I had written about the status of education among Muslims. Continuing on that, I would like to add different perspectives to it. I would like to analyze this issue based on male and female education. While some Muslims have taken steps to educate the male members of the community, the female members have been callously ignored and neglected to the background. Parents are ready to send their sons to far off places for education but they are wary with their daughters. Majority of Muslims are still in business, mostly small scale or the ubiquitous import-export business. Business class people are generally more interested in finding ways to expand their business and thus education is a mere formality, often a time pass activity. Their education itself is concentrated on non-science subjects. A friend, whose father has a highly profitable grocery shop, of mine once remarked that he cannot bow down to anyone in the workplace. So for him any job other than managing his grocery shop is like bowing to the wishes of someone else, a highly loathed prospective! And as I have argued why science is prerequisite and an absolute must for the progress of a civilization, the very nature of Muslim society in India has flaws.
There is no dearth of poets and linguists among Muslims today but when it comes to people of science, you need to look with a lamp in your hand and be extremely optimistic .
Females are rarely let out of their home town for education. The reasons, well many and the most important one being that parents fear that their daughters will be engulfed in the tide of modernity that is sweeping the youngsters. And then thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s this universal issue of security. They fear breach of society set norms. No doubt Muslims have taken steps in educating females but up to what extent? For majority of parents education of females is to be such so as to attract a modern Muslim guy! And even that education is restricted to a college near by or perhaps somewhere in the vicinity but never outside home city. That’s not all; girls are forced to marry early, 22 is the demarcation between senility and youth exuberance. So that means graduation is the maximum a girl is allowed to pursue. Post graduation or job is something like an act of blasphemy. Basically her whole education was just to attract a modern guy and nothing else. Parents still don’t see their daughters as an earning hand. The insanity doesn’t ends here. Marriage is generally preferred among family members so that means little interaction with others.
Aqsa has this to add to the topic.
Parents have another fear, those girls who got educated, earned themselves respectable PhDÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, have to spend ages to find a compatible guy. I have seen parents making their girls drop in from high school or college, because one of the girls in the locality is still unmarried as sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s too educated for the rest of the male mob!
But I see a drastic change, compared to what happened five years back! At that time, it was preferred for a girl to complete high school and then get into some home-making diploma course and get married. Marriages were fixed as early as in 16-17 years of age. But now, the situation has changed a lot, that too for good! Now most of the girls make it to a bachelorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s degree which was a luxury till a couple of years back. And some even make it to masters. The people who in their youth, thought that only girls from financially unstable families were supposed to get into a job are now making their girls get into a job themselves!
Though, the job spectrum isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wide enough. They have a narrow range to choose from. Still teaching is considered to be the best option for a girl. And if the girl is exceptionally good in studies, sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s asked to choose medical line. Again a respectable job for a girl! One of my friends, who happen to be a girl, chose science as her area of study. She was the only girl to take science at 10+2 level in her entire clan. People prefer arts just for the sake of a degree and those who want to work with their dads, prefer commerce!
Science is not a very popular option. And when someone takes up science, medical is considered as the only option. She had to spend long sessions explaining the prospects of research. But still time and again, the virtues of being a teacher/doctor were explained to her. Another preferred course is B.U.M.S which is hardly a first choice for any student these days, still many Muslim girls end up doing B.U.M.S or B.H.M.S. She was asked to leave her bachelors degree from Delhi University and join B.U.M.S! She is still struggling with B.Ed and research!
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s true that Muslims are lagging behind in terms of education but a few small changes can be felt now. Not only girls are allowed to study, even the guys are moving ahead of their family business and looking for better options. The change is slow but its there!