New Delhi : The National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMI) has urged the government to bring in legislation to modernise madrassas or Islamic seminaries on the lines of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The recommendation was made in a 40-page report submitted by NCMI chairman Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui to the human resources development ministry in April.
“I have merely suggested reforming and financially aiding madrassas through an act of parliament. An executive action can be reversed the moment there is a change of government. But it would be that much more difficult to undo or reverse an act of parliament,” Siddiqui told IANS.
The report has recommended the constitution of an act, called the Central Madrassa Board Act. The NCMI report also proposes that the salaries of teachers of madrassas be upgraded and brought on par with government schools.
“Since the human resources development ministry is the nodal ministry, I have submitted the report to them. Now it is for the government to decide to act on it,” Siddiqui said.
“This report has been widely acclaimed by most including the Muslims. Only two clerics from the Jamiatul-Uelma-e-Hind and Darul-Uloom-Deoband, two powerful Muslim organisations, have protested,” added Siddiqui, refusing to divulge the names of the dissenters.
The report also suggests putting aside Rs.5 billion as seed fund to provide infrastructure facilities for modern laboratories at the seminaries and for payment of madrassa teachers.
It also calls for setting up a Central Madrassa Board to regulate the proposed secular education in madrassas. Affiliation to this board will make the passing out certificate from the madrassas equivalent to the CBSE certificates.