‘A global language’: Clerics, seminary students stress on need to learn English

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Around 25 students from each seminary were selected for the two-year programme launched by NGO Peace Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation in collaboration with USAID. Teachers specifically hired for the purpose imparted the much needed skill to help students compete against modern world challenges.

Darul Quran administrator Ahmad Alvi admired the efforts of teaching students English, which is said to be the second most widely spoken language in the world.

“There was a time when Arabic and Persian were global languages and people would learn them. But since English is now the global language, students must learn it,” said Alvi. The administrator claimed more than 50% of the seminaries are in favour of providing students with such an opportunity.

Alvi said he ran a similar programme for five years, but had to discontinue it due to financial constraints. “The government needs to introduce and finance such programmes in seminaries,” he added.

Qari Abdul Rehman, vice chancellor of another seminary, expressed similar views and advocated teaching English to students. “Students learn how to speak, understand and write the language,” he said of the initiative.

Citing the example of a seminary student, Rehman claimed Hazrat Ali earned a high score in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), a standardised test.

“The two-year programme has helped me develop a good command over English and now I can communicate with people around the world,” Ali told The Express Tribune. The student stressed the need to continue teaching English so that others can also benefit.

“I would like to use this platform to tell donors to keep the programme going as it helps students like me in competing in daily challenges.”

PEAD’s regional head Samina Imtiaz said students need an opportunity that will enable them to excel. “They are not less than anyone. It’s all about offering them an opportunity. All they need is a single chance,” she added.

Source: Express Tribune