By Mohd Shakaib
Illiterate and unemployed Muslim parents are interested in the revision of madarsa syllabus. Similarly, madarsa teachers want the setting up of an All-India Madarsa Board. This is the conclusion that has emerged out of a survey that was conducted by the Hamdard University, New Delhi.
For the survey of three districts with high Muslim population, illiteracy and poverty were chosen. The three districts were Moradabad, Barabanki and Sidharthnagar in Uttar Pradesh.
In Moradabad district, it was found that 42.35 per cent of the parents of those studying in madarsas and Government schools were illiterate, 12.94 per cent had only secondary education and 1.76 per cent were madarsa graduates. Of the 170 parents interviewed, only four per cent were Government employees, 10.58 per cent were unemployed, 15.85 per cent worked on daily wages, 42.35 per cent were engaged in small income generation activities and 27.64 per cent were artisans.
Of the 1,049 children of these parents, 66.71 per cent were studying in madarsas and maktabs and 33.28 per cent in Government schools. The profile of these children and their parents were found to be the same in Barabanki and Sidharthnagar districts. In Barabanki, 16 madarsas were surveyed that included state-funded and private ones. Of the 1,168 children, 77.3 per cent were studying in madarsas and 22.7 per cent in Government schools.
The most striking fact that has come to light is that parents, contrary to popular perception, were not averse to sending their daughters to study in co-educational schools till the fifth standard. A more remarkable fact is that an overwhelming majority of parents were in favour of regular revision of madarsa syllabus. Besides, they also emphasised the need for technical education to be imparted to their children.
Another important fact that emerged out of this survey is that madarsa teachers want modern subjects to be introduced. Many teachers complained that the curriculum is not revised. Four-fifths of them advocated the setting up of an All-India Madarsa Board. They were also in favour of proper training for themselves.
The Sachar Committee has also talked about illiteracy and unemployment among Muslims, which are the main reason why Muslim children seek education in madarsas.
Source: The Daily Pioneer