India: Andhra Pradesh, Islamic authorities urge government to recognize Koranic schools diplomas

Students of madrassas do not have access to universities, because their diplomas are not recognised. But the problem is the programs: they only study the Koran and Islam. A Jesuit priest: "Introducing mathematics, science and English is a possible solution."

Hyderabad - Every year thousands of students of madrassas (Islamic schools) are forced to remain in the orbit of religious activities also on finishing their studies, because by law their diplomas are not an equivalent to a official qualification. This - in fact - cuts out Muslim students from various activities, leaving them the only option of teaching in the madrassas, or to become imams or muezzins. So Hafiz Peer Shabbir in Andhra Pradesh - president of the Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind - and the Mufti Mohammad Omar Abedeen want the madrassas diploma equated to the “Western" diplomas, so as to allow their students access to universities.

According to Jesuit Father Victor Edwin SJ, a doctoral student in Christian and Muslim Relations at the Jamia Millia University, the problem is the result of the limited education in madrassas: "The curriculum of these schools provides only three subjects: the memorization of the Koran, the teaching of the hadīth (sayings) of Prophet Muhammad, and the study of shari'a (Islamic law). "

The Jesuit, also managing editor of the Journal of Islamic Studies Salaam, believes that to open the world of university education and work to students of Koranic schools, there is a need for greater control and to expand the curricula: "In addition to religion, madrassas need to teach math, science and English. With a basic education in these subjects, students will be able to deal with the university. "

Rev. Anthonitaj Thumma, executive secretary of the AP Federation of Churches, believe that the recognition of qualifications awarded by the government in the madrassa is "necessary and useful" for students, also to promote their integration into society. However, he agrees with Fr. Edwin: "To get any recognition, the madrassas have to include secular subjects, which would facilitate access to universities."



Source: Asia News

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