Recognizing degree of Quami madrasa

In a recent meeting at ‘Gonobhobon’ the decision was taken to recognize the Dawra degree of Qawmi madrasas as an equivalent of Masters degrees provided by government operated and privately operated mainstream institutions that offer higher education. The reactions to this, both on social media and by the mainstream media itself, was mainly “raised eyebrows” and a collective look of disbelief, surprise, anger and in the case of many non-madrassa students- of frustration and anger.
The Qawmimadrasas follow the syllabus of DarulUloomDeoband, a historic Islamic school of India, focusing mainly on Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages. However, since the system is not under any form of government control and instead is run by multiple private education boards and is privately funded, it has very little uniformity and standardization. Science, social science, mathematics and literature are almost never taught in these marasas and their quality of education is considered to be extremely inferior in comparison to other, mainstream educational systems.
The decision therefore to recognize a privately funded, highly irregular and unmonitored educational system is controversial to say the least. The Qawmi system is obviously not at par with any other higher education system in the country . Every other educational system, be it the Alia madrassa system, or the standard government educational board or the universities themselves; are usually monitored and regulated by the government in order to ensure uniformity and a minimum level of standard in education.
Why therefore such a controversial decision was taken is beyond the grasp of many. The consequences of recognizing such a “chaotic” and subpar educational degree will have consequences; however, I don’t not think that it was weighed the number of strong ripples this rock would create once it was thrown in the water. This perplexing and obviously unplanned, impulsive decision will create both long-term and short-term consequences as well and confuse the prospective employers.
One major problem that will result from this decision is the general frustration of highly qualified masters students who have earned their degrees from reputed educational institutions. These students often finish grueling honors degrees from public and private universities that cover a broad range of subjects and are highly professional and well trained even before they begin their masters. To suddenly see that a subpar, non-regulated educational body with no actual scientific, economic or social contribution become their degree equals will, without a doubt, anger and frustrate them. This is essentially telling these hard working, legitimate students that their hard-earned degrees mean nothing as people can just take the “shortcut” of Qawmi degree and achieve the same level as them.
Unnecessary saturation is another major consequence of this unprecedented decision. With Qawmi degree holders being able to apply for master’s level jobs, the employers will have a tough time separating the qualified degree holders from the non-qualified ones. It will also create a problem when it comes to applying for government jobs. The government, being the largest employer in the nation, is also famous for its intensive corruption in terms of recruitment. However, in order to at least apply for a job, one has to be at least minimally qualified. With QawmiDawra degree being accepted as a master’s level degree, these underqualified students will have a shot at holding office at government positions. The result can be catastrophic as even the syllabus of these madrassas is not clearly known. The chances of highly indoctrinated, radicals infiltrating key government positions will become highly likely due to this move.
The government needs to realize that such a self-destructive decision will seriously harm not only the nation’s future, but also will cause a severe blow to the regular students who are, simply, more qualified and deserve better from a government that prides itself at being liberal and secular. This decision will seriously hamper the overall quality as well as the reliability of the country’s higher educated workforce.