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Kerala madrasas ahead of north counterparts: Study

Minority Education

An NCERT (National Council for Education Research & Training (NCERT) study terms Kerala madrasas as “reformed” networks that are introducing a variety of modern subjects and pedagogical tools — in contrast to the stereotypical madrasas of north India.The study titled, A Study of Madrasas of Kerala: An Overview, has been conducted by Prof Sushma Jaireth, Reader in the Department of Women’s Studies of NCERT along with junior fellows Shiraz S and Khadija Siddiqui. While there is no madrasa board in Kerala, the madarsas — most are concentrated in Malappuram and Thiruvananthapuram districts — by and large boast of a reasonable infrastructure, the study reveals.

The study has further found that madrasas are fast embracing the English language and computer education.

“A lot of emphasis is given to English and computer education along with Islamic education. These skills are imparted in a specialised manner by these institutions from first to final year,” the NCERT study notes.

Those in Malappuram were even found going the extra mile to help their students not only do their 10+2 level but also complete their graduation and post-graduation from recognised universities.

On the other hand, madrasas running an Islamic course under Majlissu Talimul Islami, the NCERT study says, have a specially designed curriculum, which is a mix of subjects like Arabic, Sociology, Economics and Commerce offered at graduate and post-graduation levels.

“It is significant to mention here that the whole Islamic education system has been highly influenced by Islamic reformist movements like Jamaat-E-Islami Hind, Kerala Chapter and Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, which have brought radical changes in the school of thoughts and philosophies, hence modernising people’s mindsets”, notes the report. While the medium of instruction in most madrasas is Arabic or English, some also use Malayalam.

Anubhuti Vishnoi, Indian Express, December 20, 2010

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