Perception of BRAC Graduates Studying in Madrassah on Some Selected Social and Cultural Issues: A Comparative Study

This study was aimed at exploring the perception of BRAC graduates studying in grade IX in Madrassah on some social and cultural issues. The issues were chosen based on empirical evidence from the author that is generally perceived and practised especially by women from a religious point of view. Forty-four BRAC graduates (girls) studying in Madrassah were selected as part of the study group. An equal number of girl students from each of three other categories of students, i.e., BRAC graduates studying in high school, non-BRAC students studying in high school, and Madrassah were chosen as control groups. The respondents were interviewed in groups. The study reveals that the majority of the BRAC graduates studying in both Madrassah and high schools had progressive perceptions on most of the issues. Some of the groups of BRAC graduates had some degrees of religious fanaticism and superstitious beliefs on some of the issues. BRAC graduates studying in Madrassah had a more progressive perception of most of the issues compared to the non-BRAC students studying in Madrassah. Non-BRAC students studying in high schools had a more progressive perception of the issues compared to the other three groups. The perception of mothers and their daughters on the issues did not seem to be associated. It was realized that Madrassah education alone was not responsible for the backward perceptions of the respondents, rather the influence of religious fanaticism and fundamentalism from time immemorial was also responsible. As the girl students studying in higher classes in schools and in Madrassas still have backward perceptions of social, religious, and cultural issues, the government and/or NGOs should take it into consideration to strengthen development efforts.

Author: Khan, Kaiser A
Type: Report
Year: 2001