• Working Paper

Islamic education, EFA and millenium development goals


Method, F. (2003). Islamic education, EFA and millenium development goals. : World Bank.


The goal of universal primary school participation by all children, worldwide, by 2015 requires the fullest possible mobilization of all education providers as well as the development of new partnerships addressing the needs of the poor, rural and isolated communities, girls and women and others inadequately served by current approaches. Islamic education systems provide both significant basic education capacities in countries with muslim populations and a tradition of learning underlying public education generally. At least 50 developing and transitional countries have muslim populations of 10 percent or more. These countries include 11 of the countries designated for “Fast-track” focus by the World Bank and other international funders and 5 of the “E-9” large countries. The basic education capacities of these countries vary widely, from countries already providing universal primary education such as Albania, Malaysia, Algeria, Tunisia and Turkey to countries nearing universal provision such as Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Central Asian Republics to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and other countries of the Sahel that will require heroic efforts to reach anything like universal basic schooling by 2015.Many countries have built modern, secular government-administered public school systems on an earlier history of koranic schools and Islamic learning supported by local associations, mosques, religious and social leaders. There are learned communities associated with centers of Islamic scholarship dating many centuries, some of which continue to play influential roles today, such as Al-Azhar in Egypt. Traditional koranic schools providing basic religious instruction exist in most communities. Madrassas and other Islamic schools provide more formal instruction and training including preparation for religious vocations. Over the past two decades there has been expansion both of the religious models and of hybrid models combining Islamic studies with the core curriculum of the national education system.