The situation of education in term of science and technology in Muslim countries by Abdi Ahmed Digale (Digale)

At present, science education in most Islamic countries is far from satisfactory. In quantitative terms only about 35% of students is studying science at the higher secondary level while about 20% at the university level. Even the quality of those graduates of various types and levels is very low because of many reasons including the followings, the situation of teachers, educational equipments, laboratories and facilities are equally disappointing and depressing in Muslim states. The percentage of science teachers is 15% at higher secondary level, while about 20% at the degree and postgraduate levels which is quite insufficient to teach the modern science and technology in the fields of education comprehensively in order to produce students with good quality from different fields as engineering, medicine, and other social sciences. The graduates whom I mentioned above come out of the universities without competence of conducting and generating effective, sensible inventions, and discoveries dealing with human life aspects.

Traditionally, Muslim states have good moral ,values and honest in terms of Islamic ideology teaching their people Islamic studies such as Holy Quran, Hadith, Figh and history of Islam, yet they need to develop the habit of learning and laying down Islamic policy to benefit from this globalized world wide with the help of science and modern technology. Moreover, we always hear and see that a western scientist made exploration and discovered a new theory related to a particular field of the social life but we do not see any significant exploration done by Muslim modern scientists apart from the middle age Muslim thinkers like Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Sina, the major reason is that, the present Muslim political leaders do not have any effective plan of improving the quality of the education in terms of science.

On the other hand, there are some Muslim countries which are at various stages of industrial development including Egypt, Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Sudan and Turkey, those states produce number of students at various level as secondary schools, degrees, master and PhD, but those graduates lack of skill in the modern science and experience of technologies as compared to western higher education in terms of science rather than Islamic studies. Hence, the Muslim countries with a population of nearly one billion have only 350 universities producing not more than 1000 PhD per year. According to a recently research done by institute of policy studies Pakistan academic of sciences, 30,000 Muslim scientists are working in north America alone, similar many others are in Europe, thus such number of Muslim scientists acting outside of their states indicates that the Muslim political leaders have not failed only to develop educational system but also to create social-economic projects to provide good opportunities and jobs to their graduates.

The Muslim world comprising of 52 independent states and stretch from Indonesia to Algeria having a land area of 26.6million km2 and about 73%world’s oil which may play a great role in the development of Muslim world studies. Muslim world has a total population of about one billion 20% of the world population but unfortunately, the political leaders and their governments mismanage and corrupt the natural sources and the revenue of their lands instead of utilizing that sources to upgrade and widen the quality and scope of science education, that is the major reason of which Muslim societies suffer a lot of insufficient modern science education. Thus, there is no doubt that Muslim states fail to produce number of educators with good and high quality because the students at various level education lack of well trained teachers, technology, good libraries with reading and studying materials, systematic networking in terms of computers and internet and comprehensive educational system.

The scientific and technical education for women is another significant aspect of this problem, although it was noted in a seminar paper from Egypt in1983 that the percentage of female enrollment is constantly increasing yet the quality of female students is much lower than males. Most women enroll in faculties of arts and men in faculties of science, in Muslim countries men have higher enrolment rates in branches of engineering and medicine while girls and women have higher drop out rates. But even male students face difficulties in the studies caused by lack of utility of modern science and technology and without good environmental for studies.

There are some contributions to improve the quality and understanding of the studies,

1- To educate the Muslim students to actively understand the message of the Holy Quran and Hadith

2-To create wide-spread public awareness of the importance of the sciences and technology in daily life to produce good minded society as was the case in the early golden period of Islam

3- To permit great autonomy and intellectual freedom to educational and scientific organizations

4-To develop and train adequate high quality teachers for various levels of modern studies

5- To generate a comprehensive and effective syllabus

Finally, some of the Muslim states had agreed the implementation of action plan to improve the quality of the studies in term of science and technology and to establish particular fields for teaching and research so as to generate and produce intellectual, good minded and thoughtful people, yet implementation is missing.

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