11-MAY-2015: The Bridge Courses for Madrasa pass outs, run by the Aligarh Muslim University is considering introduction of science stream in its curricula. For this purpose, a high-level meeting was held to discuss various key issues related to the feasibility of introducing science subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Presently, the Bridge Course is being offered in Social Sciences and Arts.
It was agreed to form expert committees to design the subject wise syllabus based on NCERT pattern. The proposed course duration would be of four semester with the first semester focusing on English and basic science.
Dr. Rashid Shaz, Director, Bridge Course, who chaired the meeting, remarked that despite all the challenges, the previous batch of Bridge Course students has done exceptionally well in Social Science and Arts stream courses. He said that during the last session several Bridge Course pass outs qualified for mainstream courses under general category including twelve in BA (Hons.) English, nine in BA (Hons.) Economics and three in LLB, apart from other courses.
Prof. Shaz said that following the successful implementation of the Bridge Course for Social Science and Arts, the idea is to introduce foundation courses for science streams as well. "The Madrasa graduates, as of now, are not eligible to pursue courses in engineering, medical or pure science subjects", added Prof. Shaz while claiming that the need for introducing such foundation courses has already been highlighted by Muslim intellectuals, including Syed Ahmad Masood, the great grandson of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who paid a visit to the Bridge Course recently.
Dr. Kalimuddin suggested formation of core committees for formulating syllabi subject wise. Prof. Mubarak pointed out that curricula need to suit the modern scientific requirements. Dr. Zaki Kirmani said that the psychological barriers and the fear of science from the minds of Madarsa graduates need to be eliminated.
Mr. Raheel Ahmad, an alumnus of AMU, who has been appointed as a Consultant to Bridge Course, said that Muslims need to demolish the idea that science and religion are separate. They need to think scientifically and develop themselves with latest technological advancements.
The meeting was attended by senior and retired teachers of AMU including Prof. Rashid Hayat Siddiqui, former Chairman of Civil Engineering Department, Prof. Mubarak Hussain, JNMC, Prof. Kalimuddin, Department of Mathematics, Dr. Zaki Kirmani, Centre for Studies on Science, Dr. Faizan Ahmad, Department of Arabic, Dr. A. H. Saifi, Senior Secondary School, Dr. Ahmad Jamal, Mr. Mohd Tariq, STS High School and other teachers who also expressed their views.