Sunday, March 20, 2016

Movement to clear the air about Madrassas

Source: The Hindu :

Students Islamic Organisation of India has launched a nation-wide movement to “clear the common misconceptions about Madrassas” and to help improve the education standards in these institutions.

Special teams have been formed to visit each State and interact with the stakeholders. As part of the strategy, resource persons will visit Madrassas and list out the infrastructure facilities that are not available in these religious schools.

Teachers in Madrassas will be exposed to modern teaching methods and soft skills. Teachers or students of Madrassas who achieve excellence in Calligraphy will be presented with Kala Pratibha Puraskar awards.

Bengaluru, Bhatkal, Raichur and Bidar have been chosen in the State.

The first of such meetings was held in Bidar on Tuesday. Resource persons interacted with students, teachers and managing committees of various Madrassas in the city. A public meeting was held at Basava Kalyan in the evening.

“A lot of misinformation campaign is going on against Madrassas. Some people brand them as terrorist training centres. Some people think of Madrassas as opaque institutions that are trying to divide society. These are all false allegations. We want to speak out against such conspiracy theories,” Naziri-ul-Hassan Falahi, SIO national secretary, told presspersons.

“Efforts will be made to remove misconceptions about Madrassas that they are breeding grounds for terrorists and anti-national activities. Pamphlets and books will be released that speak about the kind of education given in the Madrassas. Lectures will be organised and efforts will be made to introduce the good work done by most of these bodies,” Mr. Falahi said.

He said that a nation-wide study had revealed that a majority of such institutions were teaching science, geography, Hindi and other Indian languages, apart from religious education. SIO has usually been associated with students in the formal education system.

“We want to expand our activities to non-formal educational institutions such as the Madrassas,” he said.

Most of the Madrassas lack basic facilities, Talha Ismail, coordinator, Deeni Madaris Committee of Karnataka, said. According to them, there were 960 Madrassas in the State and most of them did not have enough facilities. Around 90 per cent of them do not have physical education teachers and over 70 per cent of them do not have libraries.

“We found that a Madrassa in Ramnagaram had cordial relations with people in its neighbourhood. We want to spread word about such institutions,” Mr. Ismail said.


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