CII wants Arabic, Persian, local languages taught at primary level
By Kalbe Ali | 5/29/2015

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has recommended that children should start schooling at the age of seven in their local language, but should also be taught Arabic and expected to learn certain chapters of the Holy Quran by heart.

Speaking at a seminar on primary education organised by the CII, its Chairman Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani on Thursday read out the recommendations, which included, among others things, the stipulation that primary education should include the fundamentals of Islam, including the Holy Quran, hadith, fiqh, and the history of Muslims with the help of modern information technology (IT).

`We have suggested that by learning the Persian and Arabic languages, students can attain a command over local languages and Urdu as well, ` Maulana Sheerani said.

At the CII seminar that dealt with primary education up to the fifth grade, participants finalised 38 recommendations, of which, recommendation number seven contained nine suggestions for changes in the curriculum.

These included suggestions for what should be taught until the fifth grade level: stories from the Holy Quran, history of the independence movement in the subcontinent, responsibilities towards individuals and human rights, science in the form of experimentation and critical thinking and character building. The recommendations also suggest that the syllabus should include examples from Islamic history in other subjects as well, such as discussing zakat and inheritance in mathematics. They also suggested a focus on students` physical development and said that education in seminaries should be attached with formal school curriculum. It was also suggested that all schools in a city, if not the whole country or province, should have the same uniform.

The seminar was also attended by senior educationists, retired and serving government officials and members of the clergy belonging to different schools of thought.

Reading out the recommendations of the seminar, the CII chairman said that at the primary level, students should be taught historic events from their respective province and the reasons that led to creation of Pakistan.

However, in conclusion, the CII chief said that young students should not be overburdened by their studies.

`We have suggested that there should be exams, but they should not be a burden on the students, ` Maulana Sheerani said.

In response to a question regarding coeducation, Maulana Sheerani said that it was not a good idea to continue co-education after students attain maturity.

When media persons inquired about the segregation of students on basis of their gender, even in medical colleges, the CII chairman said: `At this age, there are chances of students being carried away and indulging in sinful activities.

He went on to explain that most of the harm befell women, who not only earned a bad name but could even become pregnant. Young men, however, could simply move on, he said.

`Khula` definition Talking to Dawn after the seminar, Maulana Sheerani explained one of the decisions taken at a CII meeting on Wednesday, regarding the definition of the act of `khula`, saying that the commonplace use of the term to define a separation sought by a woman was incorrect.

Khula is an agreement between a woman and her husband in case the wife wants to separate, ` he said adding that, `Under Islam, husband can divorce his wife, but if a woman wants to end her marriage, she should enter into an agreement with her husband, which is called a khula.

He explained that the khula arrangement is usually characterised by a give and-take. The wife usually pledges money or property if the husband demands compensation in exchange for releasing her from their marital bond.

`However, if the husband is not willing to release the woman their bond and she approaches the court or any arbitration council seeking separation, the term that applies in this case is `faskh-i-nikah` (annulment of marriage), not khula.

Published in Dawn