Closely related to illiteracy rates is the matter of student attrition across the educational systems in operation. Mansory (2007), in the introduction to his study on drop-out rates in Afghan schools, stated that there is virtually no “reliable information” on the nature of Afghan student attrition .There is “little to no data on whether all students enroll at the first grade level and, from there, how long students continue, whether they complete a full course of primary and secondary education and what their learning outcomes may be” (p. 4).
Role of the Madrassahs
Emadi (2005) observed that outside fields of knowledge like geography or mathematics are not considered vital to the madrassah curriculum which instead prioritizes piety and knowledge of the Quran through correct recitation of Quranic verse. Teachers were not valued for their educational background or intellectual acuity but rather for being faithful servants of the religion and devoted to the perpetuation of religious commitment and discipline. Emadi (2005) stated that madrassahs today “bear little resemblance to their predecessors” and do little to encourage “innovative thinking and critical discourse” (p. 210), focusing instead on recitation of the Quran or the practice of Muslim rituals.
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