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A voluntary service at home

(Photograph) - Asian teenagers, at the centre of recent riots in Bradford, are too often disappointed by what they see as a racist education. Reva Klein reports on one school's attempt to involve parents in setting realistic goals.

The Razaq family is representative of the growing number of Bradford parents who have put education before everything else and have succeeded. Abdul, a self-employed builder, and Aziz Begum, his wife (pictured above), have five children. Their eldest daughter, Samina, has just graduated with a psychology degree from Bradford University and one son is studying mechanical engineering at Manchester; another is on a BTEC course. Their two youngest children, aged 12 and 13, attend Grange. Neither parent was educated beyond 16 and Aziz Begum's English is very basic. They have been receiving visits from Nazmin and Munir since October.

"I feel very proud of my children," says Aziz Begum, through an interpreter. "I never cared what I wore or ate. I just always made sure my children had what they wanted. Maybe it's because I couldn't complete my education that I want my children to be successful. Grange School has been good for us. But especially having Nazmin and Munir coming here has been very helpful. They can help you understand things better.

"I know a lot more about the curriculum now than I ever did before and I know from speaking to other mothers that they do, too. I would definitely like to see more Asian teachers at the school. But at least we are lucky enough to get these home visits. It's very highly valued in the community."

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