How incredibly kind...
My first reaction on learning a Sheffield teacher had rewarded his A-star maths GCSE pupil with a £750 Armani suit.
This amazingly generous and thoughtful teacher bought the suit with his own money to both praise the tremendous achievement of 16-year-old Yemeni student Ahmed Moula, and encourage him to aspire to great things.
“It shows that high achievement brings high rewards,” said Parkwood Academy teacher Munif Zia.
Undoubtedly, he is a generous man. He must be an inspiration to his pupils in so many ways.
But surely he has gone too far. While I feel I’m looking a gift-horse in the mouth, I hope in hindsight Mr Zia can see that it would have been better for young Ahmed to have understood that his personal sense of achievement, and the pride of his family and his maths mentor, were reward enough.
Though Mr Zia points out that he felt shy Ahmed could do with a suit to boost his confidence at sixth-form interviews and also at the school prom. Fair enough.
But why so expensive a suit? Surely the gift will spark jealousy - and not only among fellow pupils. How many parents could ever afford to do the same for a son or daughter stepping up to accept a degree, let alone a maths GCSE?
Why didn’t he get one from Bhs instead of seemingly endorsing the belief already held by far too many young people that they are not worth anything unless they’re clad in at least one expensive designer label.