The first word of the Quran revealed to Prophet Mohammad was ‘Iqra’ (read). Therefore, seeking knowledge through education, religious as well as modern/scientific, is an obligation on every Muslim, male or female.
The seven-member Kundu Committee, also known as post Sachar Evaluation Committee headed by Prof. Amitabh Kundu had submitted its report to the Union Government in October 2014, highlighting that the state of education among the Muslims of the country was a matter of great concern and had advised the government to look into the mismanagement of funds, released for the multi-sectoral development programmes in the minority concentration districts. The graduation attainment rates and mean years of schooling amongst Muslim children/youths were found to be very low and dropout rates very high, which could have adverse impact on the economic development of the community/country.
Recently, Union & the Uttar Pradesh Governments have released funds to the tune of Rs. 2.59 crores under the Madrassa Adhunikikaran Teachers Scheme of the State and Rs. 266 crores under the Scheme of providing quality education in madrassas. These financial assistance is expected to equip the Muslim educational institutions with modern curriculum and the youths in pursuing better education, which will serve the interest of the nation in general and the community in particular.
In this backdrop, it is obligatory on the Muslim leaders to work on connecting the madrassas with mainstream education for the better prospects of the Muslim youths. This would be a befitting reciprocal gesture of the community to a recent statement of the Prime Minister that he wanted the Muslim youths to “hold Quran in one hand and computer in other”, and to negate the allegations that madrassas are the launching pads for joining terrorism/militancy.