Why another School?
Among many responsibilities of an educational institution, one particularly important, especially in relation to our society, is that the younger generation be educated in such a way that their awareness of life and its purpose is enhanced; that they be beyond compare: a generation that epitomizes impeccability of character and personality; that they, as architects of our nation's future, be strong today, lest we, as a nation, be weak tomorrow.
Inculcation of such values in the younger generations should be the primary object of any educational institution, and, unfortunately, it is this object that our educational institutions have completely failed to achieve.
There are many reasons for this failure:
LACK OF DIRECTION
The first reason is that our educational system has, in general, no object at all. Among those things that we inherited from our `Colonial Masters', the British, one particularly detrimental to our educational system is an acute lack of direction. Unfortunately, it is the degree not education that our students seek. It is not an Abu Haneefah, a Shafa`i, an Iqbal, a Jinnah, a Shibli or a Faraahi that parents wish their children to be. They want them to be `big men' not `great men'.
Owing to such conflicts between our stated and real goals, we suffer from a kind of national schizophrenia which is one of the major causes of our slow progress. We have been unable to determine a specific goal for our educational system. We should have specified the object a long time ago, for in its absence, all effort has been in vain.
LACK OF HOMOGNEITY
The second reason is that our educational system comprises three distinct sub-systems, viz Religious institutions, Urdu-medium institutions and English-medium institutions.
As far as religious institutions are concerned, they turn out people who are seen by the rest of the educated class as `aliens from outer space' that speak an absolutely different and unintelligible language in a strange guttural tone and behave in a way that seems `different' if not comical. The arguments that they give seem baseless and the whole edifice of their knowledge seems to rest on foundations that are simply obsolete.
Government schools produce yet another class which, despite all its capabilities, is never provided with enough facilities. The result is that this class mostly produces clerks and the like, and its members are rarely able to move into the upper echelons of a society.
English medium schools with their `craze' for the `latest latest' from the West are more westernized than modern. Usually, the students of these schools remain unaware of the riches of knowledge and research of their forbears.
Therefore, our educational system, along with our economic system, adds to the disparity of income and creates more class division in our society. So long as this national schizophrenia continues to sever the roots of our nation, we can never hope to unite and progress.
The third reason is that our educational institutions are rarely established for nobler causes. They are usually set up by businessmen who regard an educational institution as just another `feasible project' that yields profits and tax benefits. Therefore, in such institutions Islam and ethics have hardly any importance. As the motives of those who finance these institutions are pecuniary not philanthropic, they usually demand such exorbitant fee that a person of ordinary means cannot dream of affording it. To attract children of the elite, such teachers are selected as have more command on English than on their subject. The students, too, display such fluency in English as is more indicative of affectation than competence. The whole set-up creates a class that shows contempt for the religious and cultural traditions of the society that sustains them. As a result, the object of this class remains a `good job' that might afford them a higher social status and place them among the more affluent. Altruism and philanthropy are words that are simply not in their dictionary, unless of course, they can be used to enhance their `image'. To them, success means having power and money, by any means whatsoever. Modesty and humility are despised, for they often lead to `failure' They live in this world as extravagant epicureans with an obvious disregard for the Hereafter.
All the three shortcomings have contributed to the inferiority complex our younger generation suffer from and have inclined them towards indecency and immorality. Therefore, it is essential that we check these factors lest we should lose our identity as an Islamic nation and should find ourselves incapable of facing the challenge of the modern world.
In the paragraphs written above, some flaws in our educational system have been pointed out. To purge it from these flaws, it is essential that an institution be set up on entirely different lines---an institution that would be the embodiment of all the glorious traditions of our past, yet modern enough to face the challenges of the future. It is to fulfil this need that "Mus`ab Public School" is being set up. It has been proposed that the following objectives be part of its aim:
1. A student of this institution shall be educated in such a way that he turns out to be a good Muslim and a good Pakistani. For this purpose, services of such teachers shall be hired as are the epitome of competence and impeccable character. They shall be among those teachers whose hearts throb for a better tomorrow for our nation and for the Ummah, and who consider the inculcation of these sentiments in the younger generations part of their duty, and to whom teaching is more than just a profession---it is a mission.
As teachers of such calibre are rare these days, a programme to train teachers for Mus`ab is under way.
2. To create a greater sense of unity in the Ummah, Arabic and other Islamic subjects shall be included in the curricula along with English and Urdu. It is also expected that those who would pass out from this institution will be well aware of their religion even if they choose professional areas of study as medicine and engineering.
3. Nowadays, there is a growing tendency among educational institutions to overburden the students with books just to create false impressions of scholarship. This trend shall be discouraged and an effective programme shall be chalked out whereby these students progress gradually on firm footings.
As it is that at Mus`ab students shall be taught three languages, viz, Arabic, English and Urdu, and instructed in traditional as well as modern disciplines, it has been proposed that the following be used as bases for the curricula:
PRIMARY LEVEL (UP TO CLASS 8)
At the primary level, students shall be instructed only in the Holy Quran, English, Urdu, mathematics and calligraphy. This may be done in the following ways:
(i) The students shall be taught how to read the Quran (`Nazirah').
(ii) They shall be made to learn the last group of the Quranic Surahs by heart (`Hifz').
(iii) After they gain some rudimentary knowledge of Arabic, the students shall be instructed in religion in Arabic so that they learn the language as well as their religion.
(iv) English and Urdu shall be the media of instruction in pure sciences and social studies so that students learn modern subjects as well while learning both these languages.
(vi) Interesting stories and poems shall be included in books of each language to enhance students' appreciation of literature.
SECONDARY LEVEL (FROM CLASS 9 UP TO CLASS 12)
At this level special areas of study shall be given emphasis. For this purpose, the following guidelines shall be used:
(i) Education in the languages and the Holy Quran shall be continued.
(ii) Subjects specific to a particular field of study shall be included at this stage; for example, a science student shall be instructed in such subjects as physics, chemistry and biology. Similarly, those students who would specialize in Islamic studies shall be instructed in the classics of Arabic literature (Adab-i-Jaahilee), Arabic grammar and rhetoric.
4. Since the establishment of Mus`ab is a mission not business, it has been decided that monetary gains shall not be the object of this institution. In this regard, the following guidelines shall be used:
(i) The students shall be provided with all the facilities that are usually available to modern institutions.
(ii) Despite these facilities , the fee shall not be beyond the range of the middle class. Moreover, the triennial increase in the fee shall not be more than 15% in any case.
(iii) The entire revenue of the institution shall be spent on the development of the school and on the provision of latest facilities to the students. Later, these earnings shall be used to promote education in our country by forming a network of schools on the same lines.
5. A student shall be encouraged to specialize in such areas of study as are congruous with his temperament and inclination.
6. School hours shall be longer than usual so that more attention can be given to students and the trend of `private tution' can be discouraged.
7. Students shall not be given any homework so that they do not dread going to school. They shall get ample opportunity to channel their energies into sports and extra-curricular activities so that they grow up to be healthy citizens of our country.
In this regard, it is also intended that the students shall be instructed in reading the Holy Quran at school so that this part of their education may not be a burden to them at home. Moreover, general reading shall be encouraged so that students read books of their interest and increase their general knowledge.
8. A library shall be established which shall have a large collection of books on general and specific topics so that the students may use them in addition to their text books to expand the horizons of their knowledge.
NAME OF THE INSTITUTION
The institution has been named after a companion of the Prophet (sws), Mus`ab bin Umair, who was sent to Medina by the Prophet (sws) for teaching Islam to its people. It was his work that sowed the seeds of Islam there and it was in the wake of his work that the world saw the golden era of our religion in its full splendour.
We pray that Mus`ab prove to be the first institution of its kind to lay the foundations of an Islamic renaissance in our times.
May Allah help us to remain steadfast and to succeed in achieving our object---Amen.
Wa maa tawakkalnaa Ilaa Allalah
(And we have placed our trust in none but Him).