Madrassa Jamia Tajwidul Quran, which shares space with Noor Meher School, both run under Noor Meher Charitable Trust at Malad (W), introduced online teaching soon after the madrassa reopened after Ramzan vacations in June. “Students left for home due to the vacations and could not return due to lockdown and closure of educational institutions. We decided students should not suffer and told teachers to guide them online,” said the madrassa-school founder Syed Ali, fondly called Ali Bhai.
Keeping its past records, this year too 10 hafizs from here cleared SSC exams and will soon join mainstream educational institutions. Here, students become a hafiz and study modern subjects too, to be able to sit for SSC exams.
Students of hafiz course recite the portion given as homework on WhatsApp video, and teachers correct them if they mispronounce a word or forget something during recitation. “We have given one hour for a class to each student. They are ready at homes in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, and even Mumbai, when we video call them,” said Hafiz Aijaz, a teacher.
Since most madrassa students come from very poor families, they find it difficult to afford smart phones or recharge SIM cards. This is why the over half-a-century-old Madrassa Darul Uloom Mohammadiya, near the iconic Minara Masjid at Mohammed Ali Road, has not resumed online classes since the Bakrid vacations ended in the first week of this month.
“We conducted online classes in June-July. The first week of August was a vacation for Bakrid, but online classes have not resumed as some students complained of poor connectivity in rural areas, and not having money to recharge SIMs. We are trying to sort it out,” said Darul Uloon Mohammadiya general secretary Maulana Hafiz Athar Ali.
Markazul Maarif at Jogeshwari teaches English to madrassa graduates. Its 69 students, across the country are learning online. Director Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi recalled a story of a student from Araria in Bihar, which shows the zeal and enthusiasm of madrassa students to get empowered with the knowledge of English. Qasmi said the student lives 18km from Araria. Since there is poor internet connectivity, the student travels to the town every morning, sits near a room allotted by a mobile shop-owner and learns English online. He goes back in the evening. “We are amazed by his dedication to learn English. This will help change the perception of madrassas,” said Qasmi.