In a yet another regressive step for female education in the country, a Madarsa in Biharsharif, Nalanda district of Bihar, has stopped the enrollment of girl candidates citing religious reasons.
In a yet another regressive step for female education in the country, a Madarsa in Biharsharif, Nalanda district of Bihar, has stopped the enrolment of girl candidates citing religious reasons.
Issuing an order, that includes banning of admission of girl students, the Madarsa administration said that co-education of boys and girls is against the basic rules of Islam.
The headmaster of the Madarsa said that the decision has been made by the Madarsa administration and that the religion does not permit boys and girls studying together. Nor does it permit girls being educated by male teachers.
“The decision has been taken as co-education is against the religion. Boys and girls cannot study together and male teachers should not lecture the girl students in our madarsa,” said the secretary of Madarsa Aziza, an organization that supports the Madarsa. “I do not know under what circumstances were the girls allowed to join the madarsa, but it’s illegal. We will appoint women teachers for girl students and make separate sitting arrangements for them. It would take a few months,” he added.
The decision came as a shock to the girl students who had been enrolled in the current session. However, they did not sit back and waited for things to resolve all by themselves. Protesting against the decision, the girls admitted in the current and older sessions, assembled outside the gate demanding the administration to take back the decision. According to a few sources, the average number of girls studying in madarsa is higher than boys.
The order also evoked a sharp reaction from the locals. Standing with the girls, they alleged that the Madarsa had taken a backward step, when the government and other institutions are trying to promote girl education. “There is so much importance on taleem(education) of girls on our religion and yet, they are being denied the opportunity to learn,” quoted a local social worker.
It should be noted that the decision was made few days after Malala Yousafzai won a Nobel prize for her contribution towards female education and fight against Taliban, which had banned girls from attending school. They say, her advocacy has grown into an international movement.
We might have reached Mars, and yet unfortunately there are cases wherein educating girls along with boys is considered a sin in a religion. When will we drop all bars and contribute towards educational inequity?