Mudarsa Education System in PakistanSubmitted to: Mr. Fani
WhatareMadaris??The term “madrasah” has varied meanings. Generally, it is the term given in Arabic to anyschool, but it is also used to refer to specific types of schools.The madrasah system or deenimadaris, religious education institutions focusing on religiousLaw, teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, classical logic, literature and the Quran, but there isno universally fixed course of study. The interpretation of these texts may also vary from onemadrasah to another.Early history of MadarisMadrasah or deeni madaris have existed for centuries in the Islamic world, including inPakistan.Madaris did not exist in the early beginnings of Islam. Their formation can probably be traced tothe early Islamic custom of meeting in mosques to discuss religious issues. At this early stage,people seeking religious knowledge tended to gather around certain more knowledgeableMuslims. These informal teachers later became known as sheikhs; and these sheikhs began tohold regular religious education sessions called majalis sessions.As an institution of learning, the madrasa is centuries old. One of the firstestablished madrasas,called the Nizamiyah, was built in Baghdad during the eleventhcentury A.D. Offering food,lodging, and a free education, madrasas spread rapidlythroughout the Muslim world.Madaris in PakistanHosting over 12,000 madrasas, Pakistan’s religious and public educational infrastructure are ofongoing concern in the United States. In an economy that is marked by extreme poverty andunderdevelopment, costs associated with Pakistan’s cash-strapped public educationsystemhave led some Pakistanis to turn to madrasas for free education, room, and board.As of January 2007, over 12,000 of Pakistan’s estimated 13,000 madrasas hadregistered withauthorities. In a more controversial step, the Pakistani government alsodemanded that adrasasexpel all of their foreign students by December 31, 2005. Of anestimated 1,700 foreignmadrasa students, 1,000 had reportedly left Pakistan by January1, 2006. In August 2006,Pakistani authorities announced their intent to deport some ofthe remaining 700 foreignstudents if they did not obtain permission to remain in Pakistanfrom their home governments:the visas o those with permission reportedly wereextended.
Some nationalist and Islamist groups have resisted the government’s enforcementefforts, andauthorities have made statements indicating that they do not plan to use forceor shut downnoncompliant madrasas in order to enforce the directives.An air-strike on a madrasa near the border with Afghanistan in the Bajaur tribal regionkilledreported militants on October 30, 2006, and sparked massive protests across Pakistan.InJuly 2007, Pakistani security forces raided a girls madrasa related to the conservativeRedMosque after individuals affiliated with the facilities refused government orders tostopvigilante enforcement of religious social codes. Over 100 people were reportedlykilled inrelated clashes.General Characteristics At independence in 1947 there were about 245 madrasahs in Pakistan. The number of madrasahs has increased since the rule of General Zia ul-Haq (1977-1988). In April 2002, the Minister of Religious Affairs estimated the number of schools to beabout 10,000, with 1.7 million students. This number however is contested; different sources name figures from 600,000 to 2million students. The madrasahs are controlled by their own organizations or boards. The boards definethe curriculum, and collect registration and examination fee.Central Boards of Madrasahs in PakistanWafq-ul-Madaris-alSalafiaAhl-i-Hadith Faislabad 1955WafaqulMadarisDeobandi MultanWafaqulMadaris(Shia) PakistanTanzimulMadarisBarelvi LahoreRabta-tul-Madaris-alIslamia
Jamat-i-Islami Lahore 1983School EducationMadrasah primary schools, called maktabs, are usually attached to mosques and provide basicIslamic education, e.g. reading and memorisation of the Quran. Secondary schoolmadrasahsprovide advanced instruction in Islamic education.As for teaching modern subjects, the Ahl-i-Hadith madrasahs have been teaching Pakistanstudies, English, mathematics and general science for a long time, according to TariqRaman,2004. The Jamat-i-Islami as well as the larger Deobandi, Barelvi and Shia madrasahs alsoteach secular subjects. Urdu and Arabic are the languages of instruction in the madrasahs.Madrasahs have their own examination system and award certificates called sanadscorresponding to the formal system. Hifz/Tajweed-wa-Quiraat/Ibtedayia = Primary School Mutawassita = Middle School SanviyaAama = Secondary School Certificate SanaviyaKhassa and above = Higher Secondary School CertificateHolders of the SanaviyaKhassa can either continue to higher education within the madrasahSystem or in the formal sector.Madrasahs are mostly run on a charitable basis, the fees charged being small or non-existent.Some madrasahs provide free room and board as well. The Pakistan government givesfinancial assistance to madrasahs in order to modernise textbooks, including secular subjectsinthecurriculum such as English, mathematics and introducing computers.In order to bring themadrasah schools into the mainstream, in 2002 General PervezMusharrafs militarygovernment tried to impose reform on the schools in the form of prescription of foreignstudents, introduction of modern subjects and the creation of model madaris. Only about 4,350schools agreed to register.The Pakistan government however continues the reform of the madaris and the introduction offormal education that started with the National Education Policy (1998-2010) At the end of2005, the Pakistan government made it mandatory for madrasahs to be registered, and theyhave declared that all unregistered madrasahs will be closed, beginning in December 2005.
Higher EducationAs mentioned earlier, it is possible to continue to higher education within the madrasahsystem. The document below is a degree certificate issued in Arabic by the Wafq-ul-Madaris-alSalafiya University belonging to the Ahl-I-Hadith (or Wahabi) sub-sect.The degree is considered as equivalent to a Master’s degree in Arabic and Islam by theUniversity Grants Commission as can be seen in the stamp on the verso of the document. Number of secondary and higher madrassas 6,000 Senior and graduate level madrassas 4,335 Deobandi madrassas 2,333 Barelvi madrassas 1,625 Ahl-i-Hadith madrassas 224 Shia madrassas 163 Number of all students 604,421 Local students (Pakistani) 586,604 Foreign students 17,817 Afghan students 16,598Factors Affectingpromoting religious fanaticism and sectarian violencewithinPakistan, and of ‘breeding terrorists’ for international jihad. On the other hand, modernfeminist writings by Pakistani scholars concentrate on analyzing the public school texts bookstofind out gender bias, which reinforces patriarchal ideologies.Both the discourse ignoregirls’ madaris and their curriculum (formal and informal). Curriculumis a necessary ingredient for carving out peculiar self and personality that is demonstrated bythe girls of madaris in Islamabad in March 2007.In recent months, many articles and reports have pointed out with alarm the increase in thenumber of Madaris in Pakistan during the past two and half decades.It is hard to count the exact number of madaris in Pakistan. After independence, gradualincrease has been observed in madaris. In 1947, Pakistan had 137 madaris or according toanother estimate 245,which increasedupto 401 in 1960. In 1971 they were 893 and eventually3000 in 1988. They are multiplying in number since then.,
Gender DynamicsBeing conservative institutions, madrasas are regarded to be biased towards malestudents.However, recent studies quote a high figure of 30 per cent of all madrasa students beingfemales. This was unheard of before the 1970s, but madrasas are now educating almost aquarter of a million females and contributing over half of all graduates each year.Madrasa life and educationwhileEbrahim (2008) condemns even the large madrasas for lack of leisurely activities beyond sports.Other more damning critiques report incidents of torture and sex abuse (Murphy, 2005), whilealso being critical of the clergy who lure poor families for self-interest.Opportunities after educationBano (2007) describes how students teach the Quran to neighborhood children and many gainemployment as imams or khateebs even before graduation, while still otherspursue higherstudies.Indeed, even as graduates of secular schools are unemployed in large numbers, it is rare to finda madrasa graduate unemployed.Similarly, Qasmi (2005) states that if a student wants to makea livelihood working in a spiritually rewarding if low-paying job, he should be admired, notcondemned.Funding, support and societyMadrasas appear under five ideological boards.While the most popular claim is that madrasasare financed by politically and religiously affiliated foreign and local bodies.Rahman (2004) contends that it is charitythat causes them to flourish. Financial information isjealously guarded by the clergy, Ibrahim notes that divulging sources is troublesome since many
individuals donot want their acts of charity to be publicized and philanthropists abroad arewary of being linked with terrorism.Terrorism, madrasas and governmentschoolsInterest in madrasas has increased exponentially in the last decade owing to the threat ofterrorism.Any discussion on the diversity and problems of madrasas shows that decisions basedon a generalized understanding are always going to be flawed. There are tangible as well asintangible differences in madrasas depending on their size, student strength, and ideologicaldimensions.