Education in Muslim societies is very important and is one of the long-held values of Islam that even Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once said: “he who leaves the home in search of knowledge is walking with God.” In Muslim societies, education is passed down from generation to generation through their schools, which are otherwise known as a madrasa. These are the Islamic schools consist of both elementary and higher learning.
Islamic schools have been at the receiving end of both stereotypical and factual take on their institutions. Three facts hold about Islamic school:
1. Early schools are practical
Islamic schools are known for giving practical knowledge to students since early Muslim education. The schools impart their students with technological expertise and development in branches of sciences and subjects like irrigations systems in agriculture, iron and steel products, textile, earthenware. The modern education in Islamic schools still provides knowledge for contemporary subjects like commerce, manufacture of paper and gunpowder but is more focused in a closed system that is often characterized by an intolerance to scientific innovations and secular subjects especially in Muslim dominated societies.
2. They are separated in terms of sexes (single-sex education)
Islamic schools, especially in the Middle East, are segregated based on genders where male students learn in their separate institutions or classrooms, and the same applies to the females. This is very common in public schools and sometimes goes as high as higher learning institutions like universities.
3. Islamic schools teach Quran through memorization
A lot of Islamic schools if not all practice learning of the Quran (the backbone of Muslim education) through memorization and reciting of Arabic religious texts in place of secular learning that involving reading, writing, and arithmetic.
The rote method of memorizing facts has led to most educators complaining that the resultant effect of this form of education is students who can’t reason or think critically.
In conclusion, Islamic schools have seen a lot of false information as well as facts been spread about them. Some of the information are the usual stereotypes, but some have a factual basis behind them.