The second cohort (C2) of the Institute’s Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) celebrated their achievements at the annual graduation ceremony held at the Institute of Education’s (IOE) Logan Hall on the 6th of April 2011. Students from Canada, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan and the USA graduated at the ceremony with a double Masters degree: MA in Education (Muslim Societies and Civilisations) and MTeach (Master of Teaching).

This year, fourteen STEP students were awarded distinctions in their degrees, while the following eight students received a double distinction: Muniza Ahmed, Faiza Damji, Alim Fakirani, Shezeleen Kanji, Shirin Karim, Karima Merchant, Rizwan Muhammedi and Zahra Somani. The ceremony was attended by IIS governors, management, STEP faculty members from the Department of Graduate Studies and family members of the graduating students.

A special celebration event was held prior to the official graduation ceremony at the IIS on April 5th 2011, where Dr Ruth Mantin (Official External Examiner) from the University of Chichester congratulated the graduating class and STEP faculty on the excellent achievements of the programme. Dr Mantin noted the high level of critical analysis combined with a passion for the subjects exhibited in the final research reports.

For the first annual ‘Outstanding STEP Student Award,’ all eight students with double distinctions were shortlisted. The award recognises both academic excellence and exceptional research undertaken by a STEP student. On this occasion, Muniza Ahmed and Faiza Damji were selected as co-winners of the award with Dr Ruth Mantin as adjudicator.

One of the highlights of the IIS celebration event was a musical performance by Flux, a band comprising an eclectic group of musicians who (of double bass, violin, guitar, Indian flute and percussion) blend Western and Indian classical music traditions.

STEP C2 graduates have now taken up full-time employment positions as Secondary Education Teachers with Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Boards in their home countries, where they are responsible for the implementation of the IIS Secondary Curriculum.