Monday, March 23, 2009

Challenging myths about madrasah*

Religious schools (madaris)* in Pakistan have drawn considerable international attention. There are concerns that at least some of these institutions foster religious extremism and terrorism. But reliable data about madaris in Pakistan are scarce, especially concerning levels of enrolment and reasons for choosing madaris.

In 2004 CIET analysed madarsah enrolment data collected from 53,960 households in Pakistan. They did this at the same time as a more general survey about views, use and experience of public services. They also explored parents’ reasons for choosing to send children to madaris in 853 community focus groups.This allowed them to examine some of the beliefs and myths about madarsah enrolment in Pakistan on the basis of a large representative national sample. Findings from this study have been published in Cockcroft, A., et al., Challenging the myths about madaris in Pakistan: A national household survey of enrolment and reasons for choosing religious schools.
In 2004, 2.6% of all children (3.8% of school-going children) aged 5-9 years attended a madarsah, with a small increase between 2002 and 2004. CIET examined five commonly held beliefs about madaris in Pakistan:

Myth 1. Only the poorest families send their children to madaris.
The findings suggest that poverty does not necessarily push towards choosing a madarsah. Many
Madarsah enrolment among school-going children aged 5-9 yearsgovernment schools in Pakistan now offer incentives to students, including free oil or flour, free books, free uniforms, and stipends for girl students. Thus poor families may find as much support from the local government school as from the local madarsah.

Myth 2. Madaris are mostly for boys.
There was no difference by sex of the child. Girls were better represented in madaris than in other Pakistani schools.

Myth 3. Madaris are an urban phenomenon.
The findings show variability among Pakistan's four provinces. There was higher urban madarsah enrolment in Sindh and Balochistan. However, in Punjab there was little difference in madarsah enrolment between urban and rural sites. And in Northwest Frontier Province, with the lowest proportion of urban dwellers, there was more madarsah enrolment in rural sites.

* taken from CIETinternational

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the article.muslim should united and work in order to change the false myths and they should spread the true message of islam