IN a first, the Unified District Information System for Education (U-DISE) 2014-15 survey of schools has included a category to count recognised madrasas across the country. The recently released report has separate categories for recognised and unrecognised madrasas, unlike in the past when madrasas were included in the category of unrecognised schools.
The low number of madrasas in the U-DISE survey, however, was an indication that not many madrasas participated or responded to the survey, said experts. The survey has recorded 56 recognised and 76 unrecognised madrasas across Maharashtra.
The survey has recorded zero recognised or unrecognised madrasas in Mumbai, Thane, Kolhapur, Palghar, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Akola, Nandurbar and Sangli districts, while Gondiya, Nanded, Chandrapur, Nagpur and Satara districts have reported unrecognised madrasas ranging from six to 16.
According to Muslim leaders and activists, there are close to 7,000 madrasas in the state, while the data with the minority department says there are 1,889. While madrasas in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are recognised by their respective governments, this is not the case in Maharashtra.
Maulana Syed Athar Ali, Muslim Personal Law Board member and general secretary of the Madrassa Darul Uloom Mohammadiyam, Mohammed Ali Road, said, “Madrasas had never officially been recognised by the Maharashtra government. In UP and Bihar, after passing a particular exam, the madrasa students are considered matriculation equivalent.”
The state government had offered an aid of Rs 2.5 lakh under the ‘Dr Zakir Hussain Madrasa modernisation scheme’, which was launched by the state’s minority affairs department in 2013. Till date, only 550 madrasas have applied under this scheme.
In June this year, Dilip Kamble, Minister of State for Minority Affairs, raged a controversy after he made a statement that 1.5 lakh students studying in madrasas would be considered in the category of out-of-school students. Kamble justified his statement by citing that madrasas did not impart formal education and hence could not be counted as schools.
A senior official from the state school education department said, “Only those madrasas that had applied for the state government’s madrasa modernisation programmes and have agreed to teach the four formal subjects of mathematics, science, languages and social sciences, have been included in the category of recognised madrasas. We hope more and more managements come forward and adopt this programme as it will help them in getting employment for their pupils.”