28 September, 2013


"..in 1824 when Government decided to start a Sanskrit College in Calcutta, the Hindu leaders met under the leadership of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and demanded that they did not want Sanskrit College to be established by Government but wanted that it should start English colleges as far as possible. On the other hand in 1835, after 11 years when the Mohammedans came to know that Government intends to start English teaching in all schools, they submitted an application signed by 8000 Moulvis of Calcutta to stop it. Muslims vehemently opposed the new system of education believing that the philosophy and logic taught in English was at variance with the tenets of Islam. They looked upon the study of English as little less than embracing of Christianity." [quoted from the above source] Is this not the mindset still prevalent in some pockets that sends children to Madarsas even when alternative options exist? Here is a personal experience: Noticing that a lot of children living around our MUSKAAN Park, have no facility for tuition, and are very weak in their studies, we started free 2-hr tuition classes in maths, science and English for classes VII, VIII and IX at the Park an hour after they finish their morning schools, from 2-4PM. The attendance despite a competent Muslim teacher doing her best remained poor. When checked we found the reason: they were going to madarsas for Quranic lessons after the school. [After this they obviously wanted to play] Laudable this may be, but these kids of VIII and IX standard studying in schools devoid of government patronage are so pathetic at knowledge that they can't even write their address in Gujarati! Many are sure to fail at Board exam in SSC and drop out, only to take up driving, plumbing, welding et al. It all boils down to priorities, and recognition of realities. I wish to say no more. You say.

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