THE BJP-LED government in Assam will soon disband the State Madrasa Board and hand over the academic part of it to the Board of Secondary Education. The Sanskrit Board will also be dissolved, state Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted late Tuesday evening. “To mainstream Madrasa education, we are disbanding the Madrasa Education directorate and making it part of the Secondary Education directorate,” Sarma tweeted. “The Madrasa Board too will be dissolved and the academic part will be handed over to the Board of Secondary Education,” he said another tweet.
In a post on Facebook, in which he repeated the two sentences, Sarma said, “We are restructuring to reform.” Sarma’s announcement came a little over five months after he had asked madrasas to stop remaining shut on Fridays and shift their weekly off-day uniformly with other educational institutions to Sunday. In December, as he made that announcement, Sarma had also drawn flak for saying that madrasas remain closed on Fridays in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and not in India.
Earlier in the day, Sarma told the Assembly that the state government wanted to “mainstream” madrasas and Sanskrit tols and introduce modern learning like computers in these institutions.
“We want to introduce modern learning like computers in these educational institutes. For doing this, we will have to change the existing structure,” he said during his reply to a cut motion on Supplementary Demands for Grants for Mid-Day Meal Scheme in the special session of the assembly. While the madrasa education would be placed under the state Board of Secondary Education, Sanskrit tols would be looked after by the Kumar Bhaskarvarma Sanskrit & Ancient Studies University, he said.
Assam had set up the Madrasa Education Board in 1934, with nine schools under it. After Independence, it was renamed as State Madrasa Education Board, Assam, and has over 700 madrasas under it.