A comparative study of the attitudes of students attending Urdu medium, English medium and seminary schools in Pakistan

Raheem, Muhammad Arslan (2015) A comparative study of the attitudes of students attending Urdu medium, English medium and seminary schools in Pakistan. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In Pakistan, educational institutions function in parallel under three separate systems: public, private and madrassas. The incidents of 9/11 brought madrassas into the limelight and they emerged as the most controversial educational institutions of Pakistan. International scholarship is polarized on the madrassa issue and presents two opposing pictures about these institutes. For some, madrassas are the cause of radical ideology and militancy, while for others they are a source of free education for the underprivileged. This research compares the attitudes of students attending madrassas with those of students attending other types of school. A comparison of the world view of students coming from different schooling systems was made concerning socio-political and educational issues including an examination of attitudes towards jihad and Islamic militancy.

It is argued that students educated under different systems have divergent ideologies about the primary purpose of education, sectarian diversity, the status of women and non-Muslims in Pakistan and, most importantly, Islamic militancy. To determine the worldview of students about the aforesaid issues, both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used. The data were collected from the students of private and public schools and madrassas in South Punjab (N=500). It is argued that madrassas are stratified with some being more liberal than others. The questionnaire and interview tool used in the study attempted to find out the students‘ responses on armed Jihad, sectarian divide, the status of women, the position of non-Muslims in Pakistan and about the purpose of education. The analysis illustrated the ways in which Pakistani society is polarized along socio-economic lines and how different types of schooling are associated with distinct world views.

The results indicate that the students from madrassas are somewhat more aggressive and intolerant towards the religious minorities and women than the students of English medium and Urdu medium public schools. They are also less tolerant towards people of other sects and are more susceptible to sectarian prejudices than their counterparts in the English medium and Urdu medium schools. In the same vein, the students from madrassas are more supportive of militancy and jihadist activities than their counterparts. In this regard, the students from Shia and Brailvi madrassas are comparatively less inclined towards the Jihadi notion than that of Ahle Hadith, Deaoband and Jamaat-e-Islami madrassas.

While most previous studies of madrassas have presented them as homogeneous institutions, this study highlights the extent to which they are internally stratified and shows that the students studying in these schools have contradictory viewpoints with respect to certain socio-political and religious issues.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Seminal education, religious extremism, attitudes of students.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Furlong, Prof. Andy
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Mr Muhammad Arslan Raheem
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6425
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2015 10:16
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 12:43
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6425

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