Of 1,880 Madrassas in the state, only 160 have applied for the Rs 2.5-lakh aid under the ‘Dr Zakir Hussain madrassa modernisation scheme’ launched by the state’s Minority Affairs Department. The department has now extended the deadline for the second time.
Earlier, the deadline was set for November 30, which was extended till December 15. The deadline has now been extended to December 31 for the madrassas and January 10 for the district administration for verifying applications and submitting it to the state government.
Under the scheme, madrassas would have to teach maths, science, languages and social sciences.
Ainul Attar, joint secretary, minority affairs department, said, “Over 160 applications have been received so far. It is not just that the number of application received are low. Some of the madrassa administrations have submitted incomplete documents and thus we had to extend the deadline.”
State minorities minister Arif Naseem Khan said, “Madrassas are apprehensive because they think that through this scheme, the government will keep an eye on and control these institutions. However, the government will not put pressure on them as it is not mandatory for them to apply for the scheme. Most of them are unaware about the scheme. We are trying to spread awareness about it through workshops.”
Khan added, “Applications are being submitted from different districts. We will get the exact number of applications only after December 31.”
However many Muslim educationists and academicians are opposed to the initiative.
“Managements running madrassas or other academicians are not in favour of the scheme, as we feel the government must concentrate on encouraging and helping other Muslim students who go to school and are are not getting basic facilities. There are Urdu schools, where there are no teachers and no proper infrastructure. The government must focus on that. There is no point in modernising the madrasas. Only four per cent students go to madrassas, while the remaining 94 per cent prefer going to regular school,” said Maulana Burhanuddin Qasmi, driector of Markazul Maarif, a research centre that teaches madrassa graduates basic English.