Reforms in seminaries

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BRINGING reforms in seminaries has remained a long cherished goal which now appears to be finally heading towards some fruition. The Government and Madaaris umbrella organisation, Wafaq-ul-Madaaris, have reportedly agreed to the format of overhauling the education system of seminaries under which these religious schools will be registered and contemporary subjects such as English, Science and Mathematics will also be taught in them.
Credit definitely goes to Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for playing an important role in developing consensus with the officials of seminaries on this important matter. This has been done in national interest. Talking to the media on Friday, Shafqat Mahmood clarified that the Government is not taking over the seminaries saying these will remain independent. It is a known fact that these seminaries where about three million children belonging to poor families study are the biggest NGOs in the world. What would have happened to these children had there been no seminaries as the Government is already struggling to enrol millions of other out-of-school children over the last few years. Misperceptions need to be removed about seminaries as all of them did not and are not spreading any terrorism or extremism. Whilst it is important to recognize the services of these seminaries for the society, education reforms in these institutions is a step in the right direction to help their students become part of the national mainstream and productive citizens of the society. By studying contemporary subjects, they will also be able to become scientists, computer engineers and join many other fields. Representatives of Wafaq-ul-Madaaris also deserve appreciation for agreeing to the reforms process. Responsibility now rests with the Government to complete the process at the earliest and fully facilitate the seminaries in teaching the modern subjects to their students. Trained teachers should be provided to these institutions to achieve the results of reforms.