Islam and Modern Education-Part 3
Sheer poverty and struggle to make ends meet causes the Muslim students to drop out as the educational level increases.
Muslims pursued education vigorously and achieved so much success in the early period of Islam. But why do we find ourselves in such pathetic state now?
There are various viewpoints, which have been put forward in this regard and the reasons, Mr. Mohd. Shafiquz Zaman (I.A.S) has classified in his eminently authoritative book, “Problems of Minorities Education” which are worthy of being mentioned. In the last issue we presented the reasons he lists and here are a few more.
Indifferent bureaucracy: Mr.Shafiquz Zaman observed in his book that bureaucracy in India has come to be closely identified with the interests of ruling group and class and perceives every change as a threat to the hegemony of this class/group. He further said that year after year and report after report, bureaucracy has explained this educational backwardness of Muslims by putting the blame at their doors i.e. being antipathetic towards education. The explanation, he said was not only simplistic but also preposterous.
He has further quoted instances when he argued with Department officials that in the name of excellence which is the luxury of haves, they are depriving non- excellent education which is better than not having education at all to the have- nots by putting conditions/rules which are difficult to meet for the Muslims and the poorer or backward classes. Some of the Rules that work as deterrent are given as below:
1. Provision of playground.
2. Requirement of distance of 1 to 1.5 kms between the new proposed School and the existing School.
3. Corpus fund of a minimum Rs. 25 to 50,000 as deposit before permission is granted.
4. Commercial rates for amenities such as electricity, water and other taxes.
5. Insistence on a minimum pass percentage from the School, failure of which for three consecutive years resulting in the cancellation of licence. This sounds all the more ridiculous considering that the Govt. run Schools themselves fall well short of the standards specified.
Poverty: Sheer poverty and struggle to make ends meet causes the Muslim students to drop out as the educational level increases. There is pressure of circumstances on them to supplement the family income. Hamdard Education Society did a study in 1983 of 430 Muslim schools and 44 Muslim- managed degree colleges and found that the number of non-Muslim students in these institutions rose from 3.7% at Primary level to 59.60% at the Graduate level. In the case of Muslim boys, the percentage declined from 56.3% at primary level to 32.1% at the Graduate level. The percentage of Muslim girls also declined from 40% at the primary level to 8.3% at the Graduate level. (Quoted in Religious Minority Educational Institutions by Dr. Satish Chandra and Dr. Mala Chandra, page 3).
There is a need to combat this phenomenon of dropping out of the Muslim students as they get to higher classes.
Misdirected Community Effort: In the field of Islamic Education, the community’s initiative has been tremendous rather unparalleled in human history.
Manzoor Ahmed commenting on this rightly says, “This is the largest peoples’ endeavour, on absolutely voluntary basis in the field of education, in history anywhere in the world.” (page 32, Islamic Education)
However in the field of contemporary education, the community’s effort and initiative has neither been adequate nor properly directed. This is where focused attention needs to be given in case we want the educational standard of Muslims to rise.
(To be concluded)