Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reforms in Madaris Education

It is quite disappointing that representatives of the Muslim community themselves dashed the hopes of reforms in madarsa education. More disappointing is that a large number of Muslim MPs did not even think it necessary to express their opinion about formation of a Central Madarsa Board. Had it not been so, only 18 MPs would not have participated in the meeting convened by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibbal.

Opposing Formation of Central Madarsa Board
Those MPs that attended this meeting almost unanimously opposed the formation of a Central Madarsa Board. Some MPs said it in clear words that the government should not involve itself in this matter. This means they are satisfied with the education being imparted in madaris. One meaning of this satisfaction is that they are not bothered about the future of hundreds of thousands of students studying in these madaris. In the meeting convened by Kapil Sibbal, Union Minister Sultan Ahmed also spoke against the formation of a madarsa board. Now, when a union minister himself is trying to derail a good initiative being taken by his own government, how can we expect anything better to take place? It is difficult to understand why MPs of different parties, including those of the Congress party and its allies, are unable to trust the government?

The way Muslim MPs saw dishonesty in central intentions with regard to formation of a madarsa board would not send a right message amongst the Muslim community. No matter what Muslim MPs claim about the education in madaris, the future of children studying in them cannot be called bright. Madaris, which lay emphasis on religious education, are not being able to provide education in accordance with the needs of time, and the education that cannot develop their personality in accordance with the needs of time cannot be called useful.

Significance of Religious Education
Undoubtedly, religious education has its own importance in one's life, but only religious education is not everything. It is a good sign that despite the adverse attitude of Muslim MPs, the human resource minister has not conceded defeat. He should continue with his efforts, because it is not merely a question of reforms in madarsa education, but also of bringing the Muslim community in the national mainstream in a natural manner.

It would be better if representatives willing for progress of the Muslim community came forward and decided upon the outline of reforms in madarsa education in coordination with the government.

Demand of the Situation
Representatives of the Muslim community will have to understand that reforms in education being imparted in madaris are the demand of the situation, and they can send their suggestions and proposals in this regard to the union government.

Today, when the need for radical reforms in school education is being felt, it would be illogical to say that madaris should be left to their own fate. Undoubtedly, it is also not a logical argument that the government should provide economic aid, but should not worry about the manner, in which madaris are spending it.

No comments: