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It is needless to say that Madrasa education is one of the oldest education systems in the Indian subcontinent. It is a “purely” native education system of Bangladesh. Though traditionally there have been two systems- Alia and Qawmi- in Madrasa education, several institutions are following a “different” or “blended” curriculum. Some such schools are more like “madrasa”, and some madrasas are more like “school”. Some madrasas are very much specialized in terms of their aims. In this article, we are going to talk about some specialized institutes concerning their aims and curriculum.
Insight International School, Dhaka
According to their website (n.d.), the school is an English medium school that follows the International GCSE & GCE curriculum under Edexcel & University of London. The school is specialized for Islamic education. Besides, subjects like English, Bengali, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies/History, Computer Education (ICT), Physical Education/Health, etc.; the school offers three additional subjects including Qur’an, Arabic Language, and Islamic Studies. This basic program is expanded and enriched at every level with Islamic curricula. Hifzul Quran is an additional program. Students from KG can apply for Hifzul Quran as an additional subject.
The curriculum focuses on the students’ mental, physical and spiritual
uplifting. The activity-based methodology stresses creativity along with as the main feature of the school. Cultural studies involve History and Social Studies.
Moreover, the curriculum focuses on the students’ mental, physical and spiritual uplifting. The activity-based methodology stresses creativity along with tarbiyyah as the main feature of the school. Cultural studies involve History and Social Studies. The school tries to establish true facts in the young minds and wipe out the impurity and colonial “filth” of the Non-Muslims imperialism and inform of the rich Islamic traditions and heritage in the Arabs, Mecca, Medina, Damascus, Basra, Kufa, Samarkand, Andalucía (Spain), Afghanistan, Central Asia, India, Bengal, China, Malaysia etc. The Primary Section comprises of grades I – IV; boys and girls are segregated from grade II (two) onwards. (Insight International School, Dhaka, n.d.)
In short, the school provides a complete blend of Islamic and western education through its curriculum.
Premier School Dhaka
This school is also an English medium school based on Islamic values and principles. They follow the IGCSE curriculum. The school offers O level courses and is about to start their A level program soon. They also offer Quran memorization course or Hifz course. (Premier School, Dhaka, n.d.)
This school is very much similar to the previous two schools in the curriculum. However, they mentioned on their website that they are approved by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary education and recognized by Monash University. (Averroes International School, n.d.)
Unlike the three schools mentioned above, this institute is more of a madrasa than a school. The primary focus of this institute is to make the students competent Islamic scholars, along with sound knowledge in language and science. This is chiefly an Arabic medium madrasa. The medium of instruction is Arabic for Islamic subjects and English for additional subjects. (Madrasatunnoor, n.d.)
Madrasa Darur Rashad
Now we will talk about a different kind of madrasa. According to the Islamic faith, there should not be any age limit for acquiring Ilm or divine knowledge. Therefore, many adults in Bangladesh are willing to acquire Islamic education. Although basic Islamic education is so available to take anywhere in the country, complete academic programs for adults are scarce. Here comes Madrasa Darur Rashad. This specialized madrasa is located in Mirpur, Dhaka. This madrasa is exclusively targeted to the adults having a general educational background but devoted to pursuing Islamic education. The minimum requirement for enrollment in this madrasa is the completion of secondary education from any institution other than Islamic ones. Every year the madrasa receives a number of adult students even professionals like doctor, engineer, teacher, etc. The program is specially designed that students can complete their Dawraye Hadith course (equivalent to masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies) within five years. They can also take Hifzul Quran course as optional. After that, if they are willing to take higher education, they can study Ifta or Islamic Law for one year.
Every year the madrasa receives a number of adult students even professionals like doctor, engineer, teacher, etc. The program is specially designed that students can complete their Dawraye Hadith course (equivalent to masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies) within five years.
Madrasa Jamiatur Rashad
Jamiatur Rashad is famous for its combined academic curriculum. Though this madrasa is another section of Madrasa Darur Rashad, it runs a different program. This section acts like a regular Qawmi madrasa, but students are registered with local Bengali medium schools and colleges. They simultaneously study for two streams of education, but they do not attend regular classes at schools or colleges. It is remarkable that the students do excellent results in both general board examination and madrasa board examination as well.
The central mosques of the Tabligh movement around the world are called Markaz. Most of the big Markazs also operate madrasas alongside. The primary aim of these madrasas is to produce quality Islamic scholars who will serve the purpose of Tabligh or religious preaching. Kakrail Madrasa, Dhaka is the best of its kind in Bangladesh. This madrasa is remarkably different from other madrasas because of its large number of enrollment of foreign or international students. Mostly, students come from countries where Islamic education is not that accessible to them. This madrasa receives students from UK, USA, Kirgizstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, China, and so many places. It is significant that many of these foreign students become very fluent in Bangla within one or two years of their enrollment here.
Madrasa for Visually Impaired Students
A number of madrasas throughout the country provide education for visually challenged people. Most of these madrasas provide Hifz courses using braille Quran. Some of the madrasas also provide computer education using software called JAWS. Madinatul Ulum Drishti Protibondhi Madrasa, Dhaka is a good example of such madrasas.
This is an international online university located in Qatar. Besides regular madrassa (Qawmi or Alia) and Islamic studies department of several universities, Bangladeshi students can take Islamic education from IOU.
This is an international online university located in Qatar. Besides regular madrassa (Qawmi or Alia) and Islamic studies department of several universities, Bangladeshi students can take Islamic education from IOU. This institute offers a number of courses ranging from free diploma to bachelor and masters in various disciplines. The minimum requirement for enrollment in bachelor is higher secondary. (Islamic Online University, n.d.)
Islamic Online Madrasa is a very recent initiative to provide Islamic education to Bengali speaking Muslims around the world. The institute chiefly runs a 3-year (6 semesters) long program to produce Islamic scholars. The courses include Tajweed or reading skill of the Quran, Arabic language, Urdu language, Interpretation of the Quran, Hadeeth, Islamic Law, and so on. (Islamic Online Madrasah, n.d.)
- Averroes International School. (n.d.). Averroes International School [School]. Retrieved from Averroes International School website: https://aisd.edu.bd/
- Insight International School, Dhaka. (n.d.). Insight International School, Dhaka [School]. Retrieved from Insight International School website: https://iisdbd.com/
- Islamic Online Madrasah. (n.d.). Islamic Online Madrasah [School]. Retrieved from Islamic Online Madrasah website: http://iomedu.org/
- Islamic Online University. (n.d.). Islamic Online University [University]. Retrieved from Islamic Online University website: https://islamiconlineuniversity.com/
- Madrasatun Noor. (2019, March 11). Madrasatun Noor [Page]. Retrieved from Facebook website: https://www.facebook.com/madrasatunnoorbd/
- Premier School Dhaka. (n.d.). Premier School Dhaka [School]. Retrieved from Premier School Dhaka website: http://www.premierschooldhaka.com/
Md. Didarul Islam: BA ESOL (4th Year), Department of English Language, Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka