Dear readers, in the series of interviews, this time we have conducted a special and detailed interview with the head of the ‘Educational Commission’ Al-Haj Moulavi Mohammad Iqbal, about the activities of this commission and other related issues, due to the importance of education and training in the present circumstances. Here we would like to draw your kind attention for its reading.
Question: First of all we welcome you. If you could give us information about the organizational setup of the Educational Commission, similarly if you could brief us about the duties and responsibilities of this commission, we will be grateful to you.
Answer: الحمد لله وکفی والصلوة والسلام علی عباده الذین اصطفی امابعد فاعوذ بالله من الشیطن الرجیم
یرفع الله الذین آمنو منکم والذین اوتوا العلم درجات ، صدق الله العظیم
First of all I would like to say the Islamic greetings of “Assalam-o-Alaikum”, “Peace be upon you” to all of you.
Regarding your first question, I would to say that the organizational setup of the Educational Commission is as follow:
– Director General of the Commission.
– Members of the Commission comprising 23 persons.
– Admin Director.
– Board of Studies comprising 16 excellent scholars.
In the same way the ‘Educational Commission’ has the directors of education in all the provinces and in-charge of educational affairs in all the liberated districts including those districts where the circumstances are favorable for education and training. The number of provincial directors is 34 and the number of district in-charges is 308 persons. In the same way an additional educational deputy head is appointed on the provincial level. Their number also reaches to 34 according to the number of provinces inside our country. In this way the number of our activists or workers reaches to hundreds.
According to the rules and regulations of the ‘Educational Commission’, our duties are specified as follow:
1- The completion of the essential setups of the commission.
2- Building of madrassas and schools in the rural areas for primary and secondary education.
3- Building of boarding madrassas for higher religious studies.
4- Building of Dar-ul-Huffaz (places where the Holy Quran is learnt by heart).
5- Making arrangements for contemporary studies.
6- Supervision of the Higher Studies Institutes.
7- Making Dar-ul-Iitams (places where orphans are kept).
8- Preparation of courses for Judges and Mufties (those who issue the verdict).
Question: If you could provide us information about the important activities of the ‘Educational Commission’ during the last few years?
Answer: You understand that we are passing through severe warring conditions which naturally hamper the normal educational activities or programs. Still we are grateful to Allah Almighty that we have achieved a lot in the field of education, in view of our present possibilities. Some of our activities are as follow:
1- The Rural Schools:
As most of population live in rural areas which are deprived from most of the educational facilities. So it is one of the top priorities of the Educational Commission to build rural schools for departing primary education and necessary religious studies. Important steps have been taken with the following specifications in this regard:
A- The rural Imams (scholars) have been assigned to allocate at least 2 to 2½ hours to teach the children of the village inside the mosque or a house.
B- They should teach them the customary subjects till the preparation of curriculum e.g. the alphabets, the Holy Quran, Shuroot Salat (the prerequisites of the prayer) Qudoori, Panj Ganj (five treasures) and the books of the first three classes of that curriculum which was prepared for Mujahidin.
C- The above mentioned books and other stationary like pen, notebooks etc. are provided by this commission.
D- We are extending our co-operation even to those people who are living in migration camps so that their children are left without education.
E- For these rural madrassas, we have prepared a course syllabus or curriculum according to their needs and the prevailing circumstances which is ready to be sent to the press.
2- Boarding madrassas for Religious Studies:
A- An outline consisting of 20 articles has been drafted by the commission, in accordance with the views and recommendations of various madrassas for the better organizations of madrassas, for the improvement of teaching methodology and for the elevation of moral standards of students. This draft has been sent to all related madrassas and is under implementation. In this draft, the duration of educational year, schedule and discipline of examinations, educational and moral principles and rules and regulations for speeches and educational competitions have been elaborated.
B- In the light of above mentioned draft, this year, on 3rd, 4th and 5th of Rabi-u-Thani (the fourth lunar month) 1434 A.H. corresponding to 14th, 15th and 16th of February 2013, a speech competition was arranged among the students of 6th Grade who had come from several madrassas. By the grace of Allah Almighty, this contest was conducted with full discipline and organization and it was a great and successful step forward in this direction. Interesting speeches in Arabic, Persian and Pashto languages were delivered in this contest which were greatly admired by the audience. At the end, substantial awards were distributed among the winners as well as the organizational committee for their excellent performance.
C- After a good deal of discussion and deliberation, on 25th of Rajab 1433 A.H. corresponding to 15thJune 2012, a unified and standardized curriculum was organized and ratified which consists of primary, middle and eleven grades. All necessary subjects according to the need of time, have been included in it. This curriculum has been sent to all the madrassas, it has been warmly accepted by the teachers and has been implemented to a great extent in the first year.
D- Three examinations were conducted this year i.e. quarterly, mid-term and annual exams. In the annual term, a combine exam of previous and final years were given to the graduates of these classes. Although this was the very first time and the beginning year, therefore we were facing a lot of difficulties. In the future, this procedure will get much more improved. The commission is of the view to confer official certificates to those students who have participated in this exam.
E- Religious boarding madrassas are always a great asset for our homeland. The good news is that this series has always supported by our nation and ordinary people. Even today, in the prevailing tough circumstances, religious boarding madrassas are working. Outside the country, in the camps of migrants, our vigilant and heedful Ulemas i.e. scholars have established a lot of madrassas which are normally operating. Following steps have been taken for their better organization and co-ordination:
a- The principals and heads of madrassas are invited periodically for the improvement and progress of the educational system. Joint sessions are held with them for overcoming the obstacles lying ahead.
b- An educational council comprising of 16 excellent scholars is set up for survey and control of the boarding madrassas. This council observes the implementation of rules and regulations. They are also assigned to check the curriculums of these madrassas.
c- For the better organization and survey of madrassas in various areas, we have appointed our representatives amongst the Ulema i.e. the scholars. Their duty is to supervise all the madrassas in their related areas and if needed, arrange meetings with the heads of these madrassas.
3- Contemporary Educational Institutions:
Efforts are underway for providing better opportunities to the extent of our possibilities. A draft comprising 19 articles has been prepared to have a better supervision and surveillance of these schools. For example:
a- Their curriculum is being constantly observed by a group of Ulema and necessary amendments have been made through them. These amendment paper have been sent to all the schools which are followed by the persons in-charge.
b- Educational program for the schools has been arranged by this commission in which religious and other necessary subjects have been added and have been given due attention in the timetable.
c- Scholars and Qaris (those who can pronounce the Holy Quran in due accent) have been appointed as per need in each and every school so that religious subjects and the Holy Quran could be properly taught by them.
d- For the elevation of moral and ethical standards of the students, daily, fortnightly and quarterly seminars and conferences are under consideration so that so the students could get proper awareness about their religion.
e- Unwanted people who have either political or ideological association with the stooge admin against the Islamic norms and rules are kept under close watch and if proved, they are discarded from the institutions concerned.
f- Unlawful and non-Afghan uniform is totally forbidden.
g- Fictional and party-based activities which create differences among the Muslims are forbidden as well.
h- Books of Islamic education comprising of dogmatic and juristic issues are made compulsory subjects in all the classes.
i- It is conveyed to those students who come to seek higher studies that admission in the universities, military colleges and police academies run by the foreign countries is totally banned.
j- For the supervision of higher education institutes and universities, a specific organ is established which is always in contact with institutes. We are trying to make this contact even more swift and well-organized.
k- We have two orphanage centers for the orphans of Jihad where approximately 200 orphans are studying. Well trained and pious teachers have been appointed for their educational as well as moral training. Moreover, their food, uniform and all other necessities are provided by this commission. In the future we will try, in the case of possibilities, to increase the number of these orphanage centers as per needed.
l- In the field of Fatwa (verdict giving) and Judiciary, we have pledged and we are trying our best to arrange courses of high standards and specialization and to appoint well-known and excellent scholars as teachers. This will solve a lot of difficulties faced by our society and will bridge the deficiencies.
4- Dar-ul-Huffaz (places where the Holy Quran is memorized):
Efforts are under way for building new Dar-ul-Huffaz to the best of our possibilities but for the already present ones, a motivating curriculum is to be prepared for them. On the other side, an organized program is to be made for their examinations and certificates of good standard should be prepared for them. Insha-Allah.
Question: The enemy is trying to lead the new generation astray by through the educational system. To achieve this malicious goal, they have incorporated some misleading ideas and thoughts in the new curriculum. What kind of steps have been taken by the ‘Educational Commission’ to render these conspiracies abortive?
Answer: As we mentioned earlier that the enemy is trying very secretly and skillfully, to include such subjects in the curriculum of educational institutes which could derail the students and wash their brains. But this curriculum is under strict scrutiny and teams of expert scholars are appointed on regular basis for its modification. Their duty is to identify and remove all these obscenities and to interpret the issue in the light of true Islamic rules and principles. These amended papers have been delivered to all the educational institutes for the current year and are being followed by the concerned authorities on the regular basis.
Question: Sometimes, schools are burnt in various parts of the country or the female students are being poisoned or acid is being sprinkled over them. Whom do you think is behind this felony?
Answer: Burning of educational institutes, spraying acid on female students or their poisoning are acts totally against the policies of the Islamic Emirate. We have condemned and rejected all these activities. There is no doubt that these felonies are committed by the enemies of the Islamic Emirate and their stooge administration. Verified proofs have been published in media in this connection. They want to use these incidents as a propaganda tool against the Islamic Emirate.
Question: What are the main working issues faced by the ‘Educational Commission’?
Answer: The main issues and problems for the ‘Educational Commission’ are the worsening security situation inside the country because of the enemy’s invasion as well as the deficiency of financial possibilities.
Question: What is the official policy of the Islamic Emirate about the education and learning?
Answer: The policy of the Islamic Emirate is quite clear about education and learning. As Islamic Emirate is itself and educational society, it is desirous that each and every member of our community should enjoy the blessing of knowledge and education. We want that the educational light should be spread to every corner of the country. This is the sole purpose of establishing the ‘Education and Training Commission’; so that we could serve more effectively for spreading knowledge inside the country.
Question: What kind of relations or contacts do you have with the students and the educational institutions of urban areas of the country?
Answer: Afghan students are brothers and children. It makes no difference, in which institute they are studying and wherever they are. We are in contact with them in according to the prevailing circumstances and conditions. We have explained the policies of the Islamic Emirate in the light of Islamic rules and regulations so that they should become the victims of the conspiracies of Jews and Christians and could defend their own Islamic and Afghan norms. We are trying to make these contacts even more effective, well-organized and swift.
Question: If you have any message as the head of the ‘Educational Commission’, please do share with us, so that we could convey it to the readers.
Answer: My message as the head of the ‘Educational Commission’ is that each and every individual of our country should help and co-operate us in the field of education and learning; whether it may be consultation, provision of educational equipments or financial possibilities. They should not be misled by the enemy’s propaganda. They should halt the conspiracies of the infidels and should send their wards to educational intuitions. They should co-operate with our district and provincial level in-charges. We hope that our Mujahidin brothers will also extend their support in this regard. We are looking forward to all scholars and expert people, to give us necessary suggestions for even better organization and improvement of a sound educational system. They should fully co-operate us so that we could jointly halt the conspiracies of the Jews, Christians and other infidel circles and should keep our own nation more vigilant and well-informed.