By Mohammad Ilyas
CHITRAL: Education is meant fundamentally for a person to learn manners. What is done these days is that a child is being induced with the idea in his little brain that he should learn and strive to become a doctor, engineer, pilot, army officer, etc.
Moreover, though we ourselves are non-English, we are still clung to the English education system, thus the evil that they bear in society almost get doubled when we follow their tract. Instead of learning manners in the beginning, a child learns only repetition of some words like ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’.
Before the British occupation of the subcontinent, eastern form of education did exist in the region. That was poor in science but rich in manners and teaching of philosophy. Especially, learning of manners was strict and the two books – Gulistan and Bustan of Sheikh Sa’di – were taught as compulsory subjects. These books thoroughly explain with examples how a man should tackle the joys and worries of the world. These books were included in the Islamic courses of Jamia Nizamia throughout Islamic world. Still, these are included in the syllabus of Islamic Madrassas here but I did not find a single mullah having a comprehensive knowledge of them. Similar is the case of the teaching of verses of Molana Rum among the Ismaili community. They learn the verses by heart, often with incorrect pronunciation, and their scholars have no mastery over the meanings and teachings of that. Recently, an Ismaili scholar has even labelled Hakim Mohammad Omar Khayyam as a drunk not knowing that his Rubai’yats were once part of a course of his own faction. The first poet of Pushto was Amir Karor and when once I asked a friend with M.A. Pashto if he could read some verses of Amir Karor, he was astonished and made a reverse question: ‘Who was he’?
If a man has got education but not learned manners he is just like an animal loaded with books. It is a Turkish proverb: ‘What is knowledge? Knowledge is to know one’s self’. We shall have to amend our education system as well as our lifestyle that, ‘O, my son or daughter! become a good human and then strive for a good profession’. Then there will be no suicides and inhumane incidents Inshallah.