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SRINAGAR: Madrasa education is important component part of education in our part of the world. Scores of Muslim children acquire their primary, and perhaps the only formal education in these Madarsas in India and other parts of the world. In entire country and state of  Jammu and Kashmir the Madrasa have played a well-known role in educating children but in current ties  need is being felt to reform the Madrasa system to make it more efficient and ensure correct interpretation of religion, promoting global harmony and prosperity besides developing a solid knowledge base.

 

Grassroots voices are since long calling for reforms in Madrasa education system to make the meet the need of current times. Be it valley of Kashmir or other parts of the country the voices are urging that holistic reforms are the need of times.

Sadatullah Khan, Editor Islamic Voice and globally renowned motivational speaker, Life Coach and  Trainer while talking to The Kashmir News Bureau stated – “Madrasa system definitely needs a revamp and should be molded to meet the need of current times but they have somehow been fearful to accommodate the much needed changes and reforms. If they continue to be rigid, we shall think of alternatives of having vibrant theological colleges wherein religious teachings , research and technological education all are taught under one roof .The burning need of the times is be it Madrasa education or something else we need to incorporate  the basic values of humanity .”

Even commoners are urging that time is ripe for much needed improvement in the Madrasa education system. Gulzar Ahmad , a commoner stated – “ First of all we need to have idea on the statistical information on Madrasa system. The undesirable fact is the government has no idea how many Madrasas are there in State. Or at least, the confused answers have been given to this question from time to time. Madrasa system of education should be made more tolerant to other faiths and thoughts as hateful interpretations and thoughts being propagated on some instances have brought disrepute . The demand of comprehensive and competitive times should be taken into consideration while we embark on reforming and seeing the further scope of improvement in the education system of Madrasa education system.”

Those who have researched from a close range the Madrasa education system also voice their concerns for reforming the system. Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander is a Valley-based Writer, Activist and Independent Researcher, who has also recently authored his debut book Bridging the Divide: A Call for New Dawn states –

 

“The first and foremost is issue related to Madrasas is their financial transparency and  accountability that is missing in our Madrasa education system. The other burning issue is reforms in  curriculum and syllabus. All the main madrasas almost work on 17th and 18th century outdated models of curriculum, pedagogy and textbooks which needs to be changed and Madrasa system also needs to be come out of conservative  corridors and allow space for healthy  arguments and incorporate same in their students and also much needed scientific temper. Both the Madrasas and schools do not intend to learn from each other, incorporate the subjects or texts that they have artificially compartmentalized and unnaturally divided. There have been attempts to bridge the prevailing antagonistic divide among the knowledge systems, but they have achieved little success.” The pulse on ground zero is that scope for improvement in Madrasa education system both in Kashmir and other parts of the country.