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Scholar calls for rethinking education concept.

Manama: Contemporary pedagogy needs to be reformed in both the Arab and Western worlds, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies has said.

Addressing a public seminar on aACAyEducation: Ethics and Goals', Tareq Ramadan, Executive Director of the Research Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), criticised contemporary pedagogy in both the Arab and the Western world and highlighted the consequences of their respective weaknesses by interpreting the meaning of education, differentiating it from similar terms.

"Purposeful knowledge should be accompanied by freedom in order to maintain individual dignity," the Europe-based Islamic scholar said at the seminar held at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies. "This purposeful knowledge is closely connected with the concept of legal obligation (taklif) and requires independent thought and critical thinking. It also entails assuming our individual responsibilities by first abandoning the victim attitude, in order for us to then make courageous decisions," he said in remarks e-mailed to Gulf News.

Acquiring "purposeful knowledge" requires the study of revealed texts along with that of reality and the status quo as the careful reflection of such literature will foster a better understanding of contextual reality, he added.

"It [purposeful knowledge] necessitates avoiding cognitive isolation, in addition to linking schools to their surrounding environment, by adopting the principle of social solidarity. This kind of purposeful knowledge cannot be fulfilled without first acquiring aesthetic and artistic characteristics through the promotion of creativity," he said.

"Humility plays a pivotal role in the acquisition of purposeful knowledge."

Various pedagogical problems resulting from a lack of institutional ethics were highlighted by the public at the seminar.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 30, 2013
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