According to the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, one of the major causes of the current moral and social depravity, disorder, irresponsibility and corruption is the aimless education system of our country. Our education system has materialistic thoughts and goals and is devoid of moral and spiritual values. Making students more useful for economic activity has become the sole purpose of education. Despite all the claims in the policy documents, the fact is that the education system has failed in raising the standards and in the holistic evolution of the personality of the students. As a result, such educated individuals are being created whose sole motive appears to be the accumulation of wealth by means fair and foul. There is a severe lack of values like humaneness, philanthropy, integrity, honesty and self-sacrifice in the educated class. Because of the increasing commercialization of education, the education system also suffers from the gap between rich and poor. As a result, on the one hand, poor students are being deprived of high and quality educational facilities, while on the other hand; rich students are provided with such a comfortable environment that from an early age that they are developing a mindset in which there is – revulsion for the poor, love for luxury, exploitation and preservation of class interests.
It is also a matter of concern for Jamaat that the government is reducing its responsibilities towards education. There is still no sign of the fulfillment of the old promise of spending 6% of GDP on education. The government is rapidly withdrawing from higher education. Expenditure on primary education is also not increasing adequately. The educational situation of backward classes, minorities and especially Muslims has deteriorated to a deplorable extent. Moreover, there is no progress in implementing the recommendations given by the government-appointed commissions to improve the situation.
Demanding the promotion of moral values in education, Jamaat condemns the efforts of certain groups to promote certain religious and cultural concepts along with unscientific and superstitious tendencies under the pretext of morality and spirituality.
Jamaat feels that the entire education policy needs to be reviewed. The curriculum should be established in such a way that moral education finds a proper place in it. In addition, the students should be trained in such a way that they are ready to become truthful and principled servants of the country and humanity. Moral education should be in accordance with universal ethical values. Its practical implementation would be to form a committee consisting of credible representatives of all religious groups, whose approval would be required for the implementation of any moral education scheme.
8% of GDP should be spent on education. In addition to providing free primary education to every Indian, it will also help in making higher education easier to access. Discrimination between the rich and the poor must be stopped. The commercialization of education should be discouraged. Besides making and enforcing the necessary regulations for private educational institutions, the Right to Education Act should be strictly enforced under which one-fourth of the seats in private institutions are to be reserved for poor students.
In a multi-cultural country like India, it is the constitutional right of minorities to be educated according to their cultural and religious values. The NDA governments try to steal this right through their ‘saffronization’ policies and now the UPA governments try to snatch this right through some controversial provisions. The minority education institutions should get the right to education and a method of moral and religious education should be adopted which is acceptable to all religious and cultural groups.
Jamaat-e-Islami Hind welcomes the constitutional amendment and subsequent legislation to make the right to education a fundamental right, but it is a matter of great concern that certain sections have been inserted through backdoors into the relevant legislation, which has a direct impact on the constitutional right of minorities. Despite drawing the attention of the government, it has done nothing beyond verbal reassurances. The strict conditions that have been mentioned in this law regarding education are not realistic given the conditions of our country. There is a fear of further reduction in the number of educational institutions. In order to make this law effective and workable, Jamaat feels that it is necessary to relax these conditions and also consider madrassas, pathshalas etc. as educational institutions. Necessary amendments should be made in the law for this purpose.
The recommendations of Justice Ranganath Mishra and Justice Sachar Committee should be implemented immediately to address the educational backwardness of minorities and Muslims. In addition to drawing the attention of the government to these issues, Jamaat also urges the Muslims to pay full attention to their education and to establish their education system according to the teachings of Islam. According to Jamaat, Muslim children need an education that keeps them firmly attached to their religious foundations and enables them to have a leadership position in the modern world. For this, it is necessary to have the required religious education in conventional schools and colleges and arrange for the contemporary awareness in madrassas. In addition, it is also important that Muslims focus on establishing quality educational institutions, meeting the needs of students, and striving for educational awareness among ordinary Muslims, and providing resources for these activities. There is also a need for proper Islamic training of Muslim teachers and administrators from educational institutions so that the standard of education of Muslim children is improved and they are educated along the correct Islamic pattern.