Five seminary boards to adopt FBISE syllabusPakistan
ISLAMABAD: The Ittehad-i-Tanzeemat-i-Madaris, an umbrella organisation of five seminary boards, on Wednesday agreed to adopt the syllabus of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) for matriculation and intermediate.
The heads of all five boards agreed to introduce modern education alongside religious education during a meeting chaired by State Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Balighur Rehman.
The federal education ministry will also endorse the establishment of separate boards for all five religious boards according to the already established structure of intermediate and secondary boards. Until the establishment of the new boards, the five boards will work under the existing system, in which the Inter-Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC) issued certificates of equivalence to seminary students.
The meeting decided that the FBISE will provide capacity building training to examiners, exam setters, and paper checkers and markers of the seminaries.
It was also decided that Islamic education would be decided by the Ittehad-i-Tanzeemat-i-Madaris themselves, and the ministry would not interfere in this regard.
The joint education adviser from the education ministry, Rafiq Tahir, confirmed that all five religious boards agreed to adopt the FBISE syllabus for matriculation and intermediate examinations. “Students of religious seminaries, after passing the compulsory subjects of modern education, will be awarded degrees equivalent to matric, FA and BA,” he said.
He said there is an equivalence MA degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies against the Shahdahtul Aliya, the Masters degree from religious seminaries. However, he said there is no proper system for BA, FA or matriculation certificates against religious education.
“It’s a big development,” he said. He added that although the religious boards will adopt the FBISE syllabus, their studies are free to appear in any examination under the FBISE, and any board of intermediate and secondary education of their choice. “Later, we will establish five separate boards for them.”
He said that seminary students studying for their Shahadahtul Aliya in Arabic and Islamic Studies will have to sit for examinations in the compulsory subjects of English, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies during their Bachelors. For Masters degrees in other subjects, seminary students would have to sit for examinations in the aforementioned compulsory subjects as well as two electives of their choice.
For Bachelors and Masters degrees, the recognised syllabus from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the concerned universities will also be taught to seminary students.
It was also decided during the meeting that the HEC’s academic calendar will be adjusted according to the Tanzeemat-i-Madaris’ calendar (May and November). Fee concession, financial aid, books and tutorial workshops will be provided by the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) to students who give their exams through the AIOU.
The federal education ministry will also suggest that the HEC not make the Islamiyat examination compulsory for seminary students, as they would have read extensively on the topic already. The meeting also discussed that only a matriculation certificate would be required for Bachelors and Masters degrees from now on.
Mufti Muneebur Rehman, the general secretary of the Tanzeemat-i-Madaris, said all the religious boards would adopt the FBISE syllabus for matriculation and FA.
“Most of our madaris are already offering modern education alongside religious education. Now we will further focus on modern education as well as enabling our students to compete with other students,” he said.
The meeting was attended by the Federal Secretary Humanyon Khan, Additional Secretary Dr Allah Bakhsh Malik, Mr Tahir, Mr Rehman, Maulana Qari Mohammad Hanif Jalandhry, Maulana Yasin Zafar, Dr Attaur Rehman and Mualana Ghulam Baqir Najfi, FBISE Chairman Dr Ikram Ali Malik, Mohammad Khan Khichi, HEC Director General Mohammad Raza Chauhan, and other officials.
Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2016