Madrassas must teach academic subjects to avail govt aid: Maharashtra minority minister

By Staff Reporter,

Mumbai: In an effort to modernize madrassas in the state, Maharashtra government has decided to make it obligatory for madrassas to teach students subjects such as English, mathematics, science and social sciences if they want government aid.

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Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse has announced that these subjects will have to be compulsorily taught in madrassas across the state in addition with traditional religious studies.

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As per the report in Marathi news daily, the minister has further stated that madrassas which do not follow this directive will not be eligible for government grants.

“The government is committed to the development of Muslims in the State and we have decided to expand the scheme base to ensure that quality education reaches Muslim students,” said Khadse.

Stressing that it is an attempt to modernize madrassas he said, “We want the minority to come up in all spheres of life. Thus, it is important that when they give religious teachings to students, they also give knowledge of other subjects at the same time. Thus, we have decided to make it mandatory for madrassas to teach these four subjects as well.”

Khadse also said that government will facilitate in appointing three teachers for teaching these subjects in the respective madrassas and the madrassas’ body will be given authority to appoint teacher of their choice with B Ed qualification.

He said that madrasas currently get Rs 2 lakh as financial aid from the state government, and that they would continue to get the basic aid even if they did not teach the 4 subjects but the additional aid will be only given to those madrassas that teach these subjects.

“Under the Multi Sector Development programme of the Centre that will be started from this year, madrassas were to get Rs 3 lakh for modernisation and Rs 50,000 for book purchase in addition to Rs 2 lakh the government already gives. If madrasas do not teach the four subjects, they will not get these grants,” Khadse said.

It is not mandatory for the madrassas to accept aid given by the government and hence those madrassas not inclined to allow government meddling in its affairs are at free will not to agree to this government directive.

There are 1,890 registered madrassas in the state and according to the government officials 537 madrassas have already given their consent for teaching these subjects but the government is attempting to rope in more madrassas to become part of this scheme.