The Delhi government is looking to pair madrasas with government schools to impart multigrade education to children who attend these seminaries. About 70 madrasas have expressed interest in being part of the first phase of the programme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA),as per government officials.
We are looking at summer classes when the school is closed to help these children learn English, Education Secretary Rina Ray said. Seventy madrasas is a big number. More will come. It is all about relevant learning.
According to Ray,the concept will help madrasas access infrastructure at a neighbourhood school and get support; the programme will begin in a fortnight.
Earlier this month,a meeting was held to discuss the plan and other options,including pairing these seminaries with government-run schools in Delhi,which the officials touted as the best way to implement the centres madrasa modernisation scheme.
We will develop the curriculum and train volunteers selected to impart general education in the madrasas, Dr V P Singh,state project director of the SSA,said. Guidelines have been framed and work will start next month.
Under the programme,a baseline survey of the students will be done and curriculum will be developed with inputs from the SCERT experts. A draft curriculum will be ready for review by end of April,Singh said.
To bring the over 300 madrasas in the city under the SSA,the government has asked these to either get registered,an HRD ministry requirement to avail funds,or attach themselves to registered madrasas in the neighbourhood. More than 220 madrasas have already applied to the Urdu Academy,which is conducting surveys to identify madrasas that can be brought under the scheme,sources said. Now,a report will be presented to the SSA committee,chaired by Ray,on March 21. Also,in the second phase of the programme,the remaining madrasas will be brought under the scheme,officials said.
Asad Anwar Siddiqui,principal of a Seelampur-based madrasa with over 200 students has applied for the programme. He said the scheme was an important step towards tackling the issue of education among the Muslim community.
This is needed in todays world. The government is only helping us. We have talked to parents and they have shown interest, he said. Siddiqui said rudimentary English is already taught to the students in the madrasa. However,there is this fear that government aid will eventually result in the governments control over the madrasas.
Yes,that fear of a takeover is there. But in todays world,you cant separate religious education from the worlds demands, he said.
Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind said it remains to be seen whether madrasas will actually benefit from the scheme If a need is being looked after,there is no objection. But if there is any interference,it is not good, he said. My question is why so much attention towards madrasas? I think only 2 to 3 percent Muslim children attend madrasas. The government should think about the 96 per cent children who fall through the gaps.
In 1992,the Indian government had issued the National Policy on Education and Programme of Action. It provides for the modernisation of madrasas with financial support.