Accession Number:

ADA526132

Title:

Reforming Pakistan's Educational System: The Challenge of the Madrassas

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

20.0

Abstract:

The author examines the history and functioning of the Madrassa school system in Pakistan, which he sees as a fount of Islamic fundamentalism in that country, and a potential source of recruits for militant Islamic extremism. The debate over the Madrassas evokes images of jihad, warfare training, terrorism and an archaic system of education. Most of these perceptions are a result of generalizations and oversimplification of a complex phenomenon. The dilemma is that many Madrassa indeed play a role in violence and conflict. However, many others have a key place in Pakistans religious and social life. The countrys future appears to be at a turning point -- will Pakistan make the commitment to education necessary to eradicate poverty and prepare the country to compete in an integrated world economy, or will the majority in the country remain mired in poverty and despair -- easy prey to radical groups. Will the country have the will to channel the Madrassas away from violence and conflict and towards a more productive role in the countrys economy and society For his part, President Musharraf has emphasized the theme that Pakistan is a moderate Muslim country. He has spoken of his countrys greater jihad against illiteracy, poverty, and hunger, and enthusiastically detailed his hopes for reshaping his countrys crumbling educational system and reforming its controversial religious schools. This article examines the countrys educational system, with particular emphasis on the Madrassa. How does this system operate What are the systems main limitations What reforms is the Pakistani government currently undertaking to reorient the seminaries to serve the country as a whole What actions characterize these reforms as distinct from earlier attempts What is the nature and extent of opposition to them What are the main implications for the international community in assisting the countrys efforts at educating its population

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE