Maktab is the first form of institutionally organized islamic upbringing and education. It is the initial and basic upbringing and educational institution of the Islamic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim of maktab could be defined as building up a complete islamic personality who brings together the strength of belief, being keen on conducting all religious principles and the unrecallable acceptance of Islam as a complete life style.
Based on this aim, the tasks of the maktab can be grouped into the following: (1) inner conscious of believing in the truths of faith; (2) acquiring knowledge and managing the skill of applying islamic provisions and norms, (3) quality in bringing together the conviction and the application of the acquired knowledge in practice to the level of ennobled islamic behaviour.
SIGNIFICANCE OF MAKTAB
In order to assess the significance of maktab in the process of a general Islamic upbringing and education it would be good to„peek“ into the state of religious conscious of a significant number of generations of youngsters from the period when the work of maktab in these areas after World War II was prohibited. Amongst other, the separation from the maktab education has brought a great spiritual emptiness of tens of thousands young people, and freed space for ideology which has not replaced the shortcommings of universal values, created a deep inter-generation gap and left heavy scars which are recognizable today.
During that same period, a large number of secret/illegal maktabs brought up strong and unbreakable guardians of the Islamic values who, even if having to pay the price to permanently stay in the background of political and other social events, would have chosen to sincerely live their faith. They believed that the time will come again when they can live being free and without any restrictions be able to live their religious and any other identity. They believed in that and knew that such a time cannot be entered without being loyal to Islam and sacrify oneself to maintaining its values. They are these generations who, in difficult times, succeeded to maintain the light of Islam for all generations of new times to come.
DOES MAKTAB HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE?
The time we live in is characteristic for the lightning-like expansion of IT development which have a wide use. These technologies literally completely change the overall environment of men’s life and work. Due to the availability of information in the sense of quantity, quality and speed they do question the sense of a large number of kinds and contents of human’s activities. Because of that today the trust into many institutions, especially those which connect their roots to tradition or systems of functioning of some important segments of strategic activities is tempted.
In the middle of such merciless questioning are, before everything else and the most, upbringing-educational institutions. Means of mass and planetary communication, fast and wide availability, and a simple exchange of knowledge and information are more often felt as an alternativeto traditional educational institutions and systems. And that is why in the whole developed world there is an intense struggle to quickly enable educational institutions for acting and continueing their mission in times where from hour to hour the limits of power of information technology is growing.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN THE AWARENESS ABOUT MAKTAB?
Since in the previous text the awareness about maktab has been assessed in two factors which impact the state of Islamic upbringing and educational work in maktabs, hence opposite these factors the proposals for incentives to strengthen the awareness about maktab shall be directed. Through its bodies, institutions, departments and the relevant persons in charge the Islamic community could de jure and the facto confirm the status it truly should have in its organized upbringing and educational system.
On different levels one could launch good quality researches, relevant analyses, professional monitoring, assessment and stimulation of the contribution to development and impact of this institution. Islamic schools and institutions of higher education can do more for the on-purpose education and training of staff, in theory and practice, because we cannot have a quality work of maktab if, after a long break during school in madrasa and in college, graduated imams, khatibs and muallims enter the maktab classroom for the first time after their completion of the maktab, without a single professionally monitored class they were holding. During its apprenticeship the work of the muallim can be approached by a lot more mentoring, monitoring and professional support.
A large number of active muallims could use a thourough additional education in the field of pedagogy and psychology as well as didactics and methodics. It would be quite good to work on introducing new staff solutions for maktabs in big jamaats by opening these facilities for professional and freelance work of graduates from Islamic faculties.
Consistency and persistency in making decisions on respecting the norms and standards in furnishing the maktabas well as the disciplinary application of provisions of the Rules on maktabs and maktab classes by all of those who are in contact with this activity, determining the mandatory and more known budget planning for financing the upbringing and educational and other activities of the maktab, and so on – these are some of the measures which implementation would noticeably indicate the tendency of strengthening the awareness of maktab on collective level. No doubt, the Islamic community has the capacity to implement such and many other wider measures which will gift today’s maktab the strength of an attractive institution of continuous forming of the Islamic personality.