Peace Awareness and Vocational

Training Programme for Madrasa Students

(SUPPORTED BY: BRITISH DEPUTY HIGH COMMISSION, KOLKATA)

Visit to madrasas in Barpeta and dhubri districts

a report

 

 
Students of Islampur Madrasa, Guwahati attending the Peace Awareness programme
 

A team from the Centre for Development and Peace Studies and its programme partner Assam Markaz-ul-Uloom (Islampur Madrasa, Guwahati) visited the selected Madrasas in western Assam’s Barpeta and Dhubri districts on 26-27 December 2012, initiating the Peace Awareness and Vocational Training programme. The team comprised CDPS Executive Director Wasbir Hussain, Sociologist and Former Professor IIT Guwahati Dr. Abu Nasar Saied Ahmed, Principal Assam Markaz-ul-Uloom Maulana Hilal Qasimi, CDPS Research Associate Syed Miraz Ahmed and CDPS Research Assistant Aslam Hussain.

The team first visited Bahar-ul-Uloom Hafizana Khandakarpara Madrasa located at Joshihatipara in Barpeta district. The programme was chaired by Mr Wasbir Hussain. An overview of the Peace Awareness Module was deliberated by Dr. Abu Nasar Saied Ahmed which was later elaborated to the Madrasa students by Aslam Hussain. The initiative was welcomed by the Principal of the Madrasa, Maulana Muhammad Ali Qasimi and the other Madrasa authorities including community representatives. The visit evoked enthusiasm among the students and during the interaction they expressed their interest for the training.
 
 
Dr ANS Ahmed from CDPS addressing the students at Baharul-Uloom Hafizana Madrasa, Khandakarpara, Barpeta
  The second visit was to Madrasa-tul-Banat Khandakarpara, located at Joshihatipara in Barpeta district. Here, the overview of the Peace Awareness Module was presented by Dr. Ahmed which was later explained in detail by Aslam Hussain. Girl students who attended the programme were highly motivated at being selected for the Peace Awareness and Vocational Training Programme. Maulana Tafazzul Hussain Khan, Principal of the Madrasa, felt that the initiative will help the girl students to think in a new direction, which is very necessary.
 
 

Maulana Tafazzul Hussain Khan (second from right), Wasbir Hussain (fourth from right), Maulana Hilal Qasimi (fifth from right) at Madrasa-tul-Banat, Khandakarpara, Barpeta

 
 
CDPS team Syed Miraz Ahmed (extreme left) and Aslam Hussain with the girl students at Madrasa-tul-Banat, Khandakarpara, Barpeta
 

On Friday, 27 December 2012, Syed Miraz Ahmed and Aslam Hussain visited Madrasa-tul-Banat Hifzul Qur'an located at Asharikandi– a terracotta village of Gauripur in Dhubri district. The programme was chaired by Maulana Shahnur Islâm, Principal of the Madrasa, while Syed Miraz Ahmed presented the particulars of the Peace Awareness Module. Aslam Hussain explained the different facets of Peace as professed in Islâm and elaborated by various academias. He also described how peace and harmony identifies well with the state of Assam. The valedictory speech was delivered by Professor Rashidur Rahman, Department of History, Rangamati Government College, Dhubri.

Later on, the team visited the Piyazbari Rashidiya Madrasa located at Baniamari, Gauripur and Mazhar-ul-Uloom Islâmiya Madrasa, located at Jhograrpar, Dhubri where the Peace Awareness programme was presented by Syed Miraz Ahmed and Aslam Hussain with emphasis on Peace. The principals and other community members of both the Madrasas were present during the orientation.
 
 
Shahnaz Siddiqa, a computer instructor at Madrasa-tul-Banat
 

The CDPS team conducted the final orientation programme at host Madrasa Assam Markaz-ul-Uloom (Islampur Madrasa, Guwahati) on Sunday, 30 December 2012. The programme was chaired by Mr Wasbir Hussain and was attended by the Markaz authorities, students, teachers and community representatives. Speakers on the occasion were Dr. Abu Nasar Saied Ahmed, Maulana Hilal Qasimi, CDPS Research Fellow Arunav Goswami and Syed Miraz Ahmed. The valedictory speech was presented by Syed Miraz Ahmed.

 
 

CDPS Executive Director Wasbir Hussain addressing the students, teachers and other participants at Islampur Madrassa on 30 December 2012

  The CDPS team interacted with all the Computer Instructors selected for the Vocational Training Programme. The Peace Awareness and Vocational Training Programme got off to a start on Tuesday, 1 January 2013.
 

Visit to BANAT madrasa in Nagaon district

a report

 
 
CDPS Executive Director Wasbir Hussain and Principal Assam Markaz-ul-Uloom Maulana Hilal Qasimi with the girl students at the Madrasa in Nagaon district
 

A four member CDPS team headed by its Executive Director Wasbir Hussain made a field visit on 24 January 2013 to Al Jamiya Fatima-tuz-Zahra'lil Banat situated at Udali in Lanka under Nagaon district. In a meeting organized in the Madrasa premise, Mr. Wasbir Hussain delivered an introductory speech and stressed on the necessity of introducing technical education into the existing Madrasa education system to enable the students to compete with the changing times.

The fine points of Peace Awareness and Computer Education were elaborated by CDPS Consulting Director (Research) Dr. ANS Ahmed. In an attempt to describe peace he drew examples from global contexts citing fratricidal fights from Algeria to Indonesia that claimed more than a lakh of lives and the impending tendency world over to seek a medium for peace. He said that clashes between communities can never vouch for development and hence an environment for peace is pertinent.

Talking about women’s education among the Muslims, he said that Muslim women in medieval times gained education and managed business matters as well and were equally at par with men in pursuing religious studies and in mastering them. Describing the importance of computer literacy vis -à- visthe Madrasa Education system which is deficient in vocational training and life skill education programmes, he explained the application of computer in Interior Designing and Tailoring which are befitting for womenfolk.

The founder of Al Jamiya Fatima-tuz-Zahra'lil Banat, Maulana Hilal Qasimi said that the present Senior Madrasa Education Curriculum is a failure in practice and requires reforms and Vocational Training Programmes for uplift.

There were about 30 students during the interaction including Madrasa authorities and prominent people from the neighborhood who applauded the launch of the training programme. The students were elated with the introduction of computer education initiated under the vocational training programme. Observing the interest of the students, the Madrasa authorities expressed their aspiration for extension of the training programme after the initial phase. The pilot model has been received with strong enthusiasm in all the seven Madrasas. This apparently provides room for continuation of the model in other districts of Assam as well.