IB counts kharezi madrasas for CM

Mamata had announced to give govt aid to unrecognised madrasas,so list had to be made.

Written by Sabyasachi Bandopdhyay | Kolkata | Published:September 11, 2012 3:36 am

Mamata had announced to give govt aid to unrecognised madrasas,so list had to be made.

Like her predecessor Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sought help from the Intelligence Branch of the state police to count the numbers of kharezi (unrecognised) madrasas in the state.

At present,there are 612 recognised madrasas in the state.

In 2002,Bhattacharjee had ordered count of kharezi madrasas following his remark that some of the madrasas were hotbeds of anti-national activities. The IB,which had undertaken the job,prepared a list that was never published and even the madrasa department could not access it.

However,Bhattacharjee’s remark about the madrasas had triggered a nationwide furore and the then chief minister had to beat a hasty retreat saying his statement was misinterpreted by the media.

What prompted Mamata to count kharezi madrasas is,however,completely for a different reason. After she came to power,she had announced to recognise 10,000 kharezi madrasas so that they can get regular government assistance. To implement it,the state government decided to give the status of Madrasa Siksha Kendra (MSK),a kind of informal school under the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan of the central government,to those madrasas which will seek the status.

Till date, 5,500 kharezi madrasas have applied for recognition and out of that only 500 madrasas could be given the status of MSK.

Unable to make an estimate on how many more madrasas can apply,the madrasa department headed by the Chief Minister has turned to IB to get an idea about the number of such madrasas. “The IB is helping the madrasa department. This much I can tell you,’’ a senior official of the Home Department told The Indian Express.

What also stood in the way in implementation of the chief minister’s announcement is that the state government had to stop at 50 so far as conferring the status of MSK is concerned since under the Right to Education Act,no more informal schools like MSKs could be established.

To find a way on what to do about the remaining 5,000 applications and the more that are still pouring in,the state government has now turned to Central government schemes like Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions (IDMI) and Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQUEM) under the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

“There were basically two handicaps in implementing the Chief Minister’s declaration. First,there was this Act preventing the setting up of MSKs and second we have this on-going financial crisis. We understand we could utilise funds under the two schemes to provide assistance to the madrasas. We have started preparing project reports and we are going to send them to the Ministry of Human Resource Development,’’ an official of the madrasa department told The Indian Express.

After coming to power,Mamata had announced to recognise 10,000 kharezi madrasas and grant them the status of Madrasa Siksha Kendra.

In 2002,Bhattacharjee had ordered count of kharezi madrasas following his remark that some of the madrasas were hotbeds of anti-national activities.

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