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Kerala madrasas ahead of their northern counterparts

New Delhi: National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT) conducted a study of Kerala’s madrasas and found that madrasas in this state are better and more reformed in many respects as compared to the ‘stereotypical’ madrasas in north India. The study was conducted by Prof. (Ms) Sushma Jaireth, a Reader in NCERT’s Department of Women’s Studies and two juniors S. Shiraz and Khadija Siddiqi, and titled ‘A Study of Madrasas of Kerala: An Overview’.

Though there is no Madrasa Board in Kerala, the madrasas, most of which are concentrated in Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram districts, on the whole have better infrastructure. Madrasas there are fast introducing English language and computer education. The study found that much emphasis is being given in these madrasas on modern subjects alongwith religious or Islamic education. These modern subjects are taught in madrasas in a specialised manner from first to final years.

Madrasas in Malappuram are even more advanced in the sense that they not only help students to do their 10+2 level but also to complete their graduation as well as post-graduation from recognised colleges and universities. Madrasas teaching Islamic courses under Majlisut Talimul-Islam have a specially prepared curriculum which is a combination of subjects like Arabic, Sociology, Economic and Commerce at graduate and post-graduate levels.

It is also worth mentioning in this connection that the whole Islamic education system has been influenced by Islamic reformist movement like Jamaat-e Islami Hind, Kerala Chapter and Kerala Nadwatul Mujahideen which have brought radical changes in the schools of thoughts, philosophies and ideologies, thereby modernising people’s mindsets and outlooks. Medium of instruction/ education in most of the madrasas is Arabic or English but in some madrasas it is the regional language i.e. Malayalam also in addition to Arabic or English.
 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2011 on page no. 21

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