By Taazakhabar News Bureau
Maldives – an Indian Ocean archipelago, southwest of India, is one of the most densely populated nations in the world is looking to overhaul its education system.
Teachers from India is in a great demand in the island nation. Till the mid-80s, a majority of teachers in Maldives were from Sri Lanka bit lately the demand for Indian teachers has gone up steadily. Every year a number of teachers migrate to Maldives. After a few years teaching experience in Maldives, Indian teachers get more lucrative offers in UK, US, Canada and Australia is the main attraction.
That is the requirement that Jamia Millia Islamia University is trying to fulfill by setting up an Islamic university in Maldives.
Maldives is a fairly young nation with 35% population under 18. In spite of claims of 98% literacy, as compared to men, more women are illiterate. Maldives a small nation of nearly 370,000 predominantly Muslim people has three types of schools: English-language primary and secondary schools, Quranic schools, Dhivehi-language primary schools. Though pre and primary school education, is available on all islands, gender inequality starts at the secondary school level. Students are required to travel to other islands and share rooms with each other. That is why most parents are reluctant to send their daughters to far away schools. The textbooks are full of gender bias. Many of the teachers are untrained or improperly trained, and teaching methods are primitive.
The quality and spread of education are uneven. More than 70% people live on islands far from the capital and have not many schools. More than two-thirds of teachers are untrained. Many of the schools do not have separate toilets for girls, libraries or internet access.
The result is that Maldives is primarily dependent on expatriate teachers to fill the vacuum. There is a sharp decline in enrollment of girls and boys in higher secondary classes. Students seeking higher education have to essentially go abroad to foreign universities.
In such a situation, Indian institutions of higher learning are the best choice for the Maldivian students to pursue higher studies at an affordable cost. India’s proximity to Maldives and some 566 universities and 33023 colleges offering wide spectrum of globally recognized courses makes it the perfect destination for quality education.
To enhance and strengthen the overall quality of education in the Maldives, the Education Ministry has prepared an education sector development program. The emphasis is to make women equal stakeholders in the country’s affairs by assuming high offices in different walks of life.
For this very reason, the Maldives Minister of Islamic Affairs Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed visited Jamia Millia Islamia, one of India’s oldest universities. His aim was to explore possibilities of academic collaboration and a culture of academic publications in the Maldives.
As part of the understanding, Jamia Millia Islamia would set up an Islamic university in Maldives.
Maldives’ would like to assimilate Western education but at the same time promote liberal Islamic values to it students.