Anwar: The Islamic World Should Reform Education to Face Globalisation

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WASHINGTON, US – 12 Dec: It is said that Islamic education has not progressed much from its traditional form with its emphasis on Qur’anic and Hadith studies and while other societies have transformed their systems, Muslim countries are still grappling with the challenges of integrating within modern education.

The PKR General Chief, Anwar Ibrahim, is concerned about the accessibility of education to the people. The need to democratise access to education has been canvassed for some time but this has remained a long-standing problem in Muslim countries.

“The crisis in higher education in Muslim societies is manifested in myriad ways not the least of which are impacting socioeconomic development,” said Anwar at the Wilson Centre, Washington DC in the ‘Reform of Higher Education in Muslim Societies’ programme organised by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC.

Anwar said that among the root causes of the crisis are those related to choice, content, quality and financial resources and issues of governance.

“While other societies have transformed their systems, Muslim countries are still grappling with the challenges of integrating within modern education,” he said.

He added that the Muslim society should not be allergic to the West, and should benefit from their knowledge and education system to develop Muslims.

“There is a general perception in the discourse among many Muslim scholars that Western education and philosophy is secular and bereft of an ethical and moral dimension. To my mind, this is unfounded.”

Therefore, Anwar stressed that the Muslim community, especially intellectuals and teachers, should be ready to meet the needs of a contemporary Islamic community which faces the pressures of globalisation.

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