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Assam’s state Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while answering a question on provincialization of madrasas during a ‘Cut Motion’ on the Education department in Assam Assembly, said that govt madarsas are being shut from November, so no question of new madrassas being provincialised. He added that from now onwards, the Assam government will only promote secular and modern education.
Yesterday @himantabiswa informed Assam Assembly that madrasa system of education shall no longer remain a part of the government education system.
— Manas (@JajaborManas) September 2, 2020
The government will not patronize any educational institutes that run on religious lines. “All madrassas and Sanskrit tols located across the State will be closed from November this year. Hence, madarsas won’t be provincialized; and it won’t be possible to appoint new Arabic teachers. But the privately-run ‘Kherasi madarsas’ will continue,” he said.
The minister had declared earlier that the madarsa Board will be dissolved and the academics of the institutions will be handed over to the Board of Secondary Education.
Sanskrit tols will become part of a university
While talking about the Sanskrit tols, Sarma said that Sanskrit is the mother of all modern languages. The government of Assam has decided to bring all Sanskrit tols under the Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University (in Nalbari). They will function in a new form. “A notification on this alternative measure will be issued soon,” he added.
The University is to adapt a new form of teaching and change the education structure in those Sanskrit tols.
New schools and colleges
Sarma said that the government is establishing 150 new high schools in the state. The construction will begin on 2nd October 2020. The classes will start in these schools from April 2021. Fifteen government colleges, including nine colleges exclusively for girls, will be established in the state. The minister stated that the decision has been taken with an aim to help the people working in vast tea estates of Assam.
The February order
In February 2020, in a significant decision, the Assam government had announced that the government is shutting all state-run Madrassas and Sanskrit tols. Sarma, at that time, said that it is not the government’s job to teach religion, religious scriptures, Arabic and other languages for religious purposes. The minister specifically mentioned that all the religious schools under the state government would be shut. The Madrassas run by mosques and Sanskrit schools run by non-government organizations will face no effect by the decision.