Bihar’s only govt Madrasa fights for survival  

Madrasa Islamia Shamsul Huda, in Patna was established by Justice Nurul Huda, a bar at law, in 1912.

More than a century old Patna-based institute has produced distinguished educationists. 

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Sami Ahmad | 

BIHAR —  Once known for producing scholars, educationists and civil servants, Madrasa Islamia Shamsul Huda, Patna, is Bihar’s only government Madrasa, and is now in a dire situation.

Among many issues, the institute of repute is facing a crisis of staff. There are only four teachers in the madrasa against 21 sanctioned posts.

The junior section of the madrasa has not admitted any students since 2020. The only teacher in this section is set to retire on January 31.

This Madrasa was established for the educational upliftment of the Muslim community by Justice Nurul Huda, a bar at law, in 1912 in his father Maulana Shamsul Huda’s memory. While the government of Bihar has acknowledged it as a distinguished research centre, it has failed to address the issues pertaining to teachers and non-teaching staff.

“Since 1979, no proper appointment has been made while teachers were retiring,” principal of the Madrasa Syed Mashhood Ahmad Quadri Nadvi, told “Education department officers have been apprised of the problems. We have met the Director of Education department and requested to advertise the post and provide teachers for the vacancies but we have got no results.”

Maulana Mashhood rues that for around two decades the madrasa has only organized farewell of teachers and not welcomed any new teachers.

The madrasa has its own governing body which is headed by the commissioner of Patna. A proposal regarding the appointment of teachers has been sent to the education department by the governing body but that too couldn’t bring any positive results.

“Lack of teachers has severely affected the studies of over 150 students. We are somehow managing the syllabus with combined classes to get them prepared for their examinations,” Maulana Mashhood said.

He expressed hope that the appointment process would be initiated soon.

Maulana Abul Kalam Quasmi, ex-principal of Madrasa Shamsul Huda expressed his anguish while talking to “There was a time when only those students were given a chance for admission who could clear the entrance test as seats were numbered and aspirants used to come from across the state including Jharkhand,” he said.

He alleged that when the proposal for a new appointment is sent by the governing body of the madrasa to the officers of the education department, they are told to hire contractual teachers.

“It is an institution for distinguished research, how would a contractual teacher do justice to this premier institution?” said Maulana Quasmi.

Danish Abedin completed his Fazil (P.G.) degree from the madrasa in 2005 and is currently the general secretary of the Bihar State Madrasa Old Boys Association.

He told that there were still a few teachers at that time but in the last 16 years, the situation has only worsened.

“We will initiate an agitation once the situation normalizes as the madrasa is closed due to Covid restrictions,” he said

Akhtarul Iman, state president of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen and MLA from Amaur has raised the issue of the madrasa in the state’s assembly and also written to the state education minister. Talking to, he expressed disappointment and said, “This is a historic institution. This is not a government-aided madrasa but a Government madrasa. It had a big role in India’s freedom struggle but it has been continuously and deliberately neglected by the successive governments including that of Mr Nitish Kumar.”

Iman argues that “While Nitish Ji is pumping money and effort to revive Nalanda’s old and defunct University but unfortunately neglecting the renowned Madrasa which is still functional despite all odds.”

“The Madrasa is a cultural heritage of the state and it must be preserved,” Iman said.

Iman said his party would be meeting the Education Minister soon and expressed hope that a proper advertisement would soon be published for the appointment of teachers and non-teaching staff.

“If this is not done, we would launch a public agitation and seek judicial intervention,” he added.

Sami Ahmad is a journalist based in Patna, Bihar. He tweets at @samipkb.