Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Islamic Schools in South Asia

There are more than 50,000 Islamic Schools currently operating in Pakistan. It is estimated that one to two million children are enrolled in Islamic Schools. There has been considerable intellectual disagreement about the linkages of Islamic Schools to conflict in Pakistan.

These Islamic Schools provide the education of Islam, learning, memorizing and the teaching of Quran Recitation with very economical boarding facilities. That’s why most of the lower class of the country prefer to admit their children in these schools.

In India, there are around 30,000 operating Islamic Schools. The majority of these schools follow the Hanfi school of thought. The religious establishment forms part of the mainly two large divisions within the country, namely the Deobandis, who dominate in numbers (of whom the Darul Uloom Deoband constitutes one of the biggest Islamic Schools in the world) and the barelvis, who also make up a sizeable portion (sufi orientated).

Some notable establishments include: Jamia Ashrafia, Mubarakpur which is one the largest learning centres for the Barelvis. Darul Uloom Deoband which is the largest, and is considered by many to be the most renowned Islamic School in Asia, is located at Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh. The HR ministry of Government of India, has recently declared that a Central Madrasa Board would be setup.

This will enhance the education system of Madrasas in India. Though the madrasas impart Qur’anic education mainly, efforts are on to include Mathematics, Computers and Science in the curriculum.