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Assam to shut down govt-run madrasas, Sanskrit tols

Assam to shut down govt-run madrasas, Sanskrit tols

Representational Image, credit: PTI

Guwahati : The Madrasa Board in Assam would be dissolved and all state-run madrasas would be converted into general schools, state Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.

The Minister said that the Sanskrit tols (schools) would be closed down as well by the Assam government.

Sarma said that the government has no intention of closing the private madrasas.

"We would soon introduce necessary regulation in this regard. The state government took this decision based on research on madrasas. The government-run madrasas in Assam would either be converted into regular schools or they would be closed down. Teachers would be transferred to general schools after issuance of a government notification next month," the Minister told the media.

"In order to bring uniformity, teaching the Quran at the cost of government exchequer could not be allowed to continue," he added.

Sarma said that besides the government-run madrassas, Sanskrit tols (schools) would also be closed down in Assam.

He said that Sanskrit tols would be handed over to Kumar Bhaskarvarma Sanskrit University and these would be converted into centres of learning and research where Indian culture, civilisation and nationalism would be studied.

The Minister said the examination structures of madrasas are different with an emphasis on religious studies and not on general subjects required for further higher professional education like medical and engineering.

He claimed that besides the guardians and parents, most of the students enrolled in the madrasas, want to become doctors and engineers and are not aware of the fact that these are not regular schools.

"A survey conducted by a Gauhati University professor, who happens to be a Muslim, found that the parents and guardians of most of the students of the madrasas are not aware of the fact that their children are not taught the regular subjects but are imparted lessons mostly in theology."

He claimed that, most Islamic scholars are also not in favour of madrasas being run under the government and added that the madrassas were set up in the pre- Independence era and are a legacy of the Muslim League.

According to Sarma, who also holds the Finance and Health portfolios, there are 610 government run madrasas in Assam, for which the state government spends Rs 260 crore annually.

There are nearly 1,000 recognised Sanskrit tols, of which around 100 are government-aided and the state government spends about Rs one crore on Sanskrit tols in the state annually.

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