Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Madrissah Calls – 3: Eager to Change

My gracious hosts and I had already exchanged some ideas about modern educational theories over the phone. I brought up the needs for an open-minded educational reform.

I particularly emphasize experiential education to the point that I resent it not being a part of the education of Pakistani children. Also, in response to the People-Centered Model of Business, I had been notified by Abhinibesh of India of a child-centric education system. It had got me thinking about the many ways in which the PC MOB can be applied.

I found the madrissah admin very open and progressive to the ideas. They want change. They just don’t know how, and who will help them? There was a quick go-ahead to the ideas that I presented. I like working this way. But I know this is beginner’s luck. My major challenge will be to bring fundamental changes not just in the curriculum, but in the educational philosophy. Curriculum is tactical. Educational philosophy is strategic. They have so far agreed with all things I said, and we are going to look at creating an overall map of education that their enterprise will impart.

During the course of the visit, I visited the female madrissah which honestly locked my heart in a way that I had to come home and lie down to feel better. It’s after a long time anyway that I have visited any school, and I just realized how I completely disagree with the educational philosophy in most places. Educational is completely book-oriented and mono-directional. Feed more and more info into the brain, and reproduce through the mouth and the hand at astonishing speed and accuracy = summary of all education.

This was at least a madrissah. I have been in madly stringent and anti-human mainstream schools that were high on fees and absurd rules, and low on really changing human children for better. This is why, I told my open-minded hosts, we will be walking a thin line balancing the social, political, religious aspects of this school. In addition to that, I invited them to consider alternative educational theories that will present a real-life solution to real-life problems. The age of the copy & paste solution is over. We need new solutions. Using the People-Centered Model of Business, in addition to exciting education theories for the 21st century, I hope to develop an educational roadmap that will change the way of education in madrissahs for good.

Note: Madrissah is term popularly used to refer to an Islamic school. In Urdu, it just means, “school.” In this series of blogs, it refers to a major Islamic school that I visited.


Zakintosh said...

Your last 4 posts make for very interesting reading s -ince they deal with a mix of subjects close to my heart - Education being on top of the list.

While I can figure out what you describe, in terms of the Madrassahs, a few concrete examples would be apt for those to whom this word has come to mean a whole lot of things it is and isn't.

An excellent blog. I look forward to repeated visits.

Ramla A. said...

Thank you Zak, and JazakAllah. After some deliberation, I wrote the Madrissah blog posts - which were originally going to my personal "diary blog."

Then my heart suggested that the whole assignment be made public - so that there is feedback from the "mainstream." After all, on WikiPedia and other places, the modern, well-rounded Muslim is already making individual efforts to "bridge the gap" and answer so many questions.

You are one of those well-rounded individuals who can see the reality of the situation and suggest what is needed. I am excited to have your feedback and expect to hear more from you and other persons - Muslims or not - who can give valuable suggestions.

Noted the "concrete examples" idea. Will be done, inshaAllah. Keep sharing your ideas.