“There are still three education systems in the former system of Bengal and they are government approved — New Scheme Madrasa, Old Scheme Madrasa and General Education. It has only created chaos in the field of education and has brought disunity in the Muslim society. – Their existence in Azad Pakistan is unnecessary, but also ridiculous and shameful. In no civilized country of the world does the government allow more than one system of education. ”
– Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah (Anisuzzaman, Secularism and Others, Craftsman, Calcutta, 2012, p. 26)
If Shahidullah had survived after independence, he might have had to say again, “Their existence in independent Bangladesh is unnecessary, but also ridiculous and shameful.” What he called the lack of change is ridiculous and shameful, many governments in independent countries have seen his change as ‘unnecessary’. In a sense, the education system that the Pakistani government did not want to change in order to perpetuate the divisions between us, the governments of the independent countries are also carrying the ideology of the enemy.
It is astonishing to think that Shahidullah thought of a single education system during that Pakistan period and he predicted how much chaos could be created by multiple education systems. He also made it clear that multiple education systems create discord in the end. But we are such an unfortunate nation that even after becoming independent, ignoring the advice and warnings of this knowledge-loving, people-loving, nation-loving non-communal man, we have continued the education system today, not three, but four. Shahidullah-so-called ‘three education systems’ have been combined with another method of teaching through English to take the riots to the final stage.
Far from playing a sincere role in the change of any government after independence, Shahidullah’s advice and caution has been taken to the abyss by showing the glass art as it has continued the previous education system. And Sarkar Bahadur has not been able to bring any significant change in the madrasa curriculum.
Today we see examples of how the so-called ‘disunity’ of Shahidullah is being achieved in various forms of violence, contempt and conflict. Advanced education increases tolerance for race and religion. That is, it teaches respect for other races and religions. It even teaches to eliminate class discrimination. But in our country, the three-pronged education system in Bengali, English and Arabic is only giving birth to violence against race, religion, community and class. This violence is further aggravated by the anti-racial, religious and sectarian rhetoric of the Mullahs and Maulanas. No other country in the world has such a three-pronged education system. No one educated in English education in any way considers those educated in Bengali and Arabic education as their equal in terms of knowledge and dignity. I think they are unmodern, backward and stupid. On the other hand, the boy educated in Bengali thinks that the boys and girls educated in Arabic and English are disrespectful to the culture of this country, he also does not consider this country as his own. The Arabs, on the other hand, think that people who are educated in English and Bengali are completely ignorant of Islam and Allah, so they are wrong. As a result, the attitude of these Arabs towards them is hateful. The poisonous tree of this three-pronged education system has spread the fruits of this division and hatred among us. We have divided the secular state created by Bangabandhu by the sword of religion. As a result, it is now a country of more Muslims than any other community. We can no longer proudly say that this is the country of the independent Bengali people. Or if you want to avoid unnecessary controversy, then at least I can say that this is the country of Bangladeshis. But unfortunately we have moved far away from the secular cultural atmosphere.
Following the far-sighted thinking of Shahidullah, if the country could be tied to a single education system, then this hatred, division and violence could be avoided and discipline could be brought in the education system. If anyone is interested in Islamic and Arabic education, then any student can satisfy that thirst for knowledge at the university level under the Department of Islamic Education. Those interested in English will be able to quench their thirst at the university level in the ‘English Language and Literature’ section. Language-based and religion-based multifaceted education also indirectly puts the nation against the notion of a single ethnicity. A student educated in general who feels comfortable to think of himself as a Bengali, a madrasa student will not want to be satisfied with just a Bengali identity; He will feel more comfortable, primarily and firstly, perhaps just thinking Muslim. Even today it is not impossible to imagine that due to the spread of madrasas across the country and the dominance of religious beliefs through mullahs, the common student may no longer have the courage to think only ‘Bengali’ as a result of the country’s socio-cultural transformation. We know the history of how the identity of Bengalis has evolved in the last ten years. Illiteracy and poor education are mainly responsible for this. And the source of this illiteracy and illiteracy is this ‘disunity’ বিদ্যমানcreative existing education system which is ‘ridiculous and shameful’ in the words of Shahidullah.