Madrasah as Professional Religious and Pedagogical Institutions in Pre-revolutionary Bashkortostan

One of the main components of each system is its contents. The contents of education which is one of the fundamental elements of the whole educational system gives us a possibility of dividing different kinds of institutions into levels or groups, such as primary, secondary, special and institutions of higher education.
What does madrasah, which existed on the Bashkir territory before 1920, refer to? It is difficult to give the exact answer. Opinions differ. It is necessary to examine the contents of institutions of this kind to solve the problem.
It is known that in the basis of each educational system there are three components: general, special and social-economic. We値l examine the matter from these three positions. The origin and development of the so-called book learning are closely connected with Moslem religion. Islam spread over the Bashkir territory before Christ. In the XIX century, as B.H.Yuldashev marked, about 90% of population confessed Islam religion. Islam spreading was accompanied by spreading of Moslem institutions with their attributes: writing on the basis of Arabic graphics and book learning. Gradually the local system of Moslem education began to turn out. Schools copied traditional schools of Islam: madrasah and mekteb.
The main aim of madrasah, which gave the higher education, was to prepare muezzins, imams, khatips, fakikhs, ghalims, mugallims, mudarises, kazi and muftis, and give them the knowledge of faith religion principals of life with the further passing it to others. In other words madrasah was to prepare religious mentors, mosque tutors, teachers of Moslem education institutions, who could be skilled in sharia laws.
We should distinguish two periods: 1) before 1890 and: 2) before 1920.
At first the programs of madrasah were of a religious character. Almost the whole education was merely god-believing with its complex of subjects, such as etymology and syntax of the Arabic language, logic, philosophy, dogmatic and Moslem law.
Other subjects were auxiliary and they were taught only for understanding Islam better and deeper. This situation was not convenient for the Moslem society. Progressively turned mudarises and mugallims (teachers in madrasah) began finding their own way of overcoming the religious domination and scholasticism in madrasah. They tried to widen the traditional educational programs and introduce new pedagogical methods and ways.
Shakirds (madrasah pupils) played a great role in formation of official part of the program. They were the pupils of madrasah and they really longed for education. There were a lot of libraries in madrasah and it furthered their self-education.
New teachers・activity and shakirds・independent works greatly changed the traditional program of madrasah into scientific direction. That痴 why they really gave their students high level of education. In 1872 V.V.Radlov, a scientist who was interested in Oriental culture, wrote that graduates・mental abilities were higher than those of teachers・of village schools. And N.I.Ilminsky considered madrasah to be none worse than Ministry of public education. Notwithstanding that there were few institutions equal to institutions of higher education.
In the early 90s of the previous century in Bashkortostan a new stage of madrasah development began. Madrasah started to transform under the influence of Tatar and Bashkir economic systems of spreading into masses of education of jadeit ideology (Ismail Gasprinsky was the founder), the educational questions of that time acquired great importance and meaning and from then began to act under the slogan 滴igh National School・
Reforms of Moslem schools began with the change of letter adding method of grammar (the so-called idgiks) into sound method. This change influenced educational course. They started teaching native and Russian languages, mathematics, natural history, history, etc. The language of lessons was Tatar. And it was really a progressive moment in development of madrasah. The whole organization of educational process became different. A solid educational plan was set, a schedule was introduced, entrance and final exams were put into life. They began to give educational certificate after finishing madrasah. Classes were not only empty rooms but those with blackboards, desks, etc. New special cabinets of physics, geographic were introduced.
New maps, schemes, lists were involved into educational process. Moslem educational institutions were known as new-methodic. In the end of XIX century especially at the beginning of 20th century the amount of madrasah schools began to increase tremendously. Some of them can be named ォRasuliaサ (1884 in Troitsk), ォUsmaniaサ (1887 in Ufa), ォKhusainiaサ (1891 in Orenburg) and many others.
The opening of a new-methodic madrasah ォGaliyaサ in Ufa in 1906 became a great event in cultural life of the region. It became a center of Moslem education of Russia. It really gave a great pack of knowledge and can be compared with other institutions of higher education. They could train and teach qualified specialists, future teachers.
Madrasah had three preparatory and three main classes with a year of study in each class. Those who passed entrance exams successfully or those who finished ordinary madrasah were matriculated here. The program of madrasah could be divided into: l) cycle of subjects connected with Moslem religion, 2) cycle of providing general education, 3) social-pedagogical cycle. These cycles were directly correlated.
There were many disciplines in each cycle. There are some examples: the course of Mathematics had such subjects as Arithmetic, Algebra, theoretical knowledge from Higher Mathematics. In the course of Geometry there were Geometry, Planimetry, Stereometry. The Russian language was taught at the simplest level but with the intention to teach to read and write correctly. History was devoted to the Turkic culture, History of the Russian empire and also General History. There was Geography of Russia, Europe, Asia and also some information from Economic Geography in the course of Geography. Natural history included Zoology and Botany. Physics was deeply studied. Also they studied Mechanics, theory of light ... The Tatar language occupied a great place in the course of madrasah. Each day there was at least one lesson. All subjects even the special ones were taught in Tatar. Chemistry and Law were faintly studied (only for 1 year). Thus, the course of madrasah with the exception of languages and drawing was deeper and wider than that of men痴 gymnasiums of Ministry of public education. In madrasah they examined such subjects as Algebra, Geometry, History, Physics, and Geography more deeply. There also was a special course including Hygiene, Logic and Pedagogics. Pedagogics was taught each year and included Theory of education, Didactics, some information about the method of teaching in mektebs and madrasahs, Psychology.
Shakirds・pedagogical practical activity began during their studying because mudarises assigned assistants the so-called khalifs, for effective education. The institution of khalfs was a kind of pedagogical practice for them and besides it took away the problem of teachers・shortage. It should be noticed that such system of cooperated education was invented long before the known Bell and Lancaster.
Khalifs, assigned from the elder classes, not only conducted educating work but helped younger shakirds to master subjects. Sometimes they conducted the lessons in mektebs or other madrasahs. Many shakirds earned money by teaching children during their summer holidays. Of course pedagogical activity in madrasah was not a special organized process as in institutes and seminaries, but shakirds・skill was none worse than that of teachers of other educational institutions. Many pedagogical methods in madrasah were of a rational character. Shakirds could have different opinion from teachers・ Disputation was the way of teaching and it helped pupils to think logically and analyze their views. Thus, ォGaliyaサ was a unique thing. It gave a possibility equating it to other professional institutions of higher education. Besides wide providing general educational cycle, madrasah formed quite a good system of professional knowledge, skill, and experience, world outlook, thinking both in religious sphere and in pedagogical activity. Thanks to madrasah a great amount of religious tutors, professional teachers of Tatar, Bashkir and other Turkic nations was formed. These teachers contributed a lot to the development of national cultures.

Aminov T.


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