Centre launches a Rs 325 crore scheme for quality education in madrasas

By TwoCircles.net news desk

New Delhi: Union Minister of Human Resource Development Arjun Singh launched the Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasa (SPQEM) through the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) here in New Delhi today in the presence of M A A Fatmi, Minister of State for School Education and Literacy and Maulana Wali Rahmani, Chairman, Sub-Committee, National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education (NMCME).

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Launching the scheme fully sponsored by the central government, Arjun Singh said that SPQEM will bring about a qualitative change in the education being imparted through Madrasas and maktabs. This will bring them into the mainstream of national education system, he said.

While distributing free study material to students of madrasa and maktabs at the launching program, Arjun Singh also highlighted various measures undertaken by the UPA Government for the uplift of the minorities.

He emphasized the importance of National Monitoring Committee for Minority Education (NMCME) and said that this Committee gave a number of valuable recommendations including the one to link madrasa and maktabs to NIOS.

An Expert Committee of the NMCME was earlier constituted to give inputs to revise the programme of modernization of madarsas. The Expert Committee in its report submitted to the government had suggested that madrasas be provided a linkage with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) to provide for certification of academic levels, linkages with vocational education and improving for quality of education in modern subjects. It suggested introduction of teacher training at madrasas, enhancement of teacher salaries, strengthening of State Madarsa Boards for monitoring and raising awareness about education programmes for the Muslim community.

An amount of Rs. 325 crore has been allocated for the scheme as per budget provision made by Planning Commission in the XIth Five Year Plan.

Objectives of the scheme

(1) The objective of the Scheme is to encourage traditional institutions, like Madarsa and Maktabs by giving financial assistance to introduce Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Hindi and English in their curriculum. However, the process of modernization of traditional Madarsas and Maktabs will be voluntary.

(2) Maktabs/Madarsas/Dar-ul-Ulooms can opt to become accredited study centres with the National Institutions of Open Schooling (NIOS) for primary and middle levels of education or/and for secondary and senior secondary levels as well. Assistance would be given to Maktabs Madarsas and Dar-Ul-Uloom for activities, which contribute to these objectives.

(3) The scheme also will seek to provide opportunities for vocational training for children studying in ‘Madarsas’ opting for assistance about 14 years of age, to enhance their opportunities for entering the job market and encourage entrepreneurship.

(4) The scheme will also strengthen State Madarsa Board opting for assistance by enabling them to monitor the Madarsa modernization programme and enhance awareness about education among the Muslim community.

(5) The scheme will also address the issue of in-service training of teachers appointed under the scheme.

Financial assistance to madrasas

The financial assistance to Maktabs/Madrasas/Dar-ul-ulooms will cover the following items:

(a) For appointment of teachers for teaching Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Languages, Computer Application and Science, and for conducting in-service teacher training programs etc.

(b) For strengthening the libraries/book bank and providing teaching learning materials at all levels.
(c) For purchase of Science kits, Maths kits, and other essential pedagogical equipment and their maintenance and for establishment of Science/Computer Labs/Workshops in madrasas at the Secondary/Senior Secondary levels.

(d) Financial assistance will be provided to meet registration fees.

Eligibility Conditions

(a) Madrasas which have been in existence at least for three years and registered under Central or State Government Acts or Madarsa Board or with Wakf Boards or NIOS shall be eligible to apply for assistance under this programme.

(b) All Madrasas opting to be covered by distance education mode and availing of government grant will need to be accredited with the NIOS. Government would have to provide documentary evidence of their affiliation/accreditation to the State Madrasas Boards/NIOS. The Madrasa would for this purpose send an application for accreditation/affiliation to NIOS. Once the Madrasa has been accredited by the NIOS, as study centres the NIOS shall take thereafter, all necessary steps for conducting the academic activities of the study centres in such Madrasa.

Madrasas can also opt for vocational courses offered by NIOS after fulfilling norms and standards set by NIOS.