The role of
teacher in any education system is central. Children usually emulate their
teachers in habits and conduct. It is therefore necessary that in their teacher,
the students find a model of good conduct and behaviour. It must be ensured
that a teacher, besides being professionally competent and having an aptitude
for teaching, be also committed to the faith and ideology of Islam. He should be
sufficiently aware of the fundamentals of faith and should have good moral
values. We would propose three yardsticks while selecting teachers:
Professional competence in the relevant subject.
for fundamental moral principles in theory and practice.
in theory and practice, for the religious emblems and values that symbolise the
faith of Islam.
All of them
are equally vital for a system of education worth the name in a Muslim society.
It is therefore important that the recruitment system for teachers be devised in
a manner so as to ensure that all these three guiding principles are not
Since it is
difficult to get teachers befitting the requirements outlined above, it is
advisable to select the best available teachers and then make arrangements for
their professional and ideological training before and after they enter the
the establishment of a department that organises such training programmes. It
should chalk out syllabuses for the academic and ideological training of
teachers of different phases of education in all subjects. This also requires
selection of suitable training instructors who not only give academic guidance
through workshops and study circles but also give practical demonstrations. Such
a training project must be marked by the following features:
imparting training to teachers with different backgrounds, they should be
infused with the spirit of Islam.
teachers should be exposed to the national problems and the issues facing the
Islamic world so that they may help their students acquire this awareness.
teachers should be groomed thoroughly in the Islamic objectives of education.
should be helped to carry out critical study of the western ideas on education
should be trained to employ modern audio-visual aids for effective education.
teachers should also study child psychology.
teachers should have a deep understanding of the needs of the country and the
Muslim world in general.
should study the philosophy, theory and practice of their training programme and
should be encouraged to get involved in related debates and to come up with
should be made to work on study projects on various aspects of education, and
their findings and recommendations should be carefully considered and
incorporated in the curriculum wherever deemed fit.
should be trained to observe all manners and etiquette taught by Islam. These
include the way they carry themselves, speak, dress up, greet, sneeze, thank,
socialise and deal with their elders. This makes the role of teacher all the
more important. Thus the teachers should also be trained to suit this purpose.
We feel that it is very important that the students should also be motivated to
point out any deficiencies of conduct and behaviour in their teachers so that
the teachers may also learn from them and the training becomes a two way
process. The teachers should be trained in a manner that they patiently listen
to their students’ suggestions and do not let their ego prevent them from
admitting their shortcomings and from mending them.
Along with the
teachers’ training programmes, the system should also attempt to meet the
teachers’ financial needs so as to keep their incentive and zeal alive. The
administration should therefore observe immense care and caution while deciding
on their remuneration and load of work. We, therefore, think that:
service cadre of teachers must begin with the emoluments of grade 17.
should not be given teaching assignments exceeding three hours per day.
teachers should get minimum work after school hours.
should clearly see that the administration is interested in addressing his
problems and in listening, considering and incorporating his suggestions in the
scheme of education. In other words, he should know that he is performing the
central and most important role in the institution. In fact, this idea, if
effectively inculcated in the minds, motivates the most brilliant minds and the
most able members of the society to offer their services to the education
Evaluation of Teachers
and fringe benefits of teachers and their increments and promotions should, as
far as possible, be linked with their performance. The following methods can be
adopted to gauge their achievements:
teachers’ performance should be evaluated at the end of the year by examining
the extent to which the annual targets in teaching his subject have been met.
percentage of students that passed/failed should be considered.
average performance of class in terms of marks obtained by the students in his
subject should be evaluated.
teacher should be interviewed extensively at the end of each year by select
committees of experts who should carry out a detailed appreciation of his
capabilities and convey their evaluation to the administration.
the help of these yardsticks, the administration may decide to award prizes to
be a complete ban on teachers to offer private tuition to the students of their
own school and any violation of this ban should invariably lead to the
termination of the services of the delinquent teacher. The teachers should be
ready to give some extra time, at their convenience, to the weak students. The
parents should also be advised to co-operate with the teachers.
Outline of the
Proposed Education System
of different classes of the primary and secondary education should dove tail
with the successive stages of the student’s mental, physical and emotional
development. Therefore, we need to study the different phases of development of
human mind and intellect. In the beginning, when he is only a child, his mental
and physical faculties are at a rudimentary stage of development, but as he
grows they rapidly develop, reach their zenith, and then start declining with
age, tracing the path of a classic hyperbola. When newly born, he is only a lump
of flesh: a weakling -- unable to stand up, to sit, to meet his wishes or to
inform anyone about his needs. He is dependent on others even to get a few drops
of water. He needs help and support for everything. Then his childhood gradually
blossoms into youth. Youth also progresses through a number of stages till he
achieves manhood. His ageing process does not allow him to stop here. Time
moves on through days, weeks months and years. Then youth starts waning and so
do his physical and mental faculties. His physical strength, once a source of
pride for him, starts fading out in the wake of degenerating powers of sight and
hearing, and his hair turns grey like silver. In short, he starts declining
almost as soon has he reaches his full bloom. His memory is lost in some unknown
nook of mind. He is so helpless that he is unable to see or hear. In this way,
he is reduced to childhood once again. In many cases he is so incapacitated that
he cannot fulfil his petty desires, just like an infant.
The Qur’ān has
drawn the picture of this ebb and tide of human life in the following words:
It is God who
created you weak: after weakness He gives you strength, and after strength,
infirmity and grey hairs. (30:54)
is the story of his mental vigour. In the beginning he is unadorned with any
mental abilities. He can neither understand nor explain. Gradually his mind
gains strength through different levels. Initially he gathers some apparent and
obvious information from his surroundings and learns to react to them. Then
tries to unveil the causes, reasons and principles behind the phenomena. Then
sifts his information. At the apex of his mental progress, he reviews and
critically appreciates his reactions, behaviour and traditions, and decides
either to uphold them or to revolt against them. In many cases he pulls down
what he had constructed himself and lays the foundations of new thought systems.
Then gradually his mental capabilities start weakening. His attitude is that of
contentment with his state of life. The mind that once dreamt of revolutions,
now shivers with fear at the idea. His speech that once drove others to change
the world now preaches compromises. Finally he is so worn out that senile
dementia sets in and he is deprived of the understanding and intelligence that
he once boasted of !
At each stage,
God equips man with mental abilities commensurate with his requirements. He
gains in understanding and power of expression as he reaches maturity. The boy
who used to dread mathematics may, later on, challenge Newton’s Principles. The
child who could not differentiate between ‘c’ and ‘k’, subsequently criticises
Shakespeare and Milton. The student who found it difficult to memorise
mathematical tables at school, can now discover new formulae of computation.
period of his mental growth, man can comprehend and learn only what he has been
enabled to grasp through the abilities characteristic of his age. He cannot hope
to learn more and if he is taught less than his capacity, it leads to his
estrangement with education. Obviously a five year old cannot become a doctor.
To try for that would be foolish. So would it be to teach a graduate the
fundamentals of a language. Therefore, it is necessary to keep in mind the
different stages and abilities of human mental growth while devising a system of
education. We have to evolve a system that synchronises with the stages of his
mental development. This leads us to the following principles:
1. A student
should be taught only that which he is capable to comprehend.
2. He should
not be assigned a task that is below the level of his mental development.
3. He should
never be overburdened.
system should help and encourage his mental progress.
curriculum should steadily move from general education towards specialisation.
This provides him a firm foundation, offers a variety of choices and grants him
ability to choose the field for which he has the aptitude.
view these principles, we are inclined to divide the entire curriculum into
three phases -- primary (eight years), secondary (four years) and higher
education (five years).
education actually starts informally at pre-school age at home. A child is
admitted to the school when he is four, and after Nursery and Kindergarten he
enters the first class when he is six. From his sixth year to the fourteenth,
that is from class one to eight, he is in the primary phase which is the first
period of his formal education.
designing the syllabuses for the primary schools, we have to attend to the
abilities and inclinations of the children and the desired objectives and
targets of primary education.
aged four to fourteen years have the ability to learn a few specific skills; if
only these are taught during this phase, it will greatly contribute towards his
this phase, a child is usually quick to learn from his environment. He learns
the language spoken by the people around him, curiously observes the manners,
habits and ways of the people and may use this observation to frame his attitude
in different circumstances.
attempts to schedule his everyday life in the light of his atmosphere.
of censuring or critically evaluating different behaviours, he tends only to
gather information about them and uses this information to formulate his
enquires about his physical surroundings and tries to comprehend them.
5. He does
not get weary of doing things repeatedly.
6. He has a
special taste and liking for sports and fun.
We think that
in a Muslim society, the objectives of primary education should be:
prepare a child for higher education in academic disciplines and skills.
inspire and encourage a student to acquire knowledge.
3. To instil
Islamic beliefs and respect for Islamic way of life in his personality.
4. To mould
his everyday life according to Islam.
5. To kindle
in his heart the zeal to serve mankind.
develop his habits, manners and morals on correct lines.
Syllabus for Primary Education
Man is endowed
with the ability to speak, which led to the evolution of languages. Languages
have given birth to different civilisations, different societies and cultures.
They have also made possible the preservation, survival and progress of
sciences and arts. It can be safely argued that language occupies the most vital
role in the education of sciences and arts. Education cannot be imagined without
What is the
rationale of teaching sciences, geography, history or mathematics to a student
in English when he is unable to read, write or speak English? This is the major
fault in our system of education. It is the single most important reason why our
students tend to memorise things instead of comprehending them. They are
actually not sufficiently aware of the English language to understand and
express an idea in English. Obviously it is absurd to teach a subject when the
students do not have an understanding of the language proposed as a medium of
instruction. It should therefore be conceded that instruction in languages
should be the cornerstone of primary education.
proceeding to formulate any education system, we must first try to get answers
to certain basic question about the nature and content of language itself. One
is about the meaning of language education, or to decide as to when a student
qualifies to have learnt a language. Secondly, what is the correct way to teach
a language, and, thirdly, which languages need to be taught to a student. We
would like to answer these questions in the light of our views on education.
The Meaning of
who is not deaf and dumb, exhibits the ability to learn the language spoken in
his surroundings. Then why do we teach the language formally in the schools?
Does an Englishman not know English and needs to be instructed in it in class?
Does a Chinese or Japanese remains unaware of his language if he is not formally
instructed in school? Does an illiterate Pakistani remain silent throughout his
life? Obviously this is not the case. On the contrary a three or four year old
child has so much command over his language that he can understand what others
say and can also convey to them what he wants to. An illiterate citizen of
England or United States can speak English fluently. The Chinese and Japanese
people comfortably speak their languages without any school or college
education. The illiterate people of Pakistan also speak their language and
generally observe the grammar and employ suitable vocabulary to express
generally speaking, a person can be said to know a language if he can understand
it and speak it. But when we talk of a formal education system, knowing a
language signifies the ability to read and write in addition to the powers of
speech and comprehension. It would not be unfair to say that formal instruction
of a language means training to read and write. This is because no education
system aims at teaching language as an end in itself. Language derives its
utility from being the medium of comprehension of sciences and arts. One can
only access sciences and arts through the media of languages. Therefore, if a
school does not arrange for the training to read and write languages, it cannot
hope to achieve the objective for which language education was introduced.
language instruction we mean that the student should be taught to read it
without difficulty and should be able to freely express himself through written
and spoken word -- only then a student can be testified to have learnt that
Every child is
led by nature to learn the language spoken in his surroundings. Like all systems
of nature, the way a child becomes familiar with a language is a magnificent
arrangement in which any attempt at fault finding would be frustrating. Before
evolving the system of language teaching, let us first consider the natural
How do we
learn a language as a child?
When a child
opens his eyes to the light of the world he finds himself in an atmosphere in
which one or more languages are being spoken. He is brought up in it. In the
beginning, voices round him are no more than a myriad of different sounds.
Gradually these sounds start conveying meanings. The child starts following what
other people are saying. Now he not only hears the sounds constituting words but
also gathers some meanings from them. Not only the word becomes meaningful to
him but the fluctuation in the volume, the softness or harshness of the delivery
and the bitterness or anger in the voice is also understood. Then he gradually
starts employing sounds to express his feelings and desires, which are not
exactly akin to words but do give a semblance of meaningful words. Then he
assumes full command over his tongue and vocal cords and starts making
successful attempts to deliver difficult words.
from single and disjointed words to complete sentences is a gradual one. Usually
he starts by using nouns such as mother, father, water, food and naming other
articles that constitute his environment. Then he starts adding verbs to his
vocabulary. First he speaks incomplete sentences about the acts of eating,
drinking, going out, walking etc. Finally he learns making complete and
meaningful sentences. It has been observed that a child who is talked to by
others more often and regularly, learns to speak earlier.
If we reflect
on this natural process of learning language, we can discover a few principles.
For instance we may note that the child does not get separate training to learn
a language. Instead the family environment teaches him to speak and understand
the language. In other words the instruction in spoken language only requires
providing an atmosphere in which the language is in use. After living in the
environment for some time he starts speaking it himself. The second principle
that can be deduced is that the process of learning the correct pronunciation of
words and construction of sentences is gradual. Thirdly, the child should not be
overburdened by an impatient desire to get early results. Nothing can be more
helpful than frequent communication with the child in that language. These three
principles should be kept in mind whenever the syllabus of language education is
As we have
explained earlier, language instruction in a formal system is essentially an
effort in training to read and write. We should appreciate that the relationship
between reading and writing a language is the same as that between ‘listening a
language with comprehension’ and ‘speaking it’. The atmosphere in which a child
keeps on listening to a particular language teaches a child to speak it without
any formal and determined effort to teach him how to speak. Similarly, if a
child is taught how to read a language, he will also learn how to write without
having received training for it specially.
writing we do not mean the craft of handling the pen or the art of calligraphy.
By writing we mean constructing sentences, formulating articles and creating
stories. In other words, by writing we mean the art of written articulation and
essay-writing. No doubt, before all this the children would need to learn the
craft of handling pen and the art of calligraphy and this training should not be
underestimated. But if we examine the issue deeply, the physical handling of pen
and students control over the muscles and joints of his hands has nothing to do
with language education itself. It is only a technique for the expression or
preservation of what he has produced. Thus, the art of writing with hands may
initially be divorced from the art of producing literature. This dichotomy is
quite manifest in case of the rustic poets of the rural areas, who are
illiterate (that is they are not trained in the art of writing with pen on
paper) and yet produce beautiful pieces of literature. It is the latter which
should be the first priority. We feel that at the moment a lot of time of the
primary school students is wasted in teaching them how to use pens and make
shapes and figures of which the alphabet is constituted.
As far as
writing simple sentences, narrative paragraphs, short stories and letters are
concerned, they probably need no special training. Regular reading exercise and
profuse conversation in a language is sufficient for that.
It may be kept
in mind that all of the arts that one learns in the long span of his life, the
art of reading and study is most important. Reading ability is a decisive factor
for success at various stages of life. It is necessary for getting along in
school, office and any other secular or religious activity. Without knowing how
to read, a child’s academic future is marred with a definite failure and doom.
The rest of his student life predominantly depends on reading, consuming eighty
percent of his academic life. Psychologists and experts in primary education
concur that it is impossible to teach a student who cannot read. It is a world
wide experience that majority of the unsuccessful students, who fail to learn
and are a source of problems and nuisance for the school administration are
those who find difficulty in reading. When they find that they cannot read and
study and the sources of information are not accessible to them, they lose heart
and stop working for it. We feel that, in case of a difficult student who is not
happy about his school and is finding difficulty in coping with a subject, the
teachers should immediately look into his reading habits and ability to study.
Usually they will find that his basic inadequacy in reading skills is the root
cause of his poor performance.
education is therefore to be imparted in two phases:
creating an atmosphere in which a language is being spoken. By spending time in
such environment, the child first starts understanding the language and then
gradually learns to speak in it.
reading a large number of interesting and moral oriented stories in correct and
good language. Consequently, the child learns how to write good language.
languages should be taught?
The task of
developing the curriculum of an education system in Pakistan immediately brings
us face to face with the question of the choice of languages. To answer this
question, we need to refresh in our minds the goals and objectives of our
proposed system of education. We wrote in the first second chapter of this
The goal of
our religion is to get a pious soul at the individual level and the constitution
of the Ummah testifying the Truth before the world at the national level.
Consequently, our education system should also have the same goal. It should
have the following two objectives:
1. It has to
groom people who are outstanding in their character, conduct, morals and habits
and at the same time make them rising stars in the field of sciences and arts.
2. It has to
lead people to the stage when as a nation and Ummah we shine forth as a
lighthouse of piety, correct conduct and truth before the entire world, and
thus become Islam incarnate.
have to devise an education system tailored for these objectives. We have to
include everything that may assist in the realisation of these objectives and at
the same time we have to scrape away everything that may be detrimental to these
objectives are fixed, the system will immediately demand the following:
Development an intimate, strong and direct relationship with the Qur’ān and
Sunnah in every Muslim.
Active promotion of solidarity, brotherhood and fraternity at the national
level and to discouraging mutual hatred and dissension.
Cultivation of an atmosphere of solidarity and unity among the Muslim world to
fuse them into an organic whole.
Generation of wealth and human resources for the development of the Muslims and
thus their preparation for the leadership of the entire human population.
We feel that
in order to achieve these objectives, we shall have to teach Urdu, English and
Arabic languages to our students.
Urdu is our
national language. It is the contact language between the people of all the four
provinces. It is therefore essential that Urdu should be accorded a high status
in the society so that the people should readily own it. They should feel proud
of using it. If a nation is not proud of its language and dress, it stoops very
low in terms of esteem. This weakens virtues as prestige, self respect,
determination, pertinacity and the urge and zeal to excel and to vie for lofty
motives. Such a nation then emulates others, echoes others’ ideals, mimics
others’ jargon, plagiarises others’ ideas, adulates others, and adopts the
aspirations and hopes of other communities. The people of such a nation are left
with no mind or heart of their own. Their minds and hearts are converted to
paganism in the process. It becomes very difficult to link with them a higher
motive or to convince them to yearn for a noble objective. Keeping in view this
predicament, promotion of Urdu language should not be viewed as the furtherance
of a language. It should be seen as the issue of the survival of our cultural
tradition and national identity.
Arabic is the
medium of communication of Islam. The Qur’ān was revealed in Arabic. Every
member of this Ummah has to read and comprehend the Holy Book. Obviously, it is
not be reasonable to demand from every Muslim that he acquire deep and scholarly
understanding of the Qur’ān. But it is expected that every Muslim be able to
extract the simple purport of the Qur’ān when he recites it. Therefore, each
Muslim should have a rudimentary understanding of the Qur’ān. As long as a
Muslim is unable to have a certain degree of direct access to the text of the
Qur’ān, he will remain dependent on the clergy, which being in a state of
complete anarchy and dissension, will keep the Ummah divided into hostile sects.
Unless he develops an intimacy with the Qur’ān, he will continue to be plagued
by heresies, pagan rites and rituals. It is also important to note that unless
the multitude is not familiar with the revealed book, it will not be possible to
carry the message of Islam and prove its veracity to the world. The study of
history of the propagation of Islam in the era of the Holy Prophet (sws) reveals
that he usually did not address the non-believers in any particular words.
Instead he would read out to them a portion of the Qur’ān. This text, with its
moving message and inspiring call, won over the minds and hearts of people from
Morocco to Indonesia, which constituted more that half the known-world. The
Qur’ān is the basic book for presentation before the non-Muslims. But it can
only be effectively used for this purpose when a common Muslim understands its
meaning and sense.
the language of the Qur’ān, Arabic is also the lingua franca of the entire
Muslim world. Its inclusion in the curriculum would also help promote solidarity
and unity among the Muslims of the world. If all the Muslims could understand
and converse in Arabic, it would go a long way towards uniting all the Muslims
irrespective of the country they live in.
Our third need
is to produce experts in the secular subjects. In the present world, the West
has a monopoly over physical and social sciences and arts. If we want to regain
the lost glory of the Muslim Ummah, we will have to train Muslim experts in
these disciplines, for which we have to teach our students English, French,
German or any other language of the developed countries. Although proper
planning at state level can relieve us of this burden by having all the seminal
texts in science subjects translated into Urdu. Therefore, there are two
1. We can
only expect good results in modern sciences and arts if they are taught in the
native tongue of the students. It becomes paramount to translate books on
sciences and arts into Urdu as early as possible.
2. When a
western language such as English is taught, it should be ensured that only the
language is taught and the tinge of the western way of life and culture should
not be allowed to reach our students.
students attain a reasonable proficiency in the languages, they should be taught
Islamic Studies in Arabic, while tips on general information should be
incorporated into English and Urdu text books so that they become part of the
students’ academic intake without recourse to separate technical books.
Thus, in our
proposed system of education, the medium of instruction for Islamic Studies is
Arabic, for social sciences it is Urdu and the medium of instruction for
sciences and other modern disciplines (till they are translated to a reasonable
extent) is English. Once the information available on sciences and modern
disciplines and arts is translated into Urdu, the compulsory subject of English
language may be abolished.
from Moiz Amjad’s dissertation on education)