Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015): 127-147.
ISSN: 1583-0039 © SACRI
Abstract: This study investigates structural influence of the Madrassah system on effectiveness of its students in terms of civic health, system thinking and professional development. The researchers constructed the instrument of survey after rigorous literature review, frequent interaction with scholars, clerics and policy makers. The survey was administrated to 600 Madrassah’s students from different schools of thought. By applying T-test and Kruskal Waliss Rank Test for measurement of effectiveness and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) methodology the researchers has explored the relationship between the variables, and later analyzed with the help of selected model.
Findings of the study demonstrate that education system followed in Madrassahs does not seem to be effective and need-based in contemporary times. Indicators of Madrassah structure such as curriculum and openness negatively influences the students while peda- gogy positively influences the effectiveness of students of Madrasah in Pakistan. In the end, it is recommended that curriculum and pedagogy of Madrassah should be reformed and updated in accordance with knowledge-based economy. This will not only upgrade the poor segment of society but also bring together the variety of individuals close enough to understand each other.
Key Words: Madrassah Education System, Structural Influences Behavior, Students’
Outcomes, Educational Reform, Civic Health, System Thinking, Professionalism Syed Waqas Ali Kausar
National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Department of Governance and Public Policy, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Email: [email protected] Abdul Wahid Sial
National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Department of Management Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Email: [email protected]
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 128
Education is imperative for the development of any society, thus, the role of educational institutions is central in ensuring this development.1 In traditional societies like Pakistan, religion has a wider connectivity and deeper penetration in the socio-political dynamics of society.2 Similarly, Islamic religious educational institutions called ‘Madrassahs’ have wit- nessed sharp quantitative growth in Pakistan over a period of time.3 Ma- drassahs have been widely acknowledged as distinctive feature of Muslim societies for centuries, but in recent times, they incur gamut of responses from public. Most of the Madrassahs draw inspiration from the religion (Islam) and claim to be the inheritors and custodians of religious edu- cation.4 Madrassahs try to establish their legitimacy by linking the tea- chings of Islam religion with them.
It is evident that education has been given immense importance in Islam as the Holy Prophet (PBUH) highlighted the significance of seeking knowledge by saying, “Seek knowledge though you may have to travel to China” (Hadith-e-Zaeef)5 and “the ink of pen of a scholar is better than the blood of a martyr.” In the early days of Islam, mosques were used to be the central place to impart knowledge to Muslims, which later on grew to become Madrassahs in 11th century,6 as institutions of learning in the Islamic world. Since then, a Madrassah has been considered as an epitome of religious and worldly education as well as a hub of social, economic and political activities in Islamic history.
Today, in most of the Islamic countries Madrassahs exist as part of a broader educational infrastructure. In Indian and Pakistan, Madrassahs have been in existence for centuries. In 1947, after independence, about 189 Madrassahs were inherited by Pakistan.7 By 2012, this figure enhanced to 12,900 Madrassahs with an estimated 1.9803 million students enrolled in them.8The literacy rate in Pakistan is 60 %, out of which almost 50 % of students are directly and indirectly associated with Madrassah system in Pakistan. In other words, 50 % of educated youth portion associated with Madrassahs. This youth belong to the lower economic class of society.9 These are only confined to religious education and can only be employed in religious sectors (Imam Masjid and Khadibs of Mosque etc.).10
In order to involve religious scholars in the political system, the government created an Auqaf Department to regulate Madrassahs and bring religious institutions under state control by integrating them in the formal sector.11 After a few years, the clergy was excluded from political system, public policy, and decisions making in Pakistan. It is not capable enough to interpret Islamic principles in the contemporary context.12 Therefore; Madrassahs do not hold the same prominent position in our
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 129 society as they once did because they are largely drifted away from their prime objective of imparting need-based and market-oriented education.
Besides a few exceptions, there is an agreement among observersthat most of the Madrassahs in South Asia follow obsolete curricula,13 impart superstitious concepts,14 teach antiquated social values,15 and produce a workforce without the skills necessary to become active participants in society.16 Emphasis is put on the rote learning rather than the critical study of the Quran, and considerable prestige is still attached to becoming a hafiz––knowing the Quran by heart.17 Although Madrassahs perform an important service through imparting education to mostly poor segment of the society in Pakistan, yet at the same time, they are not able to contribute effectively in changing the social status of the deprived members of society struggling to improve their quality of life.
Previous literature about Madrassahs only focused on education system of Madrassahs and its link with extremism, terrorism, and the need for reform. There is no empirical study about the Madrassah system and its impact on the students’ output in Pakistan. As a result, the issue of Madrassah education and its impact on the students’ outcome has remained controversial and open to further investigation The main objective of the current study is to investigate structural influences on the Madrassah students: the Madrassah structural influences on the outcome of the students in terms of civic health, system thinking and professional development. The study will also redefine scope of influence or suggest how to improve structure of Madrassah in terms of imparting need-based and market-oriented education to their students.
Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of the study are:
To evaluate the outcomes of students of Madrassahs within the perspective of existing knowledge-based economy;
To find out whether Madrassahs’ students are capable or not with regard to needs and orientation of the market;
To explore the significant impact of structural indicators of Madrassahs on the outcomes of the students in Pakistan.
The word Madrassah is an Arabic word which means school, but in its contemporary meaning, a Madrassah is an educational institution: primary, secondary, or advanced, offering lessons in Islamic subjects.18 It is observed that in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India Madrassah usually refers to Islamic religious schools at the primary and secondary levels. It can be
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 130 said that the Madrassahs impart education that fulfill spiritual needs of the society. The Madrassah institutions can be divided into four categories.19 One is Maktab which is primary or part-time religious or Quranic school. It focuses on Quranic recitation and memorization. Its terminal certificate is known as ‘Batavia’. The second type of Madrassah is called Thatani/Khasa (Secondary Level).20 The third category of Madrassah is called Dar-al-Alum which includes higher secondary and graduation level called Wustani/Aliya (Bachelor’s Degree). The fourth category is called Jamia which is equi- valent to a university imparting higher qualification up to post-graduation and specialization level called Foqani/Almiya (Master’s Degree).21In other words, these four types of Madrassahs can be compared with the present secular education system which is comprised of primary, secondary, higher secondary and university levels.
The notion of existing Madrassah structure did exist in earlier days of Islam.22 While discussion about the separation of education between reli- gious and non-religious is not a new phenomenon, yet its mention is hardly ever noted in the Islamic education history before the British rule in subcontinent. It has been discussed in previous literature that earliest Madrassahs were established in 8th century and used to be the center of learning including subjects of science, administration, arts, and religion. It is evident that in the early days of Islam, Madrassahs were the source of religious as well as need-based and market-oriented education23. It is argued that the development of current Madrassahs’ curriculum can be traced back to late 17th century when Mullah Nizamuddin Sehalvi set up a Madrassah at Firangi Mahal, Lucknow, India. Its comprehensive curricula was named as Dars-e-Nizami.
It contains “revealed sciences” (wahhi) and “rational sciences”
(ma’qulat).24 The revealed sciences cover the study of the Holy Quran, Hadith, and Islamic jurisprudence, whereas the rational sciences encompass Arabic language and grammar, Persian language and grammar, logic, rhetoric, and philosophy. Although the Madrassahs, established in 17th century in subcontinent, played a significant role in religious education, yet in reality this system has restricted the thinking minds and output of its students.
During the colonial rule in subcontinent, Madrassahs’ role was limited to only Fiqah.25 The main reason of its limitation to only religious education was the replacement of Persian as official language by English.
In the consequence of replacement of Persian, the people of Madrassahs were totally isolated from governmental jobs, public policy making, administration and management of the country. The British rule in subcontinent worsened the situation of Madrassahs’ students by closing the door of official jobs. Later, in order to preserve its core, Madrassahs it got limited to sect-based curricula only. Over a period of time, the populace connected with Madrassahs had created an aura around them and tended to stay within it. As a result, two categories of educational system
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 131 developed: one Islamic, the other secular.26 This separation restricted the poor segment of the society to only religious sector, and isolated them from public and private sector of the country.
After the 9/11 terrorist attack in USA, Madrassahs received imperative position at international level, due to the general perception that Madrassahs create a bulk of extremists and terrorists.27 There are impartial views of researchers and analyst that although all Madrassahs do not have a direct link with terrorism and extremism, approximately 10-15 % do have such link.28 It is because that Madrassahs have not realized the importance of need-based education. Its sect-specific Islamic curricula without any integration with sciences, arts, and humanities set them apart from the secular education system.29 Before the terrorist attack on USA, although Madrassahs were imparting specific type of education, yet they were believed as peaceful and respectful. But after this incident, the global perception about Madrassahs has changed to a negative one.
Some of the religious figures who have access to the power corridors are driven by political expediency. They maintain their domains through generations as in the case of tribal leaders and by design keep their people unaware and uneducated in apprehension of any possible resistance in case they get enlightenment. At lower level as well, the Madrassahs are run as dynastic regimes.30 Any effort of modernization is considered as an attack on religion without giving any deliberation to the idea and its intent. This is done to maintain the status quo since they fear that there will be loss of existing status.31 Well educated and qualified people will take over their domains, which they have preserved over generations following the same system.
About the current situation of Madrassahs, Walt Kelly said in his famous book Pogo (cited in Senge, 1994):32 “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Basically backwardness of educational philosophy of Madrassahs is widely perceived as the main barrier in advancement of students’
outcomes and their quality of life.33
“Muslim civilization and culture also dominated the world when Muslims were on top of every field of education i.e. science, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, law, literature so on and so forth. It was the time when Madrassahs produced luminaries such as Alberuni, Ibn Sina, al-Khwarizmi etc. Both Muslims and non-Muslims used to study in Madrassahs exactly the way people now prefer to study in Harvard and Oxford Universities”.34
The only difference is that Madrasah were governed by religious scholars, whereas current secular education system is governed and administered by the government. Islam is complete code of life and not
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 132 limited only to sectarian and religious thoughts. It is not confined to one profession like religious sector and institutions. However, the present structure of Madrassahs makes them professional institutes from the very beginning. It is predefined that students who are admitted even at primary level will be getting only religious education, leaving no other choices of professions but only Islam as profession.35 No one is able to join any other profession since the curricula of basic education in Madrassahs is not designed to cater for such options. If such choices are not accounted for then it is impossible to establish modern education system capable of taking on all challenges and standing on equal footing with other conventional institutions.
Due to these circumstances, the students of Madrassahs are ineffective in the current knowledge-based economy. It is actually the influence of systematic structure of Madrassahs on students’ behavior and proficiency.
In 1994, Senge presented a theory ‘structural influences behavior’, where he argued: “different people in the same structure tend to produce qualitatively similar results. When there are problems, or performance fails to live up to what is intended, it is easy to find someone or something to blame. But, more often than we realize, systems cause their own crises, not external forces or individuals' mistakes.”36
According to this theory, there are three main factors involved in the current Madrassahs, such as Systematic Structure (generative), Patterns of Behavior (responsive) and Events (reactive). The existing specific sys- tematic structure of Madrassahs was generated after the colonial rule in subcontinent.37 The main purpose of the exiting generative structure of Madrassahs was to restrict its sphere to only religious thought, especially Fiqah and other related knowledge. In consequence of exiting generative structure of Madrassahs; thinking, actions and outcomes of Madrassahs’
students (patterns of behavior) are kept limited to only religion and they can only be employed in religious sectors as khateeb or imam.38 As a result, it creates different conflicting narratives: terrorism and extremism (events) in society which further fuels fraction, frustration and conflict in the society.39
Unfortunately, defenders of the existing Madrassah system still view its traditional approach as a way to preserve Islamic heritage40 and obscure any drive of modernization under the debris of medievalism. They refuse to embrace any idea that does not appear compatible with their domain of reasons and intellect.41 Although Madrassahs perform an important service in Pakistan, yet at the same time, they cannot contribute effectively in changing the social status of the deprived members of society struggling to improve their quality of life.
The poor children join Madrassahs with a great ray of hope for advancement but it often does not come true, since Madrassahs fail to bring them in the mainstream and at par with the other students or professionals in society. As result, it shows that systematic generative
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 133 structure of the Madrassahs leads students’ outcome toward ineffec- tiveness. It is, therefore, need of the hour that measures to improve the Madrassah education should be adopted which could lead to the sus- tainable growth of the underdeveloped and impoverish community.
This study is based on three main hypotheses:
H1. Curriculum of Madrassahs significantly influences the effective- ness of students in Pakistan.
H2. Pedagogy of the Madrassahs significantly influences the effective- ness of students in Pakistan.
H3. Openness in religious thoughts of the Madrassahs structure signi- ficantly influences the effectiveness of students in Pakistan.
Methodology Research Design
The research design of the current study is involved a hypothesized cause and effect relationship, in other words, with regard to current model, the existing Madrassah structure cause the deficiencies (effects) in students in terms of best system thinkers, good citizens of the country and sound professionals in their fields. For this purpose, the researchers used structural equation modeling for examination of relationship among the several latent variables such as curriculum, pedagogical practices, and openness in thoughts, system thinking, civic health and professionalism in the students of the Madrassahs. The current model is supported by theory
“structural influences behavior,” which is not only sphere of academic world (learning organization), but also proved by the observations of real- world behaviors (beer game) (Senge, 1994). The researcher also used T-test and Kruskal Wallius rank test for measurement of effectiveness on the basis of standard value 4 (agree) which shows that if the Madrassahs are meeting the standard value or near to standard (significant difference), it elaborate that it is effective and respondent are admitting this fact.
The instrument has been developed in Urdu through previous literature review. Most of the concepts have been taken for questionnaire development from different studies, such as.42The content validity was established through correction and reviews by the public policy makers about the Madrassah and policy makers of minstry of education. The instrument was edited, more items were added and some items were excluded from the questionnaire. The questionnaire was then reviewed by three Ph.D. scholars for clarity, accuracy and authenticity of the in- strument. To measure items a 1-5 Likert scale was used (where 5 = strongly agree, 4 = agree, 3= nuetral, 2= disagree and 1= strongly disagree). After the
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 134 completion of observations by reiew, necessary amendments in ques- tionnaire were made and formed for pilot testing. Initially, the reliability was checked from the data collected from a sample of 40 respondents (eight respondanets from each of major school of thoughts i.e.Barelvi, Deobandi, Jamat-e-Islami, Shia and Sulfi) from Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to analyze the reliability of the constructs of instrument. Alpha values from 0.70 or more are considered as good indicator of reliability. The Cronbach’s alpha values for all were from 0.71 to 0.87, therefore, it suggests good reliability. A total of sixty two (62) items were the part of the questionnaire.
Stratified non-probability sampling technique was used for sample selection. Total population of Madrassahs’ students is divided into five homogeneous subgroups (strata) such as Barelvi, Deobandi, Jamat-e-Islami, Shia and Salafi in Pakistan. These strata are mutually exclusive with each other in terms of ownership (school of thought), control, religious ranking, Fiqah and working conditions. Then Non-probability (con- venience) sampling was used within each stratum for selection of sample.
Sample of the study comprised of 600 respondents from different schools of thoughts. They were studing in final stage (Dora-e-Hadith) and com- pleted 6 years education after matric which is equal to bachelors degree.
This includes 150 students (25%) from Barelevi school of thought, 150 stu- dents (25 %) from Deobandi school of thought and 100 students (16.67%) from each other schools of thoughts such as Jamat-e-Islami, Shia and Salafi as shown in Table 1. Questionnaires were self delivered and collected from each respondent by visiting in Madrassahs. SEM analysis is very sensitive to the ratio of sample size to the number of predictor’s variables. As a result it is suggested that 300 observations should be availed for the study.43 In the current study, there are 600 observations available for SEM analysis.
Data Analysis and Results
Reliabilty and Validity of Instrument
It is mandatory for variables and their dimension to check validity and reliability analysis before their use in the model. Validity tests were executed in four phases: unidimensionality and reliability, convergent va- lidity and discriminant validity. Unidimensionality checks extent to which the different elements in a construct measures are in similar construct.
Unidimensionality was checked by using Confrimatory Factory Analysis (CFA) and Comparative Fit Index (CFI). The reliability of the scales was checked by calculating Cronbach’s alpha value for each of the variables.
Relibilty and validity of the instrument was checked and shown in Table 2 which demonstrates that variables of the insturment are suitable for the model or further analysis.
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 135 Furthermore, discriminate validity is the extent to which the dif- ferent latent variables in an instrument and their items are unique enough to be differentiated from the other varibales and their items.44 This type of validity can be checked if the square root of Average Variance Ex- tracted (AVE) of a latent construct is greater than its correlation with other latent variables.45 Moreover, if AVE is greater than 0.50 it also shows good convergent validity. The square root of AVE are shown diagonally in Table 3 and value of all the constructs are greater than the absolute value of its correlation with other latent variables hence confirm discriminant.
Findings of the Study
Madrassahs’ Students’ Effectiveness
The result of (Table 4) T-test depicts that Madrassahs’ students are ineffective since respondents believe that they lack in the dimensions of effectiveness. Bulk of the students agreed that most of them did not go for higher education in Islamic Studies in local or foreign universities, and those who opted for further education lag behind as compared to the students of conventional schools/colleges. They are also not been able to join professional colleges. They seldom go for higher education and tend to adjust themselves in the existing religious sphere. Few students do join Islamic Studies in local colleges and universities after getting the equi- valence certificates. However, there is hardly any student of Madrassahs who goes for higher studies abroad either in Islamic or any other con- temporary studies. The Madrasah students, who take on subjects other than Islamic one, normally lag behind others. These students suffer from a lot of difficulties while competing with the mainstream students, es- pecially those who are schooled in English. In order to make up for the deficiencies and bridge the gaps, they have to make an extra effort at their own by taking additional coaching classes/courses.
A large number of students of Madrassahs agreed that they were not able to join the government and private sectors except for khateebs or lower level workmanship which did not warrant any educational quali- fication. The post degree employment of Madrassahs’ students is narrow and predestined. In most of the cases they join only religious sector. They become Imam, Moaallum, Khateeb, Mufti etc. after completion of Madra- ssah degrees.46 The religious services of the society on deaths and marri- ages etc. are offered by them. These services can otherwise be fulfilled by any good Muslim. No other professionals like doctors, engineers, scientists etc. are produced. Even these students rarely become teachers of Islamic Studies in conventional colleges/universities, especially in the public sector. The small number which is able to join conventional schools and colleges can do so after getting degrees from the mainstream insti- tutions.47
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 136 Research is considered as the most important tool of education in the present day environment but there is no trend of carrying out any kind of research in Madrassahs. They have the general perception that whatever research is being carried out by their predecessors centuries ago hold good and equally applicable in present environment. Besides, they are not even capable of conducting any fresh research. This tendency has seized their ability to analyze, correlate and apply logical without rigidity.
Presently Madrassahs are not playing an effective role which is required to reduce sectarian divide and conflicts in society.48 Majority of the students consulted during the course of research believed that Madrassahs have great contribution in promoting literacy among the Muslims but it is fact that education system followed in Madrassahs is not effective and need based for the present time.
Six model fit indexes (GFI, AGFI, NFI, CFI and RMSEA) were con- sidered to check the fitness of the model.49 It is concluded that on the basis of observed values obtained model has suitable fitness as shown in Table 5.
Findings and Hypothesis Testing
The model was checked by using data received from 600 respondents from different schools of thought. SEM path analysis was used to test the hypothesis therein. Figure 1 shows the standardized regression coef- ficients of hypothesized paths and also the loadings of latent indicator of variable. Beta coefecient of curiculum regading system thinking, civic health and professionalism are -0.129, -0.243 and -0.237 respectively signi- ficant at 99 % confidence level (p<.001). H1 assumed that curiculum of Madrassahs significantly influences students’ effectivenes. Results of SEM support the hypothesis 1 but this influence is negative. All the dimensions of contribution to curiculum are significant. Similarly, beta coefecient of pedagogy regading system thinking, civic health and professionalism are 0.354, 0.416 and 0.482 respectively significant at 99 % confidence level (p<.001). H2 assumes that pedagogy of Madrassahs significantly influences effectivenes of students. Result of SEM supports the this hypothesis but this influence is positive. All the dimensions of contribution to measure- ment of pedagogy are significant. Openness in religious thoughts: beta coficients regading system thinking, civic health and professionalism are - 1.214, -1.826 and -1.684 respectively significant at 99 % confidence level (p<.001). H3 assumed that openness in religious thoughts significantly influences students’ effectivenes. Result of SEM suports the hypothesis 3 but this influence is negative. All the dimensions of contribution to mea- surement of openness are significant. All the hypotheses are accepted on the basis of result which are shown in Table 6.
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 137 Discussion
Existing literature supports the findings of this study. Result of SEM illustrate that curriculum of Madrassahs negatively and significantly influences the effectiveness of the students in terms of system thinking, civic health and professionalism. It also demonstrates that curriculum of the Madrassahs is not capable of creating the system thinking in students, improving the civic health such as civic engagement, political participa- tion, social connectedness, and personal development regarding professio- nal traits like intellectual capabilities, logical thinking, practical work competencies and communication skills. This is also confirmed by the previous literature on Madrassahs and its effects on students’ effective- ness.50 It can also be deduced from the results that contents of Madrassah’s curriculum do not contain the subjects which create analytical develop- ment, synthesis development and intellectual development in students.
Curriculum of the Madrassahs also excludes subjects like mathema- tics, statistics, creative arts, language, and technological education. Sub- jects of Social Sciences such as society & environmental education, politi- cal science, geography, history, information and communication are also not included in the contents of curriculum in Madrassahs.51 Since Madra- ssahs do not cater for diverse fields which the students chose to join after degree, these become professional institutes from the very start leaving behind no choice for students. By following the existing curricula, the employment opportunities for students are scarce and do not help stu- dents become extrovert.52 The curricula is not in accordance with the international standards followed in other Madrassahs of the world. In other Madrassahs, such as Al-Azhar University, almost all the religious and no theological subjects are taught.
The pedagogy of Madrassahs significantly influences the effectiveness of the students in terms of system thinking, civic health and professionalism. This is also confirmed by previous literature on Madrassahs and its effects on students’ effectiveness.53 Madrassahs have typical class room management and organization. Teaching is conducted like a regular school classroom without any proper divisions of levels. In most of the cases, students from different levels sit in the same class and one teacher gives those lessons separately in accordance with the pre- scribed curriculum.54 However, there is no monitoring system of teachers to check their teaching abilities. Students of different ages study in the same class and teachers do not cater much for individual difference in learning. Teaching hours are much longer than the regular schools.55 They are spread from sunrise to sunset, with lunch, prayer and afternoon breaks, since Madrassahs also provide boarding and lodging. Most of the teachers are untrained and there is no provision of training: pre-service or in-service. There is neither any orientation program nor any Madrassah Teacher Training Institute.56 As a result of untrained teachers, the edu- cational objectives of Madrassahs remain unfulfilled.
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 138 Openness was the recurrent subject of objections and disagreement in general discussions. Openness may take many forms, including active or passive, overt or covert, individual or organized, aggressive or timid.
Openness in religious thought significantly, but negatively, infleunces the effectivenss of students in terms of system thinking, civic health and professionalism. It demonstrates that inflexibility in interpretation of Isla- mic thoughts and lack of updated scientific knowledge are the main hurdles57 in the way of progress regarding creation of system thinking, civic health improvement and professional skills development in terms of the field work. Openness in thoughts and personality stems from some attributes like authority Madrassah, risk of overload in current tasks due to change, lack of skills and experience, job security, disagreement with the modernization and skepticism about the need for change.58 It is also influenced by some other dimensions like resistance to change,59 belief on fundamental thoughts, focus on only religious values,60 and least interaction with modern civil society actors.
Openness in thoughts help maintain status quo since Madrassahs fear they will lose their existing status and respect, and the quality of life. They also feel that there will be a loss of power, control and influence. The other individuals will take over their domain and will hurt their interests.
They are often careful to camouflage this by claiming that Madrassah re- forms are supposedly counterproductive or ‘anti-Islam.’. They do not believe in any modern Madrassahs education system, nor they believe such modern model ever existed in modern times. At times, those who run Madrassahs, also get under peer pressures, and under pressures from society. They believe if they support the modernization of Madrassahs there will be strong reaction against them threatening their very survival.
On the face of it, they show resistance along with others even if their thoughts correspond to the idea of modernization.
This study has investigated whether the Madrassah structure influ- ences the effectiveness of students in Pakistan or not. The study is based on the theory of structure influences behavior.61 The structure of Madra- ssahs is measured through three main variables such as curriculum, peda- gogy and openness in religious thoughts. The effectiveness of students of Madrassahs is measured in terms of best system thinker, good citizen of country and professional in his field. Data was collected from 600 respondents from different schools of thought such as Barelvi, Deobandi, Jamat-e-Islami, Shia and Salafi in Pakistan. The results of structural equation modeling exhibit that curriculum and openness in religious thoughts negatively and significantly influence the students’ effectiveness in terms of best system thinker, good citizen of country and professional in his field.
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 139 Similarly, pedagogical practices positively and significantly influence the students’ effectiveness in terms of best system thinkers, good citizens of the country and sound professionals in their fields. No nation in the world can progress in an intellectual and scientific void. With the under- lying currents of knowledge, it can assist them to develop a sense of creative thinking and productive activities and engaged living. Reforms in the educational system of Madrassahs in Pakistan can help their students adopt more productive course by accessing the mainstream of professions.
This will not only upgrade the poor segment of society but also bring together the variety of individuals close enough to understand each other.
The students of Madrassahs will get equal opportunities to progress and become more useful members of society in terms of modern workforce, as well as spreading the light of Islam by imparting it to all segments of the society.
In light of statistical results, theoretical discussion, and support of hypotheses H1 to H3, recommendations are offered to improve the educa- tional standard of Madrassahs.
First, the Madrassah system should be reformed in terms of curri- culum in Pakistan because the existing curriculum only focuses on reli- gious education and inculcates only religious thoughts in the students.
New subjects like sciences, arts and humanities etc. should be included in the contents of its curriculum. At the primary level, English and mathe- matics should be introduced. Pakistan/social studies, elementary science and computer science should also be integrated at secondary level which should be taught along with the religious curricula. Slowly and gradually, Madrassahs should raise its level equivalent to degree awarding college or the university. The HRD ministry of India has also provided that Madra- ssahs may opt either to introduce modern subjects in their syllabus or get affiliation from the state boards or the students of these Madrassahs may take examinations for open schools.62
Second, teachers should use existing teaching aids/tools for effective teaching to the students. Modern technical equipment such as computers, CD/DVD players, multimedia, audio visual aids, laboratories and libraries etc. should be made available to Madrassahs. Teachers must be trained to operate these modern technical devices for pedagogical purposes. The tools of effective learning as discussions, demonstrations, presentations, simulations, tutorials, seminars etc. must also be kept in practice. It is necessary that training workshops should be carried out Madrassahs’
teachers. There are a number of free teacher training workshops which are being organized by the government and non-government sectors but Madrassahs’ teachers often stay away from such activities due to their set perceptions. They should be encouraged to join such workshops and take the memberships of teacher training institutes for better training,
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 140 learning and interaction. In India, workshops for the training of teachers of Madrassahs are being organized under Madrassahs education boards and other conventional educational boards. Activities on similar lines can also be started in Pakistan.
Lastly, the openness in religious thoughts must be addressed intelligently through intellectual debates and seminars on different matters of fear and skepticism about change and conflict.
Table 1: Sample of the study
Category Frequency Percentage
Male 400 66.67
Female 200 33.33
School of Thought
Bralevi 150 25
Deobandi 150 25
Jamat-e-Islami 100 16.67
Shia 100 16.67
Sulfi 100 16.67
Table 2: Uni-dimensionality, Convergent Validity and Reliability
Factor Indicators CFI Loading Cronbach's alpha
Curriculum 0.994 0.752
Analytical Development (CR1) 0.626
Synthesis development (CR2) 0.852
Intellectual development (CR3) 0.835
Instructor attributes (PDG1) 0.986 0.803 0.781
Class Rooms Standard (PDG2) 0.661
Learning Environment (PDG3) 0.768
Openness 1 0.871
Openness in religious thoughts (RGD1) 0.678 Fundamental Norm and Values (RGD2) 0.636
Power and control (RGD3) 0.745
Civic Health 0.938 0.821
Civic Engagement (CH1) 0.681
Civic Participation (CH2) 0.751
Social connectedness(CH3) 0.745
System Thinking 1 0.734
General accepted Behavior (ST1) 0.661
Seeing problem as whole (ST2) 0.751
Seeing problem in circular relationship (ST3) 0.768
Professionalism 0.912 0.712
Intellectual Capabilities (PRF1) 0.84
Rational thinking (PRF2) 0.84
Practical work competencies (PRF3) 0.671
Communication skills (PRF4) 0.803
Source: Author's calculation Table 3: Discriminated validity
CR AVE Curriculum Pedagogy Openness System Thinking Civic Health Professionalism Curriculum 0.9 0.6 (.506)**
Pedagogy 0.87 0.75 .836** (.584)**
Openness 0.82 0.66 .533** .534** (.509)**
System Thinking 0.86 0.68 .714** .677** .689** (.506)**
Civic Health 0.84 0.56 .784** .692** .695** .508** (.508)**
Professionalism 0.81 0.65 .628** 0.782 0.451 0.891 .695** (.728)**
Note:**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed); Source:
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 141 Table 4: Summary of result about effectiveness
Effectiveness T Df Sig. Difference
Positive rank Madrasah students join universities for higher studies -3.99 599 0.000 -0.407 6% 94%
Madrasah students go abroad for higher studies -6.18 599 0.000 -0.594 3% 97%
Madrasah students join professional colleges -7.49 599 0.000 -0.640 1% 99%
Madrasah students become teachers in colleges -2.64 599 0.011 -0.194 2% 98%
Madrasah students become teachers in universities 3.54 599 0.001 0.160 2% 98%
Madrasah students are able to join government jobs -5.62 599 0.000 -0.404 5% 95%
Madrasah students are able to join professions in private sector -2.95 599 0.005 -0.215 10% 90%
Madrasah are major source of resolving conflicts in society -2.83 599 0.007 -0.237 22% 78%
Madrasah students conduct researches in various fields -2.13 599 0.039 -0.111 8% 92%
Note: Negative ranks: variables for which standard value (4=agree) is Less than respondents opinion
Positive ranks: variables for which standard value (4=agree) is greater than respondents opinion
Figure1: Model of Madrassahs Structure influence on effectiveness of Students Table 5: Summary indexes about the model fitness
Indexes Standard value Observed
x2/df ≤3.00 1.67 Wheaton et al. (1977) and Carmines and McIver (1981) GFI ≥0.90 0.92 Jöreskog and Sörbom (1984)Jöreskog and Sörbom (1984) AGFI ≥0.80 0.87 Jöreskog and Sörbom (1984) Jöreskog and Sörbom (1984) NFI ≥0.90 0.95 Bentler & Bonett (1980) and Bollen (1989b)
CFI ≥0.90 0.9 Bentler (1990)
RMSEA ≤0.080 0.056 Browne and Cudeck (1993)
GFI = goodness-of-fit index; AGFI = adjusted goodness-of-fit index; NFI
= Normed fit index; CFI = comparative fit index; RMSEA = root mean square error of approximation
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 142 Table 6: Summary of Regression Weights
Dependent Variables Independent Variables Estimate S.E. C.R. P System Thinking <--- Curriculum -0.129 0.022 -5.802 ***
Civic Health <--- Curriculum -0.243 0.035 -7.011 ***
Professionalism <--- Curriculum -0.237 0.031 -7.566 ***
System Thinking <--- Pedagogy 0.354 0.049 7.284 ***
Civic Health <--- Pedagogy 0.416 0.058 7.223 ***
Professionalism <--- Pedagogy 0.482 0.057 8.438 ***
System Thinking <--- Openness -1.214 0.313 -3.878 ***
Civic Health <--- Openness -1.826 0.454 -4.021 ***
Professionalism <--- Openness -1.684 0.419 -4.022 ***
CR3 <--- Curriculum 1
CR2 <--- Curriculum 0.398 0.052 7.708 ***
CR1 <--- Curriculum -0.424 0.051 -8.341 ***
PDG3 <--- Pedagogy 1
PDG2 <--- Pedagogy 1.149 0.115 9.964 ***
PDG1 <--- Pedagogy 1.258 0.124 10.134 ***
RGD3 <--- Openness 1
RGD2 <--- Openness -2.39 0.589 -4.057 ***
RGD1 <--- Openness -3.413 0.836 -4.084 ***
ST1 <--- System Thinking 1
ST2 <--- System Thinking 1.461 0.152 9.595 ***
ST3 <--- System Thinking 1.411 0.151 9.364 ***
CH1 <--- Civic Health 1
CH2 <--- Civic Health 0.995 0.078 12.783 ***
CH3 <--- Civic Health 0.923 0.08 11.564 ***
PRF1 <--- Professionalism 1
PRF2 <--- Professionalism 0.935 0.077 12.186 ***
PRF3 <--- Professionalism 1.183 0.091 12.95 ***
PRF4 <--- Professionalism -0.696 0.091 -7.616 ***
1Acknowledgments: The authors wish to express their gratitude to Aamir Majeed Malghani (PhD Scholar), Dr. Alyas Qadeer Tahir, Shahid Habib and Sehar Zulfiqar (PhD Scholar) who contributed to this research through their scholarly input and support in questionnaire development. The authors are also thankful to Ershad Mahmud for his continuous support during research. Heartiest thanks go to all clerics and Madrassah’s Students who spared their precious time and actively participated in this survey. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mr. Abdul Wahid Sial, Department of Management Sciences, National University of Modern Languages, Sector H-9, and Islamabad, Pakistan.
2 Mumtaz Ahmad, “Madrassa Education”, Religion and Security in South Asia, (Honolulu, Hawaii: Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 19-22 August, 2002):
3 Saleem H. Ali, Islam and education: conflict and conformity in Pakistan's Madrassas, (Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press, 2009), 34.
4 Sultan Ali, and Muhammad Assad Durrani, Madrssah reform and state power in Pakistan, (Rawalpindi, Pakistan: Friedrich Naumann foundation for freedom, 2012), 45.
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 143
5 Hadith-e-Zaeef, “Atqan Ma Yahsan Min Alakhbar alwartah allalsun, Imam Ghazi”, By Imam Ghazi, 62. (Bairot: Daral-ul-kutub ul-ilmia, Retrieved in 2013), 62.
6 Christopher M. Blanchard, Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas: Background, (Congressional Research Service, 2008), 56.
7 “Education Statistics”, Pakistan Economic Survey, (Islamabad: Ministry of Finance, 2012), Chapter 10, 145.
8 “Education Statistics”, 145.
9 “Education Statistics”, 145.
10 Aziz Talbani, “Pedagogy, Power, and Discourse: Transformation of Islamic Education”, Comparative Education Review, 40 (1) (1996): 23-34.
11 Talbani, 45.
12 Jan-Peter Hartung and Helmut Refeifeld, Islamic Education, Diversity and National Identity: Dînî Madâris in India Post 9/11 (New Delhi, Thousand Oaks, London: SAGE Publications, 2006), 21.
13 Sumbul Farah, “Aqeeda, Adab and Aitraaz: Modalities of ‘being’ Barelwi .”
Contributions to Indian Sociology, (2012): 259-281.
14 Sultan Ali, and Muhammad Assad Durrani, 33.
15 Jamal Malik, Colonization of Islam: Dissolution of Traditional Institutions in Pakistan, (Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 1996), 12.
16 Rauf Klasra, “Curricula of 8,000 Madaris Being Changed”, International News, June 10, (2002): 4.
17 Jan-Peter Hartung and Helmut Refeifeld, 11.
18 Rauf Klasra, 4.
19 Rauf Klasra, 4.
20 Ali Riaz, Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia, (New Brunswick,New Jersey, and London: Rutgers University Press, 2008), 12.
21 Talbani, 25.
22 Sultan Ali, and Muhammad Assad Durrani, 65.
23 Mumtaz Ahmad, 23; Saleem H. Ali, Islam and education: conflict and conformity in Pakistan's Madrassas, (Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press, 2009), 66; Sultan Ali, and Muhammad Assad Durrani, 5; Khawar Hayat, “No room for doubt and division”, The News International, September 25, (2008): 5.
24 Jamal Malik, 15.
25 Jamal Malik, 16.
26 Sultan Ali, and Muhammad Assad Durrani, 31.
27 Talbani, 22.
28 Stefon Matt, Islamic belief and practices, (New York: Britannica Educational Publishing, 2010), 45.
29 Ali Riaz, 28.
30 Talbani, 19.
31 Talbani, 44.
32 Peter M. Senge, “Prisoners of the System or Prisoners of our own thinking.” Art and Practices of Learning Orgnization, by Peter M. Senge, (New York, United States of America: Doubleday, 1994), 32.
33 Muhammad Qasim Zaman. “Religious Education and Rhetoric of Reform: The Madrassa in British India and Pakistan’, Comparative Studies in Society and History.” Cambridge Journal, 41, issue 2, 66 (1999): 22.
34 Syed Usman Shah, Waqas Ali Kausar, and Abdulwahid Sial, “Need based education and madrasah system; a comprehensive analysis of meanstream schools
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 144 of thought in Pakistan.” Merit research journal, (2014): 10-25.
35 Alex Moore, “ Key Issues in Teaching and Learning”, in Teaching and learning:
pedagogy, curriculum and culture, (United Kingdom: Routledge, 20005), 5-139.
36 Peter M. Senge, 23.
37 Alex Moore, 55-139.
38 Rauf Klasra, 4.
39 Khawar Hayat, 5.
40 Jan-Peter Hartung and Helmut Refeifeld, 16.
41 Syed Usman Shah, Waqas Ali Kausar, and Abdulwahid Sial, 10-25.
42 Mumtaz Ahmad, 12; Saleem H. Ali, 19; Sultan Ali, and Muhammad Assad Durrani, 26; Rauf Klasra, 4.
43 Joseph F. Hair Jr, Willam C. Black, Barry Babin jr, and Rolph E. Anderson, Multivariate Data Analysis, (New Dehli India: Pearson Education, 2012), 232.
44 Joseph F. Hair Jr, Willam C. Black, Barry Babin jr, and Rolph E. Anderson, 234.
45 T. Teo, and M. S. Khine, “Structural Equation Modeling in Educational Research:
Concepts and Applications”, Sens publisher, (2009).
https://www.sensepublishers.com/files/9789087907891PR.pdf (accessed December 13, 2013).
46 Saleem H. Ali, 29.
47 Rauf Klasra, 4.
48 L. Kincheloe, “Classroom teaching: an introduction”, (New York: Peter Lang, 2005), 28-353.
49 Joseph F. Hair Jr, Willam C. Black, Barry Babin jr, and Rolph E. Anderson, 235.
50 Rauf Klasra, 4.
51 Rauf Klasra, 5.
52 Jan-Peter Hartung and Helmut Refeifeld, 23.
53 Mumtaz Ahmad, 21; L. Kincheloe, 6; George Makdisi, The Rise of Colleges:
Institutions of Learning in Islam and the West, (Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press, 1981): 28; Jamal Malik, 49.
54 Charlene Tan, Islamic Education and Indoctrination: The Case in Indonesia, (New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2011), 67.
55 Aziz Talbani, “Pedagogy, Power, and Discourse: Transformation of Islamic Education”, Comparative Education Review, 40 (1) (1996): 34.
56 Marjana Harcet, “Perceptions of Islamic Soteriology and its Interpretations”, Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 13 issue 38 (Summer 2014): 39-56.
57 Ronie Parciack, “Inscribing a Sufi shrine into the Indian nation-space.”
Contributions to Indian Sociology, (2014): 249-277.
58 Khosrow Bagheri Noaparast, Islamic Education, (Iran-Tehran: Alhoda Publishers, 2001).
59 Ronie Parciack, “Inscribing a Sufi shrine into the Indian nation-space”, Contributions to Indian Sociology, (2014): 249-277.
60 Marjana Harcet, 39-56.
61 Peter M. Senge, 27.
62Madrassas in South Asia: teaching terror?, (Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2008), 37.
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 145
Ahmad, Mumtaz. “Madrassa Education.” Religion and Security in South Asia. Honolulu, Hawaii: Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, 19-22 August, 2002.
Ali, Saleem. H. Islam and education: conflict and conformity in Pakistan's Madrassas. Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Ali, Sultan, and Muhammad Assad Durrani. Madrassah reform and state power in Pakistan . Rawalpindi, Pakistan : Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, 2012.
Blanchard, Christopher M. Islamic Religious Schools, Madrasas:
Background. Congressional Research Service, 2008.
“Education Statistics.” In Pakistan Economic Survey. Islamabad:
Ministry of Finance, 2012.
Farah, Sumbul. “Aqeeda, Adab and Aitraaz: Modalities of ‘being’
Barelwi.” Contributions to Indian Sociology. (2012): 259-281.
Hadith-e-Zaeef. “Atqan Ma Yahsan Min Alakhbar alwartah allalsun, Imam Ghazi.” By Imam Ghazi, 62. Bairot: Daral-ul-kutub ul-ilmia, Retrieved in 2013.
Hair Jr, Joseph F., Willam C. Black, Barry Babin jr, and Rolph E.
Anderson, Multivariate Data Analysis. New Dehli India: Pearson Education, 2012.
Harcet, Marjana. “Perceptions of Islamic Soteriology and its Interpretations”, Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 13 issue 38 (Summer 2014): 39-56.
Hartung, Jan- Peter, and Helmut Refeifeld. Islamic Education, Diversity and National Identity: Dînî Madâris in India Post 9/11. New Delhi, Thousand Oaks, London: SAGE Publications, 2006.
Hayat, Khawar. “No room for doubt and division.” The News International. September 25, 2008.
Joseph F, Hair Jr, Black Willam C, Babin Barry j, and Anderson Rolph E. Multivariate Data Analysis. New Dehli India: Pearson Education, 2012.
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 146 Kincheloe, L. “Classroom teaching: an introduction.” New York: Peter Lang, 2005.
Klasra, Rauf. “Curricula of 8,000 Madaris Being Changed.”
International News , June 10, 2002.
Madrassas in South Asia: teaching terror?. Abingdon, United Kingdom:
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2008.
Makdisi, George. The Rise of Colleges: Institutions of Learning in Islam and the West. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh University Press, 1981.
Malik, Jamal. Colonization of Islam: Dissolution of Traditional Institutions in Pakistan. Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 1996.
Matt, Stefon. Islamic belief and practices. New York: Britannica Educational Publishing, 2010.
Moore, Alex. “Key Issues in Teaching and Learning.” In Teaching and learning: pedagogy, curriculum and culture, 55-139. United Kingdom: Rout- ledge, 2000.
Noaparast, Khosrow Bagheri. Islamic Education. Iran-Tehran: Alhoda Publishers, 2001.
Parciack, Ronie. “Inscribing a Sufi shrine into the Indian nation- space.” Contributions to Indian Sociology. (2014): 249-277.
Riaz, Ali. Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia. New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London: Rutgers University Press, 2008.
Senge, Peter M. “Prisoners of the System or Prisoners of our own thinking.” In Art and Practices of Learning Orgnization. by Peter M. Senge.
New York, United States of America: Doubleday, 1994.
Shah, Syed Usman, Waqas Ali Kausar, and Abdulwahid Sial. “Need based education and madrasah system; a comprehensive analysis of mean- stream schools of thought in Pakistan.” Merit research journal. (2014): 10-25.
Staples, James. “Introduction: Suicide in South Asia: Ethnographic perspectives.” Contributions to Indian Sociology. (2012): 1-28.
Talbani, Aziz. “Pedagogy, Power, and Discourse: Transformation of Islamic Education.” Comparative Education Review. 40 (1) (1996): 23.
Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, vol. 14, issue 41 (Summer 2015) 147 Tan, Charlene. Islamic Education and Indoctrination: The Case in Indonesia.
New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2011.
Teo, T, and M. S Khine. “Structural Equation Modeling in Educational Research: Concepts and Applications.” Sens publisher. 2009.
https://www.sensepublishers.com/files/9789087907891PR.pdf (accessed December 13, 2013).
Zaman, Muhammad Qasim. “Religious Education and Rhetoric of Reform: The Madrassa in British India and Pakistan’, Comparative Studies in Society and History.” Cambridge Journal. 41 issue 2, 66. (1999): 45.