Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Feb 9 : In an attempt to break-free of the mould of being merely Islamic schools teaching theology, madrassas in Uttar Pradesh have revamped their curriculum to incorporate some modern vocational courses.
Traditionally, madrassas have been engaged in teaching the Quran to children mostly in and around mosques.
However, many argue that madrassas should not only equip students with a simple scholastic interpretation of the Holy Quran and the traditions of the Prophet of Islam, but should also equip them to met the challenges of the modern world.
Madrassas have started training generation next to meet the challenges in all walks of life.
Vocational courses have been introduced in around 250 madrassas and students are being trained in various vocations like electrical engineering, tailoring, computers and draftsmanship.
"The government has done a good job by opening these training centres in almost 250 madrassas across the state. These centres are providing avenues of employment to children. The best part is that these centres provide the training at nominal cost. At present, there are approximately 25 trades that have been recognised by the government to be taught in the madrasas," said Mohammed Ismail Khan, an instructor.
Such courses are a godsend for students who had so far no option but to serve in these madrassas as tutors.
Trained in several skills, they are now ready to explore other employment avenues too.
"Earlier, we had no option but to work at madrassas after completing our education. This training will help us in exploring other avenues by working somewhere or even setting up our own business," said Mohammed Amir, a student.
"It is a good thing which will help us tremendously in gaining practical and religious knowledge simultaneously. The value of the course is equivalent to that of ITI. It will also provide us with a good scope in future," said Afi Ahmed, another student. By Vipul Goel