Parents debate home schooling vs madrassas
KARACHI, Aug 4: A few parents, who had been sending their children to madrassas for
Islamic education, expressed concern when contacted over what
their children might be learning. Some of them said they pulled their children
out and decided to ask maulvis to teach them at home while others said they
preferred the madrassa environment.
"Although I have met the maulvi sahab
who was teaching my sons and he seemed like a decent enough man, it is a scary
thought what my children must have been learning," Saera Imdad said.
"My husband and I discussed pulling them out but it seems unreasonable to judge
all maulvis as terrorists." Saeras two sons go to the mosque daily so that they
can read the Quran with meaning and reference to the Hadith and Sunnah. She
believes that clerics who teach at home fail to give their students as good an
education as a mosque's environment can offer. Saera knows a group of eight
mothers who send their children to the mosque to learn the Quran after school.
"Our children study together. We used to meet often and realized that our kids
had reached the age when they should start reading the Quran, so we decided to
enroll them all together after school at a nearby mosque. But now, four of us
have taken our children out of the madrassa for fear of any violence," said one
of the mothers.
Maliha Nishat sends her two sons to a madrassa but has
recently employed a maulvi to come to her house. "I would be more satisfied if
they are taught under my supervision," she said. "I really don't trust what my
children might be learning in a madrassa even if I have complete faith in their
teacher." Maliha's husband takes a keen interest in making sure the boys learn
proper wazu and namaz, and from a young age, read the Quran with understanding
so that it becomes a habit in their later years. When asked why only boys were
being sent to madrassas, Saera said that mothers with daughters felt that girls
could learn the essentials of religion from their mothers. One such mother is
Uzma Naz who has eight-year-old twins, a daughter and son. Her daughter has been
studying the Quran at home while her son goes to a madrassa. "The method used by
the maulvi saheb who comes home to teach my daughter, and the maulvi saheb at
the madrassa seem pretty much the same. Both children have equal knowledge and
are learning at approximately the same pace. Therefore, I decided to teach my
son at home as well," she said.
Saera said most mothers had been taking
Arabic and Quran classes as well. "Our children go to private schools where they
study well but when we see their seniors, we fear that our kids might just go
astray and not know their religion at all." Daily times