Maha order on Madrasas stirs hornet’s nest
The registered Madrasas – not teaching primary subjects – will be classified by the government as “non-schools” and children studying in them will be considered “out of school” students.
“Madrasas are giving students education on religion and not giving them <g data-gr-id="34">formal</g> education. Our Constitution says every child has the right to take formal education, which Madrasas do not provide,” said State Minorities Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse.
The Minister’s statement has invited criticism from community leaders and the Opposition Congress. However, Khadse pressed ahead with his argument, saying, “If a Hindu or Christian child wants to study in a Madrasa, they will not be allowed to study there. Thus, Madrasa is not a school, but a source of religious education. Thus, we have asked them to teach students other subjects as well. Otherwise, these Madrasas will be considered as non-schools.”
“Students who are studying in Madrasas that do not provide formal education will be treated as out-of-school students. Our only aim behind doing this is to ensure that every child of the minority community gets a chance to learn and come to the mainstream, gets good-paying jobs and has a prosperous future,” Khadse said. The Minister said that of 1,890 registered Madrasas in the state, 550 have agreed to teach the four subjects.
Asaduddin Owaisi, MP and President of <g data-gr-id="35">AIMIM</g>, questioned the rationale behind the government’s decision, and asked whether students being imparted Vedic studies will also be considered out-of-school children.
“There are many Madrasas that are teaching Maths, English and Science. Many <g data-gr-id="32">Madarasa</g> students have gone ahead and cracked civil services”, he said. Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind General Secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani said whatever happened is “unacceptable”.
Calling the move unconstitutional, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Nirupam said: “No child should be discriminated along religious lines. We are going to take up the issue in the state Assembly.”
Countering the criticism, Khadse said: “We are even ready to pay Madrasas for imparting formal education to students and are ready to provide them teaching staff as well.” He said the school education department has planned a survey of students that are not taking formal education
on July 4.