GNRC–Kenya through BRAVE/CSCR held a Madrassa Committee Meeting on 14th March 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss the context of violence against children in madrassas and possible solutions to preventing and ultimately ending the menace. The meeting was the second of its kind after the previous one held in 2nd December 2017. The seven (7) committee member organizations, comprising religious leaders and professionals, discussed various ways to end violence against children in Madrassas, and came up with resolutions and way forward on the issue.
In his remarks, the GNRC Coordinator in Kenya, Sh. Ramadhan Aula, put emphasis on the need for Madrasa teachers to first understand the curriculum to be able to implement it. He mentioned a concept note prepared by Mr. Munawar Khan, a member of the Madrassa Committee and an educationist from the Kenya Muslim Education Council, as a very elaborate concept towards research on Madrasas. The concept paper proposes a survey study on the number of Madrassas and Madrasa teachers both in rural and urban areas.
Members reviewed the different levels of violence in Madrasas and how to determine its extent. The meeting agreed to engage consultants to draft a concept note which can easily be understood and to develop study indicators for proper measurements. It was thus felt that a survey either by county or province was prudent, to help understand the different reasons behind violence against children in Madrassas, and to determine areas/counties in which the challenge is more rampant and why. The need to educate religious leaders including Sheikhs, Imams and Ustadhs on ending violence against children was viewed as a major step towards preventing the problem.
Participants internalized the terms of reference from the meeting and promised to share a plan of action on the functions of the committee. In his closing remarks, the chairman of the Madrasa Committee, Sh. Ibrahim Lethome, urged members to put more effort in solving the problem. He welcomed in-depth research from scholars that seek sustainable solutions towards ending violence against children.