A STUDY OF MADRASAS AND URDU MEDIUM SCHOOLS IN NORTH INDIA: AN EXAMINATION AND EVALUATION OF THEIR ROLE IN CAREER BUILDING, SOCIO ECONOMIC UPLIFTMENT OF MUSLIM CHILDREN

Madrasa has emerged simultaneously a place of learning revered by many and an institution feared by many others, especially in a post-9/11 world but Madrasas today still embody the highest aspirations and deeply felt needs of a vast number of traditional Muslims particularly for Muslims who live in poverty and where state educational infrastructure is in decay. Madrasas, in most Muslim countries today, exist as part of a broader educational infrastructure. The private educational sector provides what is considered to be a quality Western-style education for those students who can afford high tuition costs. Because of their relatively lower costs, many people turn to state schools, where they exist. However, in recent years and in more impoverished nations, the rising costs and shortages of public educational institutions have encouraged parents to send their children to Madrasas. Supporters of a state educational system have argued that the improvement of existing schools or the building of new ones could offer a viable alternative to religious-based Madrasas.

Like Madrasas, Urdu medium schools are also linked with the Muslim identity and always strike an emotional chord. It is a matter of investigation that what role these schools are playing in the growth and development of Muslim children in terms of their career building and advancement. It is feared that like Madrasas, Urdu medium schools too are mostly attended by poor Muslim children and most of them end up either as drop outs or are not able to move up in life.

The Madrasa system of education and its continuity in India has been a topic for hot discussion since the colonial regime. The purpose of Madrasa is not to produce engineers and doctors or for that matter technocrats but to produce scholars to interpret Islam in relation to the demands of the specific time. For example, what a Muslim scholar needs to know to take Islam to the people was not quite the same in the early Nineteenth century as it is today. In other words, the Madrasa equips a scholar not for simple scholastic interpretation of the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Prophet of Islam but to cater to the changing needs of the Muslim society. This brings us to the second issue, which is to see how the Madrasas from the days of early colonial rule have been handling this demand.

The specific objectives of this study are: to find out financial resources and their adequacy of the Madrasas in Delhi and some other parts of the country; to know the curriculum and its historical evolvement of Madrasas; to know the socio-economic profile of Madrasas and Urdu medium school Children; to find out the employment of Children of Madrasas and Urdu medium schools; to understand the impact of various government schemes on the functioning of Madrasas; to find out the career success and graph of students of Madrasas and Urdu medium schools.


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