Ilford sisters following in parents’ teaching footsteps

L-R: Sisters Aisha, Raisah and Almas Patel are doing the same PGCE programme after being inspired by their parents Makbul and...

L-R: Sisters Aisha, Raisah and Almas Patel are doing the same PGCE programme after being inspired by their parents Makbul and Nazznin to pursue a career in teaching. Picture: University of Cumbria - Credit: Archant

Three sisters from Ilford have followed in their parents’ footsteps by pursuing careers in teaching.

Twins Almas and Raisah, 23, and elder sister Aisha, 24, say their parents love the fact that they're following in their foots...

Twins Almas and Raisah, 23, and elder sister Aisha, 24, say their parents love the fact that they're following in their footsteps. Picture: University of Cumbria - Credit: Archant

Twins Almas and Raisah Patel, 23, together with older sister Aisha, 24, are doing the same Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme at the University of Cumbria’s London campus.

The trio were inspired by parents Makbul and Nazznin Patel; father Makbul was an economics lecturer in India, with their mother Nazznin currently working with pupils who have educational needs at a primary school.

Aisha and Raisah are undertaking their PGCE after completing degrees in education studies at the University of Cumbria, having each previously worked in children’s nurseries.

Almas is on the programme after obtaining a first class honours degree in the same subject at a different institution.

Ruth Harrison-Palmer, Director of the Institute of Education at the University of Cumbria says the university is proud - part...

Ruth Harrison-Palmer, Director of the Institute of Education at the University of Cumbria says the university is proud - particularly in these times of Covid-crisis - to play a role in training the key workers of tomorrow. Picture: University of Cumbria - Credit: Archant


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It’s clear how influential the trio’s parents have been; Aisha said: “Our parents are proud and our mother consistently boasts to others that her three daughters are completing their PGCEs together at the same university.”

Almas added: “With Mum working in a primary school and Dad also having experience working with students in India teaching economics, teaching is always something I’ve wanted to do. It is such a rewarding job. Our family is proud of how far we’ve all come and love that we’re following the passion that we have.”

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Rasiah identified another advantage — with two sisters on the course, she’s likely to always be on top of her studies: “It is handy having my two sisters doing the same course. We can compare notes and check if we’ve missed any information.”

She said she’s also looking forward to graduating with her sisters, with that day set to be a real “milestone” for the whole family.

The Ilford sisters are amongst 500 students at the university’s site in East India Dock Road, Tower Hamlets, which has been delivering teacher training courses since 2007.

Farhat Ibrahim, the principal lecturer in education at that campus, said the university is “delighted” to have all three sisters, adding that it’s “particularly pleasing because it means that we’re able to continue to see Raisah and Aisha progress after having completed undergraduate programmes with us”.

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