Home Global Village Out of madrasah: a flawed solution to the worst problem?

Out of madrasah: a flawed solution to the worst problem?

madrasah

Nisa Habib |

Recently, prevailing all over, madrasah reform is a subject of concern in Pakistan. This is the topic that came under immense discussion in the wake of intensification of extremism and terrorism in the country. From considering it the hotbed of extremists to the training school of terrorists’, the issues surrounding Madrassahs remain in the discussion with bold font nowadays.

It, if I may speak undaunted, concurrently highlights many other ugly realities of the government strategies that I shall discuss onwards. Before narrowing down to the problem in question kicking the discussion off from the condition of schools, existing scourges, the ignored imperatives in strategies, and sidelined population accompanied by the oblivion government.

While reading today’s news about the UNICEF researched figure of unprivileged children—from age 5 to 17, which makes 23 percent of the population are out of school (DAWN editorial; 03 March 2018).

Reintegration of marginalized figure of the society and paving the way for more harmonious society, while embracing multi-ethnicity of the country and inculcating the sense of coherence can be proved significant for the future of the country.

The figure of out of school children consists of either those who never went to school or are dropouts after primary level. It shall come as no surprise that Punjab—owing to its highest number of population, won the race in giving the worst figure in out of school children in Pakistan.

Read more: Can education be decolonized in Pakistan?

The condition—to put it simply, that prevails across the country is not commendable, whilst putting Pakistan only behind Nigeria in the list. In such situation, one can ask the question regarding closing madrasah and it adding further to the figure in an already worsened situation would help country anyway?

In Pakistan Two plus Two leads to the 11 problems?

Was shutting down 182 Madaris after APS incident, according to some reports, helpful in minimizing the problems?  Now here is the two sides’ justification that one ought to look at before jumping to the answer.

Relocation of Students after Shutting down of Madrasah?

Now the query starts from whether the provincial or federal government did some extra arrangements before closing madrasah? The rational mind would always think of an accessible, doable and fair solution before going hard about the problems. If it had been the case, such hiking figure (only if those misplaced children are included in this figure) wouldn’t have been diagnosed by the researchers.

Was shutting down 182 Madaris after APS incident, according to some reports, helpful in minimizing the problems?  Now here is the two sides’ justification that one ought to look at before jumping to the answer.

The only news that one comes across is of closing the madrasah, which is ironically portraying the flaws in the strategies by the Pakistan government. The students were supposed to be given incentives to join already present schools (if there were any) to not get manipulated by the extremists again in the future. As the researchers show, the gap between the public and government is what provides oxygen to the extremist to achieve their sinister aims, whilst making the vulnerable masses.

Read more: Democracy and education: The indivisible duo

How about Extra Arrangements?

Did government go to some extra lengths in addressing the root causes of people tilt towards enrolling their children in madrasah?  Did anyone think through about where the student of closed madrasah would go? The relocation of students and giving the required incentives was supposed to precede the shutting down of madaris. In the end, efforts were ought to be followed by measures with apropos to future prevention of people to find madaris only option for their children education by fulfilling their spiritual and religious needs in the schools.

While solving the problem of one education system countrywide, people who desire to get religious education shall be given the opportunity as well. In the morning preach the same curriculum and, in the evening, schools shall give teaches religion—preferable scrutinized and well-checked material.

Read more: Quality reforms to empower public education

Many schools in the country served the purpose of cattle houses or turns into the “kandrat”, while many people turn a blind eye on the need and situation many places of the country. The prioritizing of education and pulling down the hiking figure of out of school children shall be next government’s top objective. Concerned officials shall keep the track of the misplaced madrasah children and provide them with best incentives by addressing their social problems.

Hope is the hand we are holding so far. Reintegration of marginalized figure of the society and paving the way for more harmonious society, while embracing multi-ethnicity of the country and inculcating the sense of coherence can be proved significant for the future of the country.

The author is a political analyst. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space editorial policy. 

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