|Roundtable with the Boards of Madaris|
Opening the session, DG IPS orientated the participants with the activities of IPS, particularly focusing the research work, training workshops, seminars and roundtable meetings conducted by the Institute under its 'Personal and Institutional Development Program.' He informed that around one thousand teachers, scholars, heads and administrators of Religious Education Institutes (REIs) hailing from different parts of the country professing all the schools of thought have participated in the training workshops.
Mr. Rahman asked the leaders of madaris boards to share their feedback and offer their suggestions to develop a more integrated and large scale teachers' training program for future. Outlining the second objective of consultation meeting, he shared a document prepared by Maulana Zahid-ur-Rashdi with regard to the Takhassus (specialization) being run in REIs. The document detailed the current situation and gave suggestions for an integrated approach of making the whole program comprehensive encompassing the contemporary needs.
In open discussion session, the participants appreciated the line of work and activities of the Institute regarding REIs and expressed their motivation to partake in its REIs programs.
The partakers of the meetings noted three aspects of teachers training i.e. curricula, teaching techniques or pedagogy and psychology of education, emphasizing that in order to improve these three elements, “experienced teachers of Dars-e- Nazami,” on the hand, “are more suitable for developing the curricula,” the experts from the respective fields of “teachers' training and psychology of education can be employed” on the other.
They also stressed on arranging the orientation of national and international context during the course of training and that the training system should be evolved keeping in view the different levels prevalent in the madaris.
The discussants argued that considering the constraints of time and financial resources, it would not be easy to bring all the teachers across the country to Islamabad. So, it was advised that every board should nominate some experienced teachers for the programs of 'training of trainers,' who could then carry out teachers' training in their own area.
In addition, a panel, comprising the expert trainers from various cities of Pakistan, should be formulated so that their assistance can be sought for arranging the programs at various places.
While regular teachers' training courses of moderate duration should ideally be organized and there should be certain institutes to discharge this responsibility, the members of the meeting agreed that short term training programs needed to be held at this stage and the training material, which would be produced as a result of such programs, would be developed into a book. This scheme was expected to act as a catalyst. Moreover, the need to institutionalize the whole teachers' training system gradually was underlined.
Regarding the specialization in madaris, it was also agreed that a committee, comprising at least one nominee of each board, should be formed that would gather and review the curricula for specialization prevalent in madaris and devise a future strategy.
It was also suggested that a seminar for a detailed review of that curricula would be organized. The leaders of REIs expressed that efforts should be made for collecting the research work done in the field of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) in Pakistan and other Muslim countries so that future research would add to the already carried out research in that field.
The partakers articulated the need to consider the contemporary national and international context while formulating the curricula for specialization as well as developing uniform standard and duration of specialization so that the degree of specialization could get equivalent status of M.Phil and Phd. The roundtable was organized by the coordination of Ikram-ul-Haq.