HINDUSTAN KI DEENI DARSGAHEN KUL HIND SURVEY
RELIGIOUS MADARSAS OF INDIA, ALL INDIA SURVEY By Dr. QAMAR UDDIN
Our country is privileged with a large number of madarsas. They are rendering a useful service to the cause of education contributing, inter-alia, to the national programme 'Education for All". Apart from imparting religious knowledge a large number of madarsas are promoting awareness of Arabic, Persian and Urdu. The network of madarsas is making available Moazzins, Imams, Khatibs, Qazis and Muftis. Madarsas have in the past produced Ulema, Judges, teachers, administrators, scientists, and planners. The list includes such illustrious names as Sher Shah Suri, Abul Fazi, Faizi, Todar Mal and Fateh Ullah Shirazi. A large number of people other than Muslims also benefitted from the madarsa education. They have served to bring the people of different faiths closer contributing thus to national integration and cultural synthesis in a plural society Efforts have been made from time to time to assess the number of madarsas but no comprehensive census has been taken. Estimates place their number between twenty to more than thirty thousands. The system of education being followed by the madarsas had served the socio- economic and political needs of the country for more than seven centuries. For about 100 years i.e. with the establishment of Nadwatul Ulema at Lucknow in 1894, the need to reform and modernize the curriculum is being continuously felt but no radical change has been effected in spite of a spate of conventions and seminars relating to the improvement of various aspects of madarsa education. These have failed to bring about any substantial changes in the system as a result madarsa education remains completely "book centered" instead of "child centered". Hakim Abdul Hameed Saheb, a visionary, who had his fingers on the pulse of the nation and the community thought of an intensive field survey of dini madarsas. This could necessarily be on a random sampling basis. It was entrusted to Dr. Qamaruddin who worked all along in consultation with and under the guidance of Mr. Saiyid Hamid, former Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. Under this project a total number of 576 madarsas were surveyed
out of which 538 are for boys and 38 for girls.Every rnadarsa was visited by surveyors and a massive primary database was generated through questionnaires. The survey is the first organised effort to have an insight into the functioning of the madarsas and to obtain first hand details of various aspects of madarsa system of education by personal contacts. The survey report has been well received. In 1998 the book was translated into Persian and published by Persian Research Centre, Culture House, Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran, New Delhi. Among the 576 madarsas surveyed 49 are situated in Andhra Pradesh, 2 in Assam, 114 in Bihar, 23 in Delhi, 33 in Gujarat, 1 in Haryana, 13 in Kerala, 36 in Karnataka, 45 in Madhya Pradesh, 46 in Maharashtra, 23 in Orissa, 9 in Rajasthan, 45 in Tamil Nadu, 92 in U. P. and 45 in West Bengal. Of these 537 are secondary level madarsas and 39 are Jamias i.e. madarsas imparting higher education. Among the madarsas 502 are for boys and 35 for girls. Among the 35 madarsas for girls seven have girl students from other states and five madarsas have girl students from foreign countries like U.K., Canada, U.S.A., France, South America, Bahamas, Lusaka, Zambia and West Indies. Twenty nine girls' madarsas are teaching Home Science and technical education as well. The enrolment in the surveyed madarsas has been increasing over the last three years. It was 106678 in 1989, 116228 in 1990, and 147011 in 1991 i.e. an increase of 30783 over three years. The drop-out rate in these three years was also on the increase. It was 3554 (3.33 %) in 1989, 3895 (3.35 %) in 1990 and 6170 (4.2 %) in 1991 which is far below the national drop-out rate. Out of 6528 teachers, 6367 are untrained i.e. 97.53% of the total. Only 161 teachers i.e. 2.47% are trained, 386 madarsas have some sort of libraries with 1603383 books and 391 workers. In 1991 only 239 madarsas purchased books for their libraries. Twenty five madarsas are bringing out 31 journals of which 25 are in Urdu, 5 in Arabic and one in Hindi. It is encouraging to note that of the 576 madarsas 553 i.e. 96.01 % favour introduction of modern subjects in the Nisab expressing their desire to make the madarsa education more purposeful ensuring a better future for madarsa students.The movement for introducing modern subjects in Madarsas was started in the eighties of the last century by Aligarh Muslim University. Subsequently the Ministry of Human Resource Development leni a helping hand by introducing the scheme "Modernisation of Madarsas". Among the surveyed madarsas 7 have
started computer education, 16 have science laboratories. Some madarsas have introduced distance edudation/correspondence courses for dissemination of knowledge. Some have initiated recruitment of trained teachers with approved pay scales. Quite a few are providing in-service training to their teachers. Out of 576 only 8 madarsas have teachers unions and 322 have students unions. Their activities are confined to literary and academic pursuits. The total budget during 1991 of 551 (25 madarsas did not provide information in this regard) madarsas aggregated to approximately Rs. 23,0802207.03only and annual expenditure per student worked out to Rs. 2158.32 as the number of students on roll being 147011 while during 1994 average expenditure per student of Darul Uloom Deoband comes to Rs. 33971 per annum. Among the educational institutions of the country the madarsas are having on an average the maximum working days i.e. 247. With 6528 teachers the number of non-academic staff is only 3238 with a ratio of 2:1 which is far less than in institutions of modern education. The average salary per teacher in the surveyed madarsas works out to Rs. 1592 per month. The highest pay being 5,000.00 drawn by three teachers only. The newly established Jamias ( or religious universities or the larger madarsas) have, however, introduced modern subjects including computer education and vocational education. Most of them have some provision of games and sports, indoor and out door. It is refreshing to find in some of these institutions modern facilities for making teaching more interesting, effective and joyful. At present there are official Boards of madarsa Education in Assam, Bibar, West Bengal, Orissa and U.P. A large number of madarsas come within their jurisdiction and subsist on government funds. But in the rest of the country they are being run on private charity. To sum up, although there are some deficiencies in madarsas, particularly in relation to their failure to keep up with developments in the sphere of knowledge and pedagogy, they have remained refreshingly free from many of the ills, such as indiscipline, violence and cheating that plague many of the mainstream institutions. It is a pity that some extremist elements have recently started a campaign of slander against these institutions which have, in fact, been exercising a healthy influence on society. They are being maligned as abodes of obscurantism and refuge of terrorists. This is due to lack of awareness about the system coupled with uninformal bias. Part of the reason, only a small part, is the absence of a meaningful interaction between the madrasas and the outside world.
It is reassuring that an increasing number of individuals/organisations/NG0slassociations are now seriously thinking in terms of restructuring of madarsa education. Their objective is to introduce modern subjects while keeping the religious syllabus intact. A growing interest is being evinced in the betterment of the madarsas. An index of this interest is the large number of references received by Hamdard Education Society from individuals, organisations and govt. departments. The present study comprises 476 pages, gives an account of 576 madarsas situated all over the country, analyses their functioning and suggests remedial measures for correcting the deficiencies. The findings have been analysed within the historical framework of religious education. The author suggests the establishment of Madarsa Education Board, introduction of comparative study of religions alongwith modern subjects in the madarsa syllabus, in-service training of madarsa teachers, identification and nurturing of talent among madarsa students etc. The author, Dr. Qamaruddin formerly of NCERT, New Delhi has been working with Hamdard Education Society, New Delhi as Director (Projects). He has brought to bear upon his assessment of the functioning of the madarsas his lifelong experience of modern education. He has not confined himself to find out the "present position" of madarsa education but has gone a step further to suggest steps to make it more interesting and purposeful@ while keeping the present madarsa syllabus intact. The study carries a foreword by late Hakeem Abdul Hameed Sahib and an introduction by Sai .yid Hamid Sahib, the present Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard. The book is in Urdu and contains the following 12 chapters, 75 tables and 10 appendices.
The Historical background.
The present position.
The Curricula of the Madarsas.
The methods of teaching.
The examination system.
Girls education in the Madarsas.
Madarsas and health education.
Summary of findings.
AT A GLANCE
Name of the Book
: Hindustan Ki Deeni Darsgahen
Dr. Qarnaruddin, Director (Projects) Residence: B-3185, Jamuna Vihar,
Delhi - 10053, Ph: 2261794.
Hamdard Education Society, Talimabad , Sangam Vihar, New Delhi, Ph
Maktaba Jamia, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi- 1 10025.