Modern subjects must be introduced in the curriculum of seminaries so students there can learn advanced research methods, according to noted religious scholar Dr Khalid Masud.
Masud, a former chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, was speaking at the prize distribution ceremony of an inter-madrassa essay writing contest organised by the Pak Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS) and the Alif Ailaan education campaign.
Masud said madrassa students need to benefit from advances in research methodologies, but they cannot access these new trends in education unless the curriculum is revised to reflect the changes.
He also urged religious scholars and seminaries to focus on ethics and to also help overcome national differences.
Gilgit-Baltistan Council Member Maulana Ataullah Shahab said discussions among people belonging to different schools of thought are the need of the hour in Pakistan. Shahab said the madrassa students have to be made a part of the nation’s education system because ignoring one group or section leads to a sense of deprivation.
PIPS Director Amir Rana said dialogue and discussions between students from universities and students from seminaries can help resolve some of the misunderstandings that exist in society.
Alif Ailaan programme manager Imran Khan said only the government and politicians can improve the education system. But Khan said the civil society has to play its part in raising awareness about the fundamental right to education.
Earlier, students from universities and seminaries also participated in a dialogue with the theme “Role of education in development and nation building: the situation in Pakistan.” Students, who participated in the dialogue, said the government should initiate long-term projects in the education sector.
They also called for some uniformity in the education system and stressed the need to overcome the country’s education emergency through individual and collective actions.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2014.