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Saturday 3 March 2012

MUSLIM VISION OF SECULAR INDIA: Destination and Roadmap - 12

Muslim Vision-13 modern education

MUSLIM VISION OF SECULAR INDIA: Destination and Roadmap - 12

An Approach Paper aimed at

Presenting a Muslim Perspective of India's national goals; and

Developing a Comprehensive National Plan for Socioeconomic Empowerment of Muslim Indians so that they can play a meaningful role in the national and global affairs


Dr. Javed Jamil

Radical Steps needed by Muslim Community

6- Modern Education to be remodelled and expanded

 With a National Literacy rate of 63.07%, India fares the worst among the BRIC nations inEducation. Only 10% of the roughly 20 million who enrol in the first grade every year finish high school. A BGCG (the Boston Globe Consulting Group) report states that 40% of India's workforce of 400 Million is Illiterate and another 40% comprises of school dropouts.

           "Without hundreds of millions of Indians receiving a better basic education, it will be virtually impossible for India to achieve its "dream potential," stated a recent Goldman Sachs report. Janmejaya Sinha, MD of BGCG says "… We will have an army of young people left behind and increasingly frustrated with their lot. They not only have the potential to derail India's growth prospects, but also challenge the basic fibre of our society". Bidisha Fouzdar, who works with the Education campaign group Child Rights and You, says the lack of School education " is like a silent Emergency". Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen opines "India does have many achievements in the success of a relatively small group of privileged people well trained in higher education and specialized expertise. Yet our educational system remains deeply unjust. Among other bad consequences, the low coverage and low quality of school education in India extracts a heavy price in the pattern of our economic development".

The condition of Muslims is far worse in terms of education. The Muslim Literacy rate is 41.27% versus the National Literacy Rate of 63.07%. Muslim women have 21.66% literacy rate versus the non-Muslim women literacy rate of 40.54%. There are less than 2% Muslims in government jobs. Of the 479 judges at the all-India level, only 30 are Muslim that makes it just 6. 26%. In the IAS, the Muslim Percentage is a mere 2.7%. Of the 3,284 IPS officers, just 120 are Muslims (3.65%). In the Central Govt. ministries, the figures are pathetic. Of the 59 Secretaries in the Home Ministry (Joint Secretaries, Directors, Advisors etc), the Percentage of Muslims is ZERO. The situation isn't different in the Labour, Power, Defence, Finance, External Affairs, Personnel, Public, Pensions and Grievance Ministries. Of course, the HRD and information and Broadcasting ministries do have an officer each out of 26 and 33 respectively, making it 3.44%. Of the total 426 officers in all the ministries, only nine are Muslims, which means a meagre 2.11%.

The Free and Compulsory Education for all the world's children forms the backbone of the International Human Rights law. The International community has made pledges to meet the MDG "Millennium Development Goals" and the objectives of "Education for All" (EFA) include the goal to ensure that by 2015 all children have access to a Free and compulsory Primary Education of Good quality.  It is the recognition of Education as a Public Responsibility. The Govt. of India passed the Right to Education Act in 2010 guaranteeing education for all in the age group of 6-14 years.

According to Rangnath Commission Report, the number of students, "who continued in educational institutions doubled from about 30 million in 2004-05 to over 60 million in 2009- In the age group of 5–14 years, 89.3 per cent of children were in school in 2009-10, up from 82.4 per cent in 2004-05. Further this increase was higher for girls, rising from 79.6 per cent in 2004-05 to 87.7 per cent in 2009‐10. In the15–19 year-age group, 59.5 per cent of young people were in the educational system in 2009-10 as compared to 46.2 per cent in 2004-05. Once again, the increase was more for girls, from 40.3 to 54.6 per cent. In the next higher age group of 20–24 years, 22.5 per cent of boys and 12.8 per cent of girls were still in the educational system in 2009-10 against only 14.9 and 7.6 per cent respectively in 2004-05."


This general situation is to be compared with Muslims. Special Conditions of Muslims means there are more percentage of young and. Increasing number of students including girls

Objectives of Education

However, we have to make sure that we do not toe the Western model of education in entirety. Education in the modern world has only become a road to employment, and the corporate world and their political supporters are using the educational model to develop a class of human beings, which is ruthless in pursuit of its goals, is honest only to the requirements of the companies it is representing, is not God-fearing, has no inhibitions regarding his activities and has an individualistic approach in life. We have to make sure that while education is kept connected with the needs of the livelihood, at the same time it becomes a vehicle of transformation to Taqwa, morality, avoidance of forbidden practices, care for the mankind in general especially for the nears and dears, neighbours, poor and the needy.

We need to prepare a nation having these qualities:

A)   Hard working, visionary, smart, because conscious, clear minded confident, positive, team players, time seeker, result oriented and high achievers.  

B)  Honest, non-materialistic, sound character, strong will power, courageous, down to earth,

C)  People who realize the necessity of wealth but can differentiate between right and wrong, and between necessity and greed.

D)  GOD fearing , true momin, unbiased, people who can build the nation of "ummatun wasatun" (as described in the Qur'an: Nation of Modest and Moderates)

Modes of Education:

A number of changes have occurred in the Educational field in the last three decades. These include:

* New developments in Pedagogy and Teaching methodology;

* New Educational Information Technology applications;

* Online Education,

* Distance Education,

* Adult Education and Continuing Education;

* Extensive availability of Software,

* Hardware,

*Text books and Open Source Ware

These and many others have opened doors to disseminate quality Education on a mass level. IGNOU is a shining example using all these with considerable success. It is currently catering to the educational needs of 4 million students. A big chunk of the students are those who were earlier deprived of education or were pessimistic of getting it. It is providing various streams of Education. Literacy to Adults, Vocational and Technical Education, Regular Education, Distance Education, Online Learning etc. It is working with UNESCO and other International agencies, charging reduced fees and using innovative methods to broaden its appeal. It uses the Infrastructure of its Partners to conduct classes. It is able to leverage all instruments like Radio, TV and Satellite to bring education to millions.  Its shortcoming is that it deals primarily with Higher Education. The quality of Education it imparts is substandard and the degree it awards is discounted in the educational market. However it is a great experiment and we need to develop tens of such Universities with a focus on Elementary Education while upholding the Quality of Education. Muslims need to take advantage of the IGNOU and other open courses because it suits them more. But it should be used more to revert to education. Higher technical qualifications should better be pursued through other regular institutions whose credibility is more in the market. Distance learning can of course be a very helpful addition as part time training, especially for those who are in jobs.

The Usage of Technology in Educational growth

Computer Science has made possible the wildest dreams that man could think of in the field of Education. Digitization has enabled corporations to bring together the information available in the world's top Libraries on one platform that is easily reachable. The Google search enables one to research and access any information that is required, instantaneously.  ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software allows huge institutions (Universities) with tens of thousands of students to be run without a hitch.   Databases with Terabytes of information pool all records of every student and place it on the desk of the Administrator. Changes in schedules and planning can be done way ahead using the Management software. For those who need flexible timings, there is Online Education and also Distance Education. In short, Education can be optimally expanded and quality brought into it with the Tools that exist today.

Web streaming and Web conferencing allow Mentor Teachers to give Lessons in one corner of the world and the same can be followed around the world. Radio and Mobile phone lessons are seen to be very popular in the Third world since they lack IT infrastructure. Video, TV, Interactive Boards, Software, Customized software, Hardware are commonplace in the Developed world and are coming up in the developing world.

What is missing is the political will and commitment to Education on the part of those who are running the Establishments. They still adhere to the notion that Education needs to be exclusive to a few and it is best served by limiting its growth to themselves and those who serve them.

Special Efforts for Communication Skills

One problem among Indian Muslims has been that the products of madrasas and holders of BA degrees in subjects like Urdu, Arabic, History, etc, are unable to get good services because they lack communication skills, including command in English and computer use. This problem is common even among the products of institutions like Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia. There is not enough emphasis in these institutions on the development of communication skills
. Not only these institutions should be persuaded to start special communication skill courses within their campuses, private and community efforts must be made in a big way in that direction. Special Communication Skill Centres for Muslims must be opened in all the city headquarters and blocks of districts. Campaigns should be run to motivate all the students studying in undergraduate courses to learn basis computer skills and improve their written and spoken English. 

Private Investment in Education
Many Equity funds are lining up to Invest in Private Education from K-12 as well as in Higher Education. It is even being considered as the "new silk route" where high profitability is achievable. Foreign Universities have been given the Right to establish Partnership with Local Educational institutions and they are actively pursuing the same. Minority owned Educational Institutions have mushroomed in the past two decades providing mainly Higher Technical Education
. The vast number of seats in the colleges has allowed tens of thousands of Minority students to enroll in colleges. Minority Institutions have focused on giving Seats to those who can pay hefty sums of money for Professional seats (Medical College, Dental College, and Engineering College) and are seen to have discriminated against Minority students who had good grades but did not have the financial means to pay them. In the above cases Minority Institutions are seen to be of advantage to upper middle class students who can afford to pay the High fees. Its negative consequences is that it creates elite students who will have a huge advantage in the Job sector and will be endowed with skills to successfully manage and run businesses while those unable to afford this education must remain content with lower jobs and lower skills, serving the interests of the elite. In some states (Andhra Pradesh) the Govt. is giving Tuition fee reimbursement to students pursuing Professional degrees and having low family income.
Here the Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia, can play a role. So far they are only supporting students in governmental institutions with some amount of scholarship. The IDB must realize that India is not just another country with Muslim minority but a country with more Muslims than most Muslim countries. IDB must not only expand its target group to include students in private colleges but should also give interest free easy educational loans to Muslims. Indian banks give educational loans, which are instrumental in access to the higher education. Muslims are less likely to receive these loans on account of the well-known factors. If IDB provides loans at easier conditions, it can bring about a huge change. It is learnt that IDB is supposed to have taken some steps already in that direction and is considering other important steps.

Investment in Education by Muslims (locally and from NRI's) will definitely enlarge the growth of Education.  This needs to be taken up by the community on an All India level so that Investment is not frittered and Investor is assured the safety and gain from his Investment

Network of Private Muslim Girls Schools

Coeducation institutions on surface appear to be the need of the time. But coeducation is causing serious social complications, especially viewed from Islamic and Muslim cultural point of view. The mixing of boys and girls of vulnerable age groups is a big problem in the schools and colleges, which is negatively affecting boys and girls in more than one ways. . If a campaign for establishing pure Muslim girls' schools (till at least 12th level) in cities is run at the national level, it is going to have a definite positive effect in many ways:

It will help in development of Muslim Education Industry.

Boys' schools can have more boys

More Muslims will be inclined to impart higher education to their daughters;

Girls can study in a more Islamic atmosphere and learn more about the importance of a healthy family system;

Social problems on account of coeducation will be under better control

More Muslim women will get employment

Every institution brings itself opportunities for various other businesses. Establishment of these institutions will help in the development of better colonies in the long run, as with the requirement of large piece of land for these schools, new areas of development convenient for Muslims will emerge. As will be discussed elsewhere, the urban development by Muslims may be planned in a way so that there are enough spaces for schools and colleges and other institutions to fulfil the needs of the community.

These institutions should ideally have the hostel facility so that girls from rural areas can also study.


To be Contd: Droputs, Higher Centres, Women's universities, Sports Colleges, RTI, other issues



Javed Saheb, ASA,
Insha Allah , whatever you wrote in this article , will change entire
scenario of Islam. I would say, its not reform , its a revolution in
Islam. It would produce best citizen of the country. Thanks for such a
wonderful and thoughtful article.
Khuda Hafiz
Salik Khan, Mumbai


Respected Javed Jamil Sb,
Assalamo Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahe Wa Barakatahu. !
You are doing excellent work, and you must continue even if you don't get any feedbacks. Everyone has his own personal reason for not finding time to write back. So far as I am concerned, I found the few write-ups, I was able to read, to be perfectly fine, and therefore, I thought there was no need to comment. There would be points of differences, but I did not find your perspective as wrong just because it's different from mine. I usually find to comment only when I consider the write-up to be against o away from the truth.

You have taken up an immense responsibility, and my good wishes and prayers are always with you.

I was waiting for you write-ups on women's university. If you have sent them already, the subject-line might not have reflected the content. I would like to go through your write-ups on this aspect which is my current priority.

And thanks for sending a personal note! Jazakallaho Khairan!

The community is indeed in a state of passivity which cannot be explained. If you wish to get their reaction, you would need to follow the media-tactic of creating some controversies in each of your article; however, that may be a waste of precious time, because the feedback would not be much valuable. We are, unfortunately good at emotional outbursts and reactions ... at nothing much else! But, whatever be the scene around us, we have to do our bit, so carry on with the good work.

May Allah bless your journey with true success, and bless you with a healthy and happy long life!

Shakeel Ahmad
Dubai, United Arab Emirates


There could not be any free lunch. Even if Government spends our own tax money to meet public expenses, the anti-Muslim bureaucracy is committed to take its pound of flesh and they usually use their power to bring down the targeted beneficiary to the lowest level of existence and even then they do not deliver. This is a trap. You are rightly concerned with low salaries now being given to Imams and Masjid workers. But government pay is mortgaging them eternally to state bureaucracy and permenant slavery. You must realise how free they are now, even if destitutes. Those that want to opt out of low pay do find other avenues to increase their incomes. But an overwhelming majority of Madarsa teachers are rendering voluntary services to the community on their own violation and not forced. In fact, Muslim community should be proud that whatever level of economic existence they survive, more than 4% of our 200 million strong population is being taken care of in Madarsa school system. There is of course a need to bring in more funds into the system, by rationalising collection of Zakat and even going to international Zakat agency to fund our requirements. But once you let government in, by any pretext, you will open the floodgates of subversion of entire Madarsa system. 

You are fully aware how after 1857, the madarsa system evolved to ensure a robust religious education system in India, which no government had any need, will or accountability to provide. The time are not so bad that we cannot fall on increased prosperity of Muslims in at least some sectors of economy, to panic and run to government funds so that they can dictate their terms.

AIMPLB is already overworked. It too is hampered with lack of funds. For its mission to preserve Muslim Personal from the malicious encroachments by state organs, as well as anti-Muslim elements in judiciary, it needs tremendous input of funds. If they too become involved with state funding, where will its freedom of action remain to confront the state.

You may also know that old Madarsa is rapidly transforming itself to accommodate new knowledge, both secular and technical. The pace is slow, but at least we are in command. 


GM Siidiqui, Mumbai

Dear Dr. Javed Sahab,

I have noticed the rather cool reaction of our members. It is possible that the election fever is upon us! Yesterday, I was appalled to see the BJP campaigning on an entertainment channel, the B4U. And they actually have the guts to do that, especially when the Gujarat Riots are so fresh in everyone's minds and will remain so for a long time to come!
Hopefully, when the present heat of the elections has died down, people will begin to post. Just keep posting yourself.

Ozma Siddiqui


Your work is commendable. But what can i say. This is the malady of the Ummah.
We prefer to talk and talk, but when it comes to reading and responding very few do that.
Actually in my opinion your paper should be cyclo-styled and sent to some prominent intellectuals like
university prof etc. for their response. Or please shorten it, perhaps you may get response.
Or else from the contents pick out the most important issues and put them in a questioner form.

Qamar Hasan




Note: Those interested in subscribing to "Islam, Muslims & the World", a truly international class magazine (all coloured, glossy paper) can write directly to
Dr Javed Jamil is Executive Chairman, International Centre for Applied Islamics, Chief Editor, "Islam, Muslims & the World" and Director PEACE. He is also author of more than a dozen books including "Islam means Peace", "The Essence of the Divine Verses", "The Killer Sex", "Rediscovering the Universe", "The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism" and "Islamic Model for Control of AIDS". Also has more than 200 articles and papers to his credit. His soon-to-be-published works include "Scientific & Social Principles based on Qur'an" and "Westernism: the Ideology of Hegemony". He can be reached Phones: 91- 8130340339

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