Modernizing Islamic Education: The Cases of Bangladesh and Senegal

Authors: Nathaniel Adams Lauren Herzog Katherine Marshall

September 22, 2016

Islamic education systems are the subject of mounting attention, prominent on various development and foreign policy agendas. Discussions are often driven primarily by security concerns. There is, however, growing recognition that Islamic education institutions can and do play important roles in meeting the basic global goal of education for all and in addressing a common and growing demand for attention to values and culturally appropriate curricula in the school context. In many countries, Islamic school systems are major education providers. They often fill key gaps in state-run education systems, for example in reaching marginalized populations. They also point to significant demand for religious education, notable in Muslim communities in different world regions. This case study examines Islamic education systems in Bangladesh and Senegal, focusing on how they fit within broader national education strategies and how reform proposals meet concerns both of national education authorities and of religious leaders and communities.

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