Madrassas becoming substitute of schools for Pak girls

May 16th, 2009 - 5:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Lahore, May 16 (ANI): With almost 1,900 registered madrassas for girls in the country, Pakistan is experiencing a boom in female madrassas due to the failures of the public education system.

The female madrassas are expanding at a dramatic rate, educating almost a quarter of a million girls in the nation. More than half of them take the graduate-level examinations.

The reason for the madrassas’ rise is also an increasing appetite in the lower middle class for traditional Islamic values.

An Oxford academic, Dr Masooda Bano, has received more than 400,000 pounds from the Economic and Social Research Council to study madrassas’ appeal in Pakistan.

“Parents who send their daughters to madrassas are lower middle class. The girls who enter are aged between 16 and 20. There is an emergence of a very conservative value system. Madrassas promote traditional roles for women and students feel confident about their position in society,” Bano said.

According to the latest statistics, nearly 236,000 girls are studying in the madrassas. The girls exceed males in academic achievement so they also have a higher pass rate.

While her reserch says that the madrassas have provided women with economic and social opportunities, she will explore the links between the growth of female madrassas and religious militancy.

Part of her work will focus on Jamia Hafsa, associated to the Red Mosque in Islamabad.

The number of unregistered madrassas could be much higher. (ANI)

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