I'm the oldest of seven, I've got one sister and five brothers and when I go out they all want to come with me, so there's a lot of petty arguments.

"My mum has loads to do in the holidays, washing, cooking and everything and so I help put them to bed; they argue with her but they're scared of me.

"I want to start a business with my brothers eventually, and I want to do GNVQ business studies after my GCSEs so I've got loads of work to do. I'll be down at the library with my friend Usuf. Dad (who works in a factory) says homework is important, so I try to do it."

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