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Polarization within the education system: the key to polarization in society's mindsets?

Madrassas are religious education institutes that have grown to have quite a negative connotation for some and are highly esteemed by others. For the most part, for a country that was founded on the basis of religion, curricula that is focused on Islamic teachings is ideal and in accordance with religious teachings. madrassas eventually bridged the gap that is left void due to the poor education system of the country. So, coupled with belief in education needing to be centered around education and the lack of other options, madrassas have gained numerous supporters. On the flipside, there are those who argue that madrassas preach intolerance and thus contribute to the making of an intolerant society. Examples of the Lal Masjid come to mind when this side of the story is being considered. In the video, it is quite aptly noted that different schooling systems like private schools and madrassas use different syllabi and curricula as a consequence of which the graduates produced are different in nature and in their thinking. Wajahat Ali says, “What is extremely unfortunate is that people who study from these (all different types of schools) institutions develop a degree of distrust and disdain towards each other. They have different kinds of world views and they do not trust each other and they believe that people from other school systems are essentially doing something which is not beneficial for the country and the society.” This skepticism for the other is something everyone of us is guilty of which intensifies the growing polarization within the country that we see around us.

The question which then gets raised is, what can be done to bridge this growing divergence within society and how can the narrative built around madrassas be corrected? A major chunk of the solution could entail getting private and public institutions as well as madrassas to work together in efforts to come up with interactions with each other so that this growing alienation between the two extremes may subside. The government’s involvement in the education sector, provision of good public education, and close monitoring of the curriculum may also be fruitful outlets in bridging this gap.

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