Modernise the Qawmi madrasa curriculum

Qawmi madrasas should be persuaded to adopt a government-approved curriculum

In the verdict on the Ramna bombing case, a judge has commented that the Qawmi madrasa system is teaching a curriculum that renders Qawmi madras students both unemployable, and also alienated from Bengali culture. We agree with this assessment.

The Qawmi madrasa system should not be allowed to continue in its current form. It would serve its students better by making them more employable. The Alia madrasa system already teaches a government-approved curriculum. Qawmi madrasas should be persuaded to adopt a government-approved curriculum.

We urge the government to negotiate with the Qawmi madrasa boards to update their curricula. As has been seen from previous attempts to integrate the Qawmi system into the mainstream, this will not be easy. Last year, Hefazat chief Shah Ahmad Shafi threatened civil war if the government passed a law enabling the state to take control of the Qawmi madrasas.

Nevertheless, there have been others within the Qawmi system who were willing to work with the government to reform the curriculum. The prudent course of action would be for the government to state clearly that it will only recognise the certificates issued by Qawmi madrasa boards which agree to adopt a government-approved curriculum. Madrasas do have the right to exist, but it is important to bring them under a common standard.

Source: Dhaka Tribune


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