Madrassah education in Pakistan: weapon of extremism?

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Hayat, Saima
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Pakistan is positioned within one of the most contentious regions of the world, sharing its borders with Afghanistan and three very powerful nuclear-weapon states, i.e. India, China, and Russia. Moreover, internally, Pakistan is a diverse country with respect to culture, cast and language soon after independence, political leaders have promoted the Islamic creed. However, this ideology is divided into five different sects in conflict with each other, every one believing to represent the authentic Islam and considering the others as fallacious adversaries. There are also other religious minorities. All these external and internal factors contribute to political instability in Pakistan. In all societies, education plays a key role in promoting human development and nonviolent cultures. Regrettably, the education system of Pakistan is unable to produce highquality students, able and willing to build a modern society. The education sector is divided into two parts: one is modern and other one is religious, i.e. the Madrassahs System. Four Islamic sects run their own schools. Religious tutors are not qualified, hardly knowing how to read Arabic and Urdu, and teach a very narrow model of Islam. Teachers are unable to play the role of mentors who promote open mindsets among pupils; on the opposite, they tend to manipulate the mind of children. The religious seminaries belong to religious political parties, which means that students are also used for street politics. The main objective of this research is to gain a solid understanding of the realities of the madrassah education system and to explore if such system constitutes a violation of the right to education for the Pakistani children.
Second semester University: University of Padua
education, Pakistan, Islam, religious minorities, right to education