Mumbai: Proposal To Open Mosques, Govt Premises To Provide Study Spaces For Exam Preparation

Mumbai: Proposal To Open Mosques, Govt Premises To Provide Study Spaces For Exam Preparation

All India Ulama Council members will seek state government’s help to solve the students’ problem

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Tuesday, December 26, 2023, 11:55 PM IST
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FPJ

Mumbai: As the academic year moves into the exam season, a major problem faced by students living in small and congested homes is the lack of a quiet place to study for their tests.

On Tuesday evening, at a meeting organised by the All India Ulama Council (AIUC), a body of theologians, at the Anjuman-I-Islam headquarters in the city, educationists discussed how opening mosques during non-prayer hours, and hiring government premises could be a solution to the issue.

Surprising exam preparation locations

Salim Alware of the AIUC said that a recent study by the group revealed that students were using spaces as diverse as railway stations and parks to prepare for their exams. One railway station – Ram Mandir on the Western Railway – was a hub for students from Jogeshwari, the study found.

“During the exam season between December and April, students spend several hours preparing for their tests. SSC and HSC students do not have access to their class rooms and libraries during this period. Our study showed that students are particularly disturbed by noise from the television at home. We feel that they deserve to get an opportunity to do their studies in an uninterrupted manner,” said Alware who added that the study found that there are over 1,800 large mosques in Mumbai that lie largely unused during the non-prayer period. According to Alware, the mosques are used, on average for only two hours in a day for prayers.

He said a delegation of community leaders will seek the state government’s help in order to solve the students’ problem.

Diverse perspectives on establishing inclusive study centers

Nizamuddin Rayin from the AIUC said that a better solution would be to get government premises like Balwadis (kindergartens), police station premises, and night schools for the purpose. Academician Zeba Malik agreed that mosques may not be solution, as the premises will be inaccessible to girl students.

Lawyer Farhana Shah said that the community could look at institutions like Burhani, Maharashtra College, and Anjuman-I-Islam, which are run my Muslim trusts as study centres.

Academician Shabana Khan, who is also a member of the AIUC, said that while there are temporary solutions, attempts should be made to set up permanent study centres. “The goal should be to create places where students can also study for competitive exams. The community lacks leaders and the study centres can be the foundation to groom future leaders,” said Khan.

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