ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Schooling and the Intra-world of Muslim Community

A narrative of the issues, complexities and challenges that Muslim educational institutions face from within, stresses the need to pay attention to schools as independent institutions in order to understand the intricacies of schooling.

The author dedicates this article to the memory of Mushirul Hasan. She acknowledges the valuable comments of the anonymous reviewer.

Varying perceptions persist about the educational backwardness of Muslims in India. However, it is imperative to understand the finer nuances of how minority educational institutions function and the challenges that they face from within, if one wants to address this backwardness seriously. I present a narrative of my journey as a functionary of an educational society which runs a number of schools in Delhi, an assignment that I undertook in an honorary capacity. Through this narrative, I explore my engagement with these schools and try and make sense of the issues and complexities, the idiosyncrasies and challenges that plague Muslim educational institutions as they go about the business of providing education for their community. Through an autoethnographical lens I critically analyse the events that unfolded at these schools during my tenure, place them in a perspective, and try to gauge what ails Muslim education.

My experiences raise many questions. What are the priorities of these educational institutions? What are the negotiations that they have to constantly make? What is the role of the teachers, the parents, and the community? How do they all come together at times in a way that is not necessarily in best interests of their “own” children? This is being studied in the context of a few Muslim minority educational institutions located in the walled city of Delhi. In the context of Delhi, “walled city” conjures up images of Muslims. In some ways, therefore, this is also a narrative of the “intra-world” of the Muslim community. It also records the complexities that arise in attempting to bring about change in what has become a ghettoised setting.

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Updated On : 25th Jan, 2019
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