Abdul Ali Faiq
By: Abdul Ali Faiq
Education is the most important issue in our common life. Without education life will never be life, and humanity will be under great risk of darkness, and there will never be any difference between animal kingdom and mankind! Our ancestor, philosophers, educationist, acadimists, professors, and scientists paid a great deal of attention in education areas.
That is very helpful of them! In the initiation of the history of humanity, houses were the only means of education. The preliminary tribe had individually the mission of educating the children physically, intellectually, and ethically, by arranging the means of the life preparations. This continued until the opening of the ancient ages. The Roman families, in their oldest ages, had full and exclusive supervision on bringing up and educating their children in the various aspects according to distinctive systems that were independent from any public authority. Education was one of the responsibilities of houses. Such educational efforts were confused with other indifferent activities to the degree that education was seen as an unintentional process. Afterward, houses began to look upon the educational affairs intentionally. After the invention of writing. Education depended upon the familiarity with the experts of the previous generations, thanks to the recordings of the explored facts. This added a new household job, which is teaching in the meaning of private tutorials. Interestingly, the value, and price of education is increasing surprisingly, and our world is being changed from hell to paradise, economically, scientifically, socially, technically and educationally…
How can we as Afghan society develop our educational system as other nation did?
I think personally, it is
extremely harsh, complicated and difficult to organize our educational system in
current situation of corruption and nepotism .But we believe it is not
impossible, and we need time and patients in the same time. As we aware that,
our exhausted country had been seen a huge amount of nightmares and difficulties
during 3decades of war and instabilities. First of all, we must re-build our
minds before re-building our educational system as Japanese people did. And, we
must make education system obligatory and compulsory to every individual across
the Afghan society! If we follow the Japanese way of education as an Asian
continent it will be closer and more affective to our society. And see how they
developed their educational system from scratch and made their people one of the
best nation on the face of the earth....! Japan has one of the highest standards
of education and one of the highest literacy rates in the world. About 93% of
children enter high school, and nearly all of them graduate. At over 40% in
2000, Japan also has one of the highest university enrolment rates in the
developed world, and a huge number of state and private universities to serve
the population. See how they start their journey in education field and how they
complete it, and how they achieved their goals?
The task of enforcing the Education System Order fell upon Tanaka Fujimaro and David Murray both of whom have come to occupy important places in the history of modern Japanese education. It was through their efforts that Japanese education began to move forward.
Tanaka Fujimaro entered the new government after the Meiji Restoration, and in December, 1871, he joined the Iwakura Mission to Europe and the United States as one of the secretaries. Before returning to Japan in March, 1873, he toured a number of countries, and always his chief concern was the investigation of educational conditions. From this experience he compiled a report known as the Riji Kotei, which was a detailed account of the educational systems and practices in Western countries, and presented this to the government. It included factual accounts of school organizations in the United States, England, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and Russia. After Oki Takato left the Secretary ship of the Department of Education in April, 1873, to become a Councilor, Tanaka assumed most of the Secretary’s functions at the Department.
Prior to his arrival in Japan, David Murray had assisted Japanese students who visited the United States through the arrangement of Guido F. Verbeck (1830-1897). As a result of this experience Murray apparently developed a strong interest in the problems of Japanese education.
Mori Arinori, who at the time was serving as a diplomat in the United States, had solicited the opinions of those American intellectuals interested in Japanese education and included their responses in his work, Education in Japan, published in New York in 1873. Murray’s views were also included in the book in which he insisted that the prime duty of the statesman was to promote the education of his people. On the subject of educational reform, he supported a system based upon the traditions and spirit of the people. He further felt that, with the objective of education for the general populace, everyone should have at least an elementary education and that no distinction should be made between schooling for boys as opposed to that provided for girls. It was his deep concern for and his goodwill toward Japan that led to his being called unto the service of Japan.
Following his arrival in Japan in June, 1873, Murray first participated in educational administration as an adviser to the Department of Education and was appointed Superintendent in October of the following year. Murray’s widow indicates in her in Memoriam of 1915 that Murray was deeply honored by the trust and the goodwill extended him by the people of Japan, and in order to express his appreciation, he devoted all his efforts to the task assigned him.
In December, 1873, he presented his first Superintendent’s Report to the Department in which he outlined his views on the reform of education. In February, 1875, he presented his second Report on his tour of inspection of the educational facilities in outlying areas. It is from these documents that we can come to know his views. For the sake of the country he argued against the tendency of certain politicians to push through radical reforms and rather advised a gradual process of change based on the actual conditions in Japan while giving due recognition to the merits and the heritage of the nation.
As 1876 corresponded to the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the United States, a centennial exposition was opened at Philadelphia to commemorate the occasion. Japan was invited to provide an exhibit, and among the various items Deputy Secretary of Education Tanaka Fujimaro decided to include in the material relating to Japanese education was An Outline History of Japanese Education (Nihon Kyoikushi Ryaku). This history was intended to introduce Japanese achievements in that field to the world at large and it was completed under the guidance of David Murray. In connection with this exhibition Tanaka and four other officials left for a tour of inspection of the United States; Murray accompanied the group to the exposition and later presented a report on his observations of the educational display to the authorities back in Japan.
Tanaka Fujimaro made use of this opportunity to investigate the various types of educational administration in different states of the Union and upon his return to Japan, he translated certain educational regulations of several states and had they published by the Department of Education. He believed the American system of educational administration to be well suited to the needs of Japan.
Tanaka’s experience in America helped him to detect shortcomings in the Education System Order and he made special reference to the system practiced in the United States when drafting a new educational order and proposing changes in the Japanese system. In 1877 Murray drafted a proposal for a new educational system known as A Superintendent’s Draft Revision of the Japanese Code of Education (Gakkan Koan Nihon Kyoikuho), which he presented to Tanaka in June for use as reference. An explanatory note was attached to the document, which clarified the aims of the reform and other important points. In December, 1878, Murray’s tenure came to an end and he left Japan in January of the following year for home.
The current Japanese education system was established during the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II. Compulsory education begins at age 6 and lasts nine years, encompassing the 6 years of elementary and 3 years of lower secondary school education. It is characterized by a high degree of uniformity and equality of opportunity. National curriculum standards are specified by the Ministry of Education, and all textbooks must be approved by the central government. Generally, students throughout the country at the same grade level study the same material at the same time and place.
During the compulsory school years, no distinctions are made between students on the basis of ability or achievement. There are no separate tracks, ability groupings, remedial programs, or student electives. Promotion to the next grade level is virtually automatic as long as the student attends classes.
Examinations are the foundation of the Japanese education system. Both high school and university admissions are determined by highly competitive examinations open to all applicants nationwide. University entrance examinations are famously rigorous, and performance on them has a heavy impact on future social and economic status. In preparation for examinations, many students undertake remedial education or special examination preparation assistance in private education programs, or “cram schools” (juku). Failure to pass a university exam leads some Japanese students to spend a year or more as ronin, or “masterless samurai,” during which time they do little but prepare for the following year’s examination.
Student participation rates are high and dropout rates low at all levels of education. Almost all--more than 99% of Japanese children of compulsory school age are enrolled in school. Beyond compulsory education, more than 94% of students go on to full-time study and another 2% continue part-time. Japan enjoys 99% adult literacy and secondary school Japanese students have been among those who have scored highest on international aptitude tests. Eventually the history of education was chanced by the struggle and effort of Tanaka Fujimaro and David Murray! This is a shiny and documentary example that our responsible in current government must hold the opportunity and improve the education system as Japanese expert did..!
The principle and practice of compulsion in education
The entire nation across the world decided to make the educational system globally compulsory and obligatory to reach their aims and goals so quickly. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides the political and moral support for the use of compulsion in education. Article 26 states that: ‘Elementary education shall be compulsory.’ Furthermore in April 2000, 1,100 delegates from 164 countries reaffirmed their commitment to Education for All at the World Education Forum in Dakar, by adopting the Dakar Framework for Action – including the ambitious goal of: ‘free and compulsory education of good quality for all by 2015.’ Therefore to the majority of public policy makers the principle and practice of compulsion is firmly established as a fundamental human right and widely recognized as an essential element of a world class education system. According to UNESCO, writing in 1951, ‘the principle of universal compulsory education is no longer questioned’, and some now view it as one of civilizations greatest achievements:
The practice of compulsory schooling is animated and sustained by an almost universal prevailing public consensus that the practice is in the child’s interest…Indeed in so far as it confers a right to education as well as an obligation to make use of it, the law making education compulsory could be said to be one of the achievements of civilization…After all disagreement is common about such issues a capital punishment, the right to carry firearms, divorce, abortion, etc., but not regarding compulsory education .Compulsory education is very significant and important to Afghan society otherwise we will lose the next generation as well. Encouragement and compulsion are the two vital elements can be extremely affective and advantage for our new generation to bring them to the road of succession and prosperity…
The necessity of education
Education is extremely essential and precious in our modern life, and plays an important role in our daily bases. Education is a backbone for a nation and society. Education is a life necessity and a genuine human concern through which mental and social constituents are attained. It is surely man’s distinctive feature. As well as societies, education is necessary for individuals. An educationist says, “For individuals, education is a process of social normalization that gives the character of humanity, which is the distinctive feature. Everybody knows that individuals inherit their biological roots, such as colors of eyes, hair, tallness, and the other physical features, from their fathers and forefathers. The mental and social constituents of personalities are gained only through education. On that account, the basic chore of education helps in acquiring the human features. Hence, education is necessary for individuals and societies in an equal degree.” Education is the one and only means of achieving maturity, and raising the individual and social levels; therefore, it is a binding necessity of life and significant.
How much our Religion encourages us to improve our education?
This is very obvious and natural that, Islam constantly encourages, mankind to educate him or herself as much as they can. An educated individual has a high poison in the (Islamic society) rather than an illiterate one. To seek knowledge is a sacred duty; it is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. The first word revealed of the Qur’an was “Iqra” READ! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be educated. “...Those truly fear God, among His Servants, who have knowledge: for God is Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving. (The Noble Quran, 35:28)”
Surah Al-Zumr, ayah 9 reveals: “Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?” Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 269 reveals: “Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit.”
With the shining of the illumination of Islam, a great change occurred in all of the aspects of life, including education. Islam paid the greatest attention to education. Muslims have been encouraged on learning so that they would review the references of knowledge and culture for improving their lives and raising their levels. Allah SWT mentioned in many verses of Quran the importance of education facilities .For instance in (Sura 68 Al-Qalam) Allah says: By the pen and by what they (the angels) write (in records of men). Islam is basically a fountain of education itself. The existence of our life has a great meaning and value, eternally and externally socially and educationally spiritually and physically therefore our Allah SWT says:
‘I am about to place a viceroy in the earth’
Constantly, this vicegerent should inhabit this earth and make life prosperous, and utilize the treasures Allah has lodged in it for the benefit of mankind. Allah says in a relevant verse ‘He has brought you forth from the earth and has settled you therein’
This means Allah has made any human being able to live on earth and endowed him with the power to invest and utilize its resource and inhabit it for the welfare of his life on earth and in the Hereafter. Consequently, we could say that it is a legal obligation, to deal with the earth and even with the whole universe, utilizing modern scientific discoveries and new (legal) inventions. It is also one of the main objectives of Islam Methodology, to make use of modern science, delve deeper into its facts, and subject it for the benefit of our worldly life and Hereafter. Allah (S.W.T) has made this obligatory on Muslims. They should not keep on being undeveloped concerning modern science whereas are constantly advancing.
Allah (S.W.T) has created people, different in race, color and tongue. They are subdivided into nations, tribes, parities, ethnic groups, clans and sibs. They are all created from the same origin, one male and one female (Adam and Eve). It is expected that the values of friendship, mercy, sympathy, cooperation, giving support to each other, and getting to know one another prevail among them in view of their being brothers and sisters in humanity. It is not expected then, that values like dispute, division, controversy and hostility prevail among them. Aren’t they the sons and daughters of man and one woman?
Their belief in Allah and accepting Islam as their religion and way of life, should promote their cooperation and exhorting one another to truth and endurance. Consequently, this strengthens their relations, which would result in their solidarity. This is one of the most important objectives to Tarbiyah in Islam. The individual is prepared to live in harmony and agreement with his brother [in humanity] after they are united in their belief following the same way and system, which is the way of all human family across the world.
So how come some extremists Muslim ban women from education?
Honestly, we have seen hell on our life time under regime of Taliban! The worst barbaric and savage regime in human history as we believe! They misguided, tortured, murdered, killed, abused, and pissed off women genders in the name of Islam and religion of Islam, which Islam is entirely and completely against the actions which Taliban performed in their period! The below author explained very grammatically, fantastically and accurately women condition under power of Taliban in Afghanistan and Allah Bless him dearly...How beautifully he descried the regime!
Please know that the only country or group of Muslim extremists that ban women from education are the “Taliban” group in Afghanistan. The rest of the 1.4 Billion Muslim populations don’t have any laws that prohibit women to be educated or seek the highest academic degrees they desire. Saudi Arabia is a country, however, that bans women from driving cars. Again, I don’t really know where they are getting this rubbish from. Certainly cars didn’t exist 1400 years ago. So all of these verdicts that you see today in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia from banning women to be educated and from driving cars are TODAY’S AUTHORITIES VERDICTS.
I never really understood the Saudi’s point, and I guess I never probably will, because Khadijah, Prophet Muhammad’s first wife, was a business woman. Also, Aisha, one of Prophet Muhammad’s wives, not only narrated so many of his Sayings, and taught so many Muslims many laws about Islam during his life and after his death, but believe it or not, she actually led an army of 60,000 Muslim men after our Prophet peace be upon him died. That battle was called the “Battle of Camel”. It is a very popular battle. Every Muslim knows it.
She actually used to travel on her camel and bargain with men and make deals with them!
The problem with the Taliban of Afghanistan, however, is that most of their top leaders are illiterate. They literally don’t know how to read and write. The “Mullah Omar” their highest leader is one live example. As we saw in the first section of this article, those who lack education have a problem appreciating GOD Almighty. They are not preferred in Islam, and they could cause a lot of trouble.
I wouldn’t expect any good leadership from a leadership such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. So, when they give verdicts against women’s education, they are really coming up with their own false interpretations, that to them, seem to be the perfect rules.
Also, the Taliban gave verdicts that all Shia Muslims are infidels, and therefore it is ok to kill any of them. Their followers, who are mostly uneducated, blindly and ridiculously follow their leaders’ twisting of Allah Almighty’s Commands:
“O ye who believe! Obey
God, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with authority among you. If ye
differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to God and His Apostle, if ye do
believe in God and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final
determination. (The Noble Quran, 4:59)”
So to them, since the Taliban is the “authority”, then they should blindly follow them. They and their leaders, however, obviously lack a great deal of knowledge about Islam, because Noble Verse 4:59 is talking about obeying the people with authority ONLY in what is Islamic. This was clearly defined by our Prophet peace be upon him: ‘Abdullah: “The Prophet said, ‘A Muslim has to listen to and obey (the order of his ruler) whether he likes it or not, as long as his orders involve not one in disobedience (to Allah), but if an act of disobedience (to Allah) is imposed one should not listen to it or obey it. (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Judgments (Ahkaam Narrated), Volume 9, Book 89, Number 258)” History had repeated itself in Afghanistan. 1400 years ago we had so many civil wars because of not so knowledgable leaders about the Islamic laws took power. It’s easy to give a verdict. But a leader in Islam is going to be held very dearly responsible for such verdict, especially if he caused the death of many innocent lives!
How much problematic our educational system has?
Basically, it is extremely hard to find a suitable and profitable institutional education platform across the Afghan society; additional to this misery it is almost impossible to find a sufficient amount of equipments and facilities inside this institutional education! The 25constant war washes out the meaning and beauty of education from our society. This is not only a sickness to Afghan people, but this a risky epidemic to the global communities as well !The negative of uneducated society impact gradually and dramatically to other communities and destroy them as well ,this is why the international community should be very effectual and practical towards uneducated societies wherever it will situated .At this period of time Afghan society strongly need as many institutional places as possible specially our new generation need desperately universities, colleges, schools, training places, education facilities, high profile technology equipments, internet access, a peaceful atmosphere place for public readers, libraries, museum, scholarship, places for kids, a suitable places for female gender across Afghanistan. These are very primary but necessary things which our society needs it urgently and swiftly! If the international community wants to live in peace, harmony and prosperity they must act as quickly as they can. Taking the chance and providing these basic and vital ammunitions to our people and make them busy to education activity otherwise the international societies will face uncountable challenges in near future!
As we know that, Afghanistan has almost the lowest and powerless educational system across the world! In fact, the 3 decades of permanent war and hostility was keenly impact to the total country, for instance Kabul as a platform and centre of educational system completely damaged. The facilities were stolen, and the building was burnt and the book was destroyed directly and indirectly. Subsequently the education was banded by Barbaric Regime of Taliban in side the country and replaced to the militarily camps!! Our community is extremely ambitious as much as other nations. I think the best interested things in our society are pens ,books, encyclopedias, libraries and educational equipments specially to youth and children generation classes, it means magnificently that our people have a huge amount of aspiration and desire, but unfortunately these hopes and desires has been destroyed by several decades of war and hostility! The people as I mentioned already were surrounded by the atmosphere of conflict, illiteracy and none-stabilization! The blame goes directly to our gloomy, dark and careless historical regime that did not pay any attention to educational system!! What a pity??!!
This is our clear message, simultaneously it is our duty and obligation to spread out our glories message to our human friends across the universe to realize and understand the difficulties which our people faced more than 3decades. Terrorist only can hide themselves in undedicated society unstable environment and unlawful government! That is very clear to every one therefore, we need the attention of international community more than anyone else to pay a great deal of attention, practical step and effectual action as swiftly as they can! The achievement of today depends on our future! If the world do well today, and they will see it better tomorrow. And they will permanently live in real peace, and prosperity! This is for sure…
Fact sheet released by the Bureau of East
Asian and Pacific Affairs,
U.S. Department of State, and July 31, 1997. (1)
Methodology of Education/Dr.Ali Abdel-Haleem Mahmoud (4)
Kevin Williams, In
Defense of Compulsory Education,
Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol 24, No.2, 1990. (5)
Sura 68-1 Al-Qalam (6)
The Educational System in Islam-Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi Translated by Badr shahin (7)