What are Madaris?
The term “madrasah” has varied meanings. Generally, it is the term given in Arabic to any school, but it is also used to refer to specific types of schools. “Islamic values” is the universal moral values based on Islam. The madrasah system or deenimadaris, religious education institutions focusing on religious Law, teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, classical logic, literature and the Quran, but there is no universally fixed course of study. The interpretation of these texts may also vary from one madrasah to another. Early history of Madaris
Madrasah or deeni madaris have existed for centuries in the Islamic world, including in Pakistan. Madaris did not exist in the early beginnings of Islam. Their formation can probably be traced to the early Islamic custom of meeting in mosques to discuss religious issues. At this early stage, people seeking religious knowledge tended to gather around certain more knowledgeable Muslims. These informal teachers later became known as sheikhs; and these sheikhs began to hold regular religious education sessions called majalis sessions. As an institution of learning, the madrasah is centuries old. One of the first established madrasas, called the Nizamiyah, was built in Baghdad during the eleventh century A.D. Offering food, lodging, and a free education, madrasas spread rapidly throughout the Muslim world. Madaris in Pakistan
The madrasa system in Pakistan is organized through five boards of varying ideologies and each kind has its own educational policy and curriculum. According to BBC News, there are about 17,000 madrassas in Pakistan providing free religious education to children and a total of around 2 Million students are enrolled in these madrassas. The total number of madrassas varies in different reports which are mostly based on research done by using nonscientific tool. Also, there is a problem of unregistered madrassas as based on a report by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in January 2011, there are 736 unregistered madrassas operating in Karachi alone. So there are madrassas that serve as pure educational institutions. A good example of such a madrasah in Pakistan is the Jamia Binoria Madrassa 2, in downtown Karachi. One of the most moderate Islamic Institution, Jamia Binoria is a well reputed madrassa that teaches not only Islamic education but also a wide variety of secular subjects too. Role of madrassah in 21st century
We cannot deny that madrassas do play a positive role in the society. Not all madrassas propagate extremism and violence; they play a significant role in promoting religious awareness and social improvements among Muslims. They provide thousands of poor children with free food and shelter. The Three Types of Madrasah
1. Traditional or Weekend Madrasah –
Classes are held on weekends only or on days agreed upon by the teachers and students.- There is no formal curriculum, hence it is not graded and may have multi-age groupings.- The hiring of teacher require simple qualification like graduates of a Madrasah or an Imam. 2. Developmental or Formal Madrasah –
Offers hierarchically structured education and sequential learning generally attuned with the formal education system.- Offers kindergarten, primary and secondary education . 3. Integrated Madrasah-
Offers the public school curriculum and Arabic literacy, as well as Islamic religious subjects. General Characteristics
At independence in 1947 there were about 245 madrasahs in Pakistan. The number of madrasahs has increased since the rule of General Zia ul-Haq (1977-1988). In April 2002, the Minister of Religious Affairs estimated the number of schools to be about 10,000, with 1.7 million students. This number however is contested; different sources name figures from 600,000 to 2million students. The madrasahs are controlled by their own organizations or boards. The boards define the curriculum, and collect...