“In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful”
Open Letter written by Umme Muhammed
To, Minister of Education
Ministry of Education, Training & Standards in Higher Education,
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
Subject: Academic System of Pakistan
Surely much is being done to improve the academic system of Pakistan. As a citizen of Pakistan, I have some suggestions and queries as well.
The main difference between our Matriculation system and the O/A Level system is that of conceptualization, innovation and problem-solving. Matriculation system students expect seen questions in exams while the O/A Level students are able to solve unseen questions in exams. This is the root reason that many years down the line, our professionals are able to ‘copy and reproduce’ an invention-by-others but themselves cannot invent something.
Secondly, governments come and go and each political change brings with itself a change in the curriculum of Islamiyat and related subjects. Why? Is Islam supposed to be studied selectively due to any reason? Why do not we implement the curriculum of Islamiyat as set by Allah Almighty Himself? That is, in the standard sixteen years of education, why cannot we teach our children the entire Quran and Sahah-e-Sittah instead of scratching our heads as to what to include and what to omit from Islam itself?
Thirdly, after all, priorities exhibit themselves in a physical form at some stage. Let us look at the thickness of our Science, Math and English textbooks. And let us look at the ‘thinness’ of our Islamiyat textbooks. The inches of our books depict our priorities regarding the subjects themselves. Surely, Science, Math and English are very, very important subjects, but please acknowledge that Islamiyat is no less important.
Allah Almighty says, ‘I am as My servant thinks about me. I am with him when he makes mention of Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself. If he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly, better than his. If he takes a step towards me, I take ten steps towards him. If he draws near Me by a span’s length, I draw near to him by an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running…’
Surely, quarter-of-an-inch of Islamiyat books as opposed to two inches of other subject books are a sorry expression of our next-to-no-good Emaan. For technology without Emaan will not work out for a Muslim. Do not we see that being a nuclear power only has not secured us peace, security and progress?
I request the Ministry of Education to radically improve our academic system towards conceptualization, innovation and problem-solving instead of the conventional ratification approach. And I also request to give Islamic Studies its due importance and space in our academic curriculum. This two-thronged approach towards an academic revolution is the only way forward for us Muslims.