Sikh Missionary College gets 1st Woman Principal || SNE
By SNE .
Jan 03, 2019
Amritsar, January 1
Breaking the tradition of 92 years of its existence, the SGPC has appointed the first woman principal of Shaheed Sikh Missionary College here.
Prof Manjit Kaur (44) took charge of the office on Tuesday as the 24th head of this all boys’ institute, opened in 1927 as a memorial to the martyrs of the massacre at Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev, in 1921.
Traditionally, only male scholars headed the institute, which is now run under the auspices of the Dharam Parchar Committee of the SGPC.Well versed in Sikh religious studies, Prof Manjit Kaur believes that the SGPC should open more avenues for the Sikh women.
Ironically, no woman teacher was ever appointed in Sikh missionary colleges run by the SGPC at different places till Prof Manjit Kaur broke through the glass ceiling only in 2003 when she was posted as a lecturer in the institute.
After completing her masters in religious studies and education from the Patiala university, she applied for the post of lecturer at the Amritsar missionary college. It was her confidence and aptitude that convinced the interview panel to select her.
“I was just 27 then. Though impressed with my merits, the interviewers appeared to be bit reluctant to offer me job. The constraint was that I was to teach young boys, some of whom were of my age. I persuaded them to give me a chance as I knew my job ethics as a teacher. I proved myself in my 15-year teaching span here without any intricacy. I think it awarded me as I am heading this institute now. In a way, I can say that I created a niche for women teachers in missionary colleges. After me, a few women lecturers, too, got posts. Today there are two other lecturers in our institute,” she said.
The institute offers three-year diploma courses in “parcharak, gurmat sangeet and tabla vadak”. The curriculum includes Sikh sacred texts, philosophy, history and music.
Prof Manjit Kaur said her endeavour would be to open a missionary college exclusively for girls.
“Hailing the move, SGPC member Kiranjot Kaur said, “This is a very positive step forward in keeping with the time. She has broken male bastion in Sikh institutes.”
SGPC chief secretary Dr Roop Singh, who had also taught in the institute, said, “She is not only a good teacher, but also an eminent author and orator. Her merits had compelled the then SGPC president Gurcharan Singh Tohra and secretary Prof Manjit Singh Calcutta to select her.