//US officials pushed us for English in madrasas, says Godhra cleric

US officials pushed us for English in madrasas, says Godhra cleric

8 Jan 2012

Ahmedabad : The US embassy in New Delhi invited around 30 Muslim clerics, mainly from northern and western Indian states, in the first week of this month and discussed with them the state of madrasa education in the country.

Maulana Iqbal Bogada of Godhra-based Jamia Rahmania Darul Uloom, who too attended the meeting, said they were joined by the US’s deputy secretary (education and cultural affairs) Miss N Stock and a professor, Michael Peletier, from the University of Washington.

According to Bogada, a post-graduate in English, US officials stressed the need for imparting advanced knowledge of English to madrasa students. They also seemed keen to know how to remove the alleged misconception about the US among Muslims the world over, the cleric said.

But most of the clerics, Bogada said, were not impressed by the suggestions and were skeptical regarding too much focus on English.

The clerics, according to Bogada, told US officials that most of the madrasas were already teaching basic English and there was no need for it beyond this since madrasas were basically the religious seminaries.

They said since most of the religious literature was in Arabic and Urdu in India, the knowledge of English language might not be very useful for madrasa students. They suggested that the US officials use their resources for improving the English language of the students in Muslim schools, rather than those studying in madrasas.

Syed Khalique Ahmed Posted online: Wed Dec 28 2011, 04:56 hrs

Indian Express