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4th Annual Conf. and Caravan of AIEM Resolve for Quality Education and High Moral Character

Report

, by SYED MANSOOR AGHA

All India Educational Movement (AIEM) New Delhi, founded by Sayyid Hamid, has been working for promotion of education among Muslims for over last two decades. To achieve its objectives, AIEM has been organising annul conferences for the last four years. First “All India Muslim Educational Conference” (AIMEC) was held in New Delhi on 27-28 February, 2010 under the chairmanship of its founder President Sayyid Hamid. Maulana Rabe Hasani Nadvi was the Chief Speaker. Second AIMEC was organised at Shibli Academy, Azamgarh on 6-7 March, 2011, third at Kolkata on 17-18 March, 2012. The 4th AIMEC was organised in collaboration with Muslim Educational Trust on 16-17 March 2013 at Akbari Hotel Cuttack, Odisha.

Muslim Youth Association of Cuttack sponsored the conference. It was preceded by two simultaneous caravans. One Caravan started from Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi on 8 March 2013 and passed through various cities of UP, Bihar and West Bengal. It was flagged off by Syed Faisal Ali, Group Editor Sahara News; Mr. Ejaz Ahmed Aslam, Editor-in-Chief Radiance Viewsweekly and Khawaja M. Shahid, President AMU Old Boys Association Delhi. The Caravan was led by Mr. Amanullah Khan, President AIEM and also joined by scholars based in foreign countries.

Second Caravan, exclusive for West Bengal, started from Malda under the guidance of Mr. Saha Alam, on 10 April. This was joined by Delhi Caravan on 13 March in Bashirhat (District 24 Pargana). Touching several places, it arrived in Cuttack on 16 March. After two days deliberations on 16 and 17 March, the pre-valedictory session adopted some resolutions.

In one of the resolutions the conference expressed satisfaction at the increased inclination of Muslims towards education. A large number of boys and girls are now being enrolled. However the target of 100% enrolment is yet to be achieved. Dropout rate is still at disturbing rates. Therefore representation of Muslims in higher education is very low. Secondly, quality of education is below the satisfactory standard. Therefore, the conference exhorted the NGOs, activists and institutions working in the field to pay special attention to these issues. Improving quality of education is of paramount importance.

In another resolution, the conference felt that modern methods of teaching are imperative to raise standards of education. Simultaneously, they underlined the need to create an atmosphere conducive for study in and around our houses and give due importance to studies and other educational activities of our children. In every locality there should be some vigilant persons to stimulate and guide the students. Facilities should also be created for sports and games to instil in them the spirit of competition and good health.

The conference also felt that until teachers are not well trained and motivated in discharging their duties with missionary zeal, dream of quality education may not be fulfilled. This requires inspiration, satisfaction and sense of security among staff members; congenial relations between management, parents and teachers along with attention on their training.

The conference drew attention of concerned people to arrange for full time training courses and part time refresher courses for teachers to acquaint them with ever-changing curricula and modern technologies. It appealed to resourceful NGOs and persons to establish full time Teachers Training Institutions and extend helping hand for part time refresher courses.

Based on study, observations and reports, AIEM expressed the view that Madrasa Education system under various State Madrasa Boards is all-round failure. It is equally disturbing that barring a few, traditional Arabic Madrasas also present a gloomy picture. They seem to be directionless and stagnant in vision and approach. Thousands of Arabic Madrasas are beyond public scrutiny and are wrapped as personal property intended to earn livelihood instead of imparting quality education and character building. The conference therefore appealed to the Madrasa Organisations for self-introspection, to introduce modern teaching methodology, reform their curriculum and stand up to prepare young generation as the leaders of the community with understanding of challenges faced by the Ummah and a vision to solve them.

The conference felt that the benefit of Government’s Minority Educational Schemes (GMES) is not reaching the target class because of ill-intentioned parameters and conditions created by state/ local administration. Deserving students either fail to meet the tough formalities or have to face great difficulties and wastage of money.

In this connection the Bihar Rabita Committee, a sister NGO of AIEM, has published a comprehensive report. AIEM has addressed a detailed memorandum to the Government of India on this subject. The conference appealed to the Government to remove all irritants for smooth implementation of the scholarship schemes and Madrasa modernisation schemes. It also advised local NGOs to make efforts for removal of these impediments at local and state levels and also send feedback to AIEM.

The conference has noted that obstacles are being created deliberately in the recognition of minority educational institutions by boards and in granting them minority institution certificate by state authorities. Some states demand huge fee which is illogical. The conference demanded the concerned states to contain such practices. It advised the NGOs and well-wishers of the cause to create awareness among masses on these issues so that public opinion might help draw the attention of respective Governments.

The conference appealed to resourceful persons/NGOs to set up Information Centres in their localities to disseminate information about the Government schemes and assist the students and institutions in availing the same.

The conference also called upon the Central Government to take immediate steps for implementation of the recommendations of Sachar Committee and Ranganath Misra Commission.

The conference agreed to the apprehensions expressed by the Milli organisations and scholars about the Central Madrasa Board. But simultaneously it appealed to the Madrasas of all Schools of Thought to set up their own Madrasa Boards for bringing uniformity in their syllabus and transparency in their system and get them registered to avail the benefits of Government schemes to the possible extent. The conference also appealed to them to introduce modern subjects and systems.

The conference appealed to the Government to grant recognition to the Madrasa certificates for entering in mainstream educational system. For the purpose, AIEM proposed to introduce bridge courses under UGC to impart additional qualification and make them eligible to enter formal education institutions. This system is widely in practice in several developed countries. The conference reiterated that AMU Aligarh and Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi should introduce such bridge courses which may enable the Madrasa pass-outs to acquire additional knowledge for joining modern courses in universities.

The conference noted with dismay that even the degrees of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) are not being recognised in certain states, although it is a central University. This requires immediate attention of concerned Governments.

The conference felt that in the name of high standards such parameters have been included in Right to Education Act (RTE) which have made the recognition of private primary and upper primary schools quite difficult and establishment of new schools by local NGOs and individuals almost impossible. This will lead to monopoly of corporate sector over primary education and raise the costs of education and beyond the reach of general masses. The conference appealed to the Government to suitably amend the RTE Act so that education reaches the poorest of the poor at minimal costs with private participation and promotion of education does not become trade instead of a mission.

The conference lodged its strong protest on the introduction of rituals like surya namaskar and saraswati pooja, etc. in schools in certain states and demanded the concerned states to desist from saffronisation of educational system and stop immediately such practices so that the constitutional guarantees of protection of religious, cultural and social values of minorities are not violated.

The conference reiterated its resolve to set up an Education Fund for promotion of Education and assist deserving students in continuing their education.

The conference appealed to the Muslim Ummah to establish Maktabs and evening schools in their Masajid and localities for moral instructions and religious education of their children who are studying in modern schools.

The conference also expressed satisfaction that the trend of female education is gaining momentum with the note that results of girl students are far better than boys. It underlined the need to pay more attention to their studies but at the same time felt urgent attention required to address certain social problems arising out in this situation.

The conference drew the attention of the community towards the need for establishing educational institutions exclusively for girl students at least from 9th to 12th classes and advised the parents to pay special attention to inculcate in them Islamic values and temperament.

Along with quality education, expertise in domestic affairs is also inevitable for girls. There should be a balance between the two. Whereas it will be ideal not to disturb them for home chorus at the time of their studies, they should be extensively trained for household chores during vacations. Parents should inculcate service motto in them so that their future life becomes happy and they earn love, respect and trust and get comfort and satisfaction in marital life.

The conference exhorted the Muslim Ummah to protect rights and extend respect to women as per teachings of the Qur’ān and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be to him). Deviation and digression from these teachings is the main reason of degradation and disturbed family and social life. The trend of depriving our women from their rights in inheritance should be checked and due attention be paid to their empowerment.

[Abdul Rasheed along with Syed Mansoor Agha, both Vice Presidents of AIEM, sponsored the resolutions which were seconded by Amanullah Khan, Prof. Israr Ahmad (Malaysia), Abrar Ahmad Islahi (Makkah), Prof. Sheikh Abdul Samad, Kolkata, M. Saha Alam and others.]



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