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Why madrassah education reforms don’t work in Pakistan

Why madrassah education reforms don’t work in Pakistan

Bashir, Mohsin ORCID: 0000-0002-4783-6353 and Haq, Shoaib Ul (2019) Why madrassah education reforms don’t work in Pakistan. Third World Quarterly, 40 (3). pp. 595-611. ISSN 0143-6597 (Print), 1360-2241 (Online) (doi:

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Despite global pressure and national security concerns, the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to reform the madrassah system have proven to be futile. Extant literature on madrassah reform challenges relies overwhelmingly on information provided by governments and experts situated outside of these institutions. While these studies and reports present important findings and viable analysis on madrassah systems; most of the research fails to give voice to the major stakeholders of this system itself, such as the administration staff, teachers, students and parents. Our study fills this crucial gap by conducting semi-structured interviews and field observations inside Pakistani madaris (plural for madrassah) and their professional associations. We find that these madaris have been reluctant to participate in policy interventions offered by the government due to a major trust deficit brought on by differences over financial and curriculum regulation, degree recognition and the government’s role in shaping popular perceptions about madaris. This reluctance has turned down attempts for madrassah reformation and has in turn made them vulnerable to radicalisation. We conclude with policy recommendations for more effective government reforms and a stronger relationship between madrassah representatives and the Government of Pakistan.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: education; empowerment; absorptive capacity; governance; Pakistan
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Systems Management & Strategy
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC)
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 14:20

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