Assam's Bharatiya Janata Party government will issue a notification regarding shutting down of all state-run madrassas and around 100 Sanskrit Tols in November, state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said.
Madrassas are educational institutions where the Quran and the Islamic sacred law is taught along with mathematics, grammar, poetry, and history. Around 148 of contractual teachers working in the madrassas are likely to be shifted to schools under general secondary education.
“All State-run madrassas will be converted into regular schools or in certain cases teachers will be transferred to state-run schools and madrassas will be shut down. A notification will be released in November,” Sarma said.
The Minister said that in his opinion, teaching the Quran can't happen at the cost of government money. "If we have to do so then we should also teach both the Bible and Bhagavad Gita. So, we want to bring uniformity and stop this practice."
According to State Madrassa Education Board (SMEB), there are 614 recognised madrassas in Assam. As many as 400 out of these are high madrassas, 112 are junior high madrassas and the remaining 102 are senior madrassas, the SMEB website said. Out of total recognized madrassas, 57 are for girls, 3 are for boys and 554 are co-educational.Seventeen madrassas are running under Urdu medium, it added.
The decision did not go down well with many who called it a move to suppress the Muslim community. All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief and MP Badruddin Ajmal said that if the BJP-led government shut down government-run madrasas, his party would re-open them after winning the next year's Assembly elections.