Shaheen Education Society’s bridge course brings students to SSLC level
Three weeks ago, Muzaffar Ansari from West Bengal, had no idea what the Kannada alphabet looked like. Now, he can read a Kannada textbook prescribed for SSLC students.
Mohammad Omar, from Bihar, always wanted to be a doctor. After six years of religious education in a madrasa, he had little hope left. Now, the 20-year-old is busy preparing for his SSLC examination.
Both boys have completed the Hafiz course offered by madrasas, because of which they can recite the Koran by heart. The rigorous training that prepared them for this not only improved their memory, but also made them hard workers. They have both joined the Hifz-ul-Quran Plus course offered by the Shaheen Education Society here, which brings students who have studied in madrasas and similar religious institutions into the mainstream.
This specially designed course is spread over four stages. The first stage is a six-month foundation course in which basic mathematics, English and Kannada are taught. The second six-month course covers higher mathematics and science. Students are introduced to the SSLC syllabus in the third stage and appear as external students under the National Open School System.
After they pass the SSLC, they can enrol for the Pre-University Course. They also get additional coaching for the Common Entrance Test and other competitive exams to enter professional colleges and other degree courses.
“Most students from the first batch of 60 have been fast learners,” says Abdul Quadeer, secretary of the Shaheen Education Society. He feels this is a unique opportunity for those who passed out of madrasas to seek mainstream education. “This will also help them join higher education courses and seek employment in various sectors,” he said.
“We hit upon this idea when the district administration asked us to run bridge courses for dropouts. We began training them in groups of five and provided individual attention. We later extended it to madrasa-educated students who wanted to take up mainstream education,” Mr. Quadeer said.
An appeal published in Urdu papers has brought students from north Indian States and various districts of Karnataka to Bidar.
“Most boys are from poor families. They have not had opportunities to enter mainstream schools earlier. Their aspiration levels and their urge to study are so high that they have become role models for our regular students,” says teacher Meher Sultana, who supervises the course.