Govt-run madrassas, Sanskrit tols to operate as general educational institutes in Assam

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December 14, 2020 10:29 PM

The closure of the government-run madrassas in Assam is a historic step and is aimed to secularise the entire educational system in the state, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

Students will be admitted to the institutes for pursuing relevant courses of the state boards, Sarma said. (File image)

Government-run madrassas and Sanskrit tols (schools) in Assam will operate as any other general educational institute and a bill will be tabled during the winter session of the Assembly for the closure of the existing two formats, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday.

The closure of the government-run madrassas in Assam is a historic step and is aimed to secularise the entire educational system in the state, the minister said.

The State Madrassa Education Board will be dissolved from the date of declaration of results of examinations to be held for the 2021-22 academic year, and all records, bank accounts and staff will be transferred to the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, the minister said at a press conference here.

The state government will utilise the services of the staff of State Madrassa Board and there will no change in the service conditions of the staff till retirement, he said.

The Cabinet had taken a decision on Sunday to bring a bill for the abolition of all government-run madrassas and Sanskrit tols but certain decisions can be taken by amending rules and issuing notifications in this regard, the minister said.

All the madrassa institutions will be renamed by removing the word ‘Madrassa’ to avoid any confusion in the area of higher studies.

There will not be any fresh admission to madrassa educational institutions in courses prescribed by the State Madrassa Board from April 1, 2021.

Students will be admitted to the institutes for pursuing relevant courses of the state boards, he said.

All theological courses in the madrassas, including the study of the Holy Quran, Hadith and other aspects of Islamic Studies, will be discontinued from April 1, 2021 and the teachers taking theological classes will be trained and engaged in the teaching of other subjects under the general educational system, he said.

There are currently 189 high madrassas under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, while under the State Madrassa
Board there are four Arabic Colleges, 141 title madrassas, 138 senior madrasssas and 230 pre-senior madrassas.

Senior BJP leader and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Aminul Haque Laskar had said on Sunday that madrassas run by
private parties would not be shut down “as these have kept Muslims alive”.

The 96 Sanskrit tols in the state will be converted into study centres, research centres and institutions for offering certificate, diploma or degree courses in ancient literature, culture, traditions and civilisation under the Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University, Nalbari from April 1, 2021, Sarma said.

Assam will be the first state in the country which will offer diploma and degree courses in Indian civilisation, the minister added.

There will be no fresh admission in the tols from April 1, 2021 and the staff will be either transferred to the nearest high or higher secondary schools or the services will be placed at the disposal of the Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University, Nalbari, he said.

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