Money&Me: Veteran teacher wins praise for education scheme

Rumaisa Mohani, the creator and co-founder of E-Aid, a tutoring programme for high school and college students, recently won the Best Female Entrepreneur award.

Rumaisa Mohani says money should be utilised for useful purposes rather than unnecessary spending. Delores Johnson / The National
Powered by automated translation

Rumaisa Mohani, the granddaughter of the Urdu poet Hasrat Mohani, is the creator and co-founder of E-Aid, a face-to-face tutoring programme for high school and college students that aims to help them with their exams. The veteran teacher, who arrived in the UAE in 1995, recently won the Best Female Entrepreneur award as part of the Global Innovation through Science and Technology's I Dare Business Plan for her work on the E-Aid programme

What is the most valuable advice your parents gave you about money?

My father [used to be] a senior banking executive and he has always been very careful about money matters. He taught [me and my siblings] how best to save and invest for our futures. We never had many luxuries in life; he only saved for us for long-term assets, like housing and education. Now, both my parents are retired but living an independent, carefree life.

Are you a spender or a saver?

I try to save money, like my father used to do, but times are different now. Generally, a person's expenditure has increased a lot. Still, the saving is far more important for us than in the olden days.

What is your philosophy regarding money?

My philosophy about money is that it's not what you have got, but what you have made from it. So money should be utilised for useful purposes, not unnecessary spending.

Where did you get your inspiration to put together the programme that won you the entrepreneurship award?

I have been a teacher for more than 16 years and have seen the problems students face during exams; not finding the right type of help for the preparation of exams. Many students wanted me to give lessons on Skype or other chat programmes because it was difficult for me to travel at different times. But Skype has its own problems, so we decided to come up with something better: a good-quality programme for tutors and students.

Who is the most inspiring person in your life?

For education, I would surely say Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE, for the way he gave importance and special attention to education in this country. The whole scenario of education has changed within the past 15 years. Now, almost every child goes to school and the quality of education is being improved on a permanent basis. This has become a literate nation moving towards a knowledge economy.

Do you believe in planning for the future?

Of course, planning is the first and foremost thing. That's why [my business partners and I] started from a business plan, which gives an all-round analysis of our business problem, its solution and how we will utilise our resources in the future to make their best use.

Is money important to you?

Money is important to do the future planning and operation of any business. However, a good business person gives significant value to the human aspect, too. Money should not make you spendthrift or proud, but one should use this for the benefit of a maximum number of people. I mean, we should work for our best contribution towards the national economy.

What is your idea of financial freedom?

One should try to rely on the least amount of debts that makes you think independently for a better and safe future.

What do you enjoy spending money on?

Education, as it's a permanent asset of a person, and then housing; your own house gives you peace of mind. Then comes clothing, gadgets and other accessories.