Hindu students in Bengal madrasas

Between 2013 and 2017, on an average, 4.8% Hindu students took the Madrasa examinations. File photo  


In the Class 12 batch of the West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education in 2017, 2,287, or about 4.38%, of the 52,115 students who took the examinations were Hindus. Between 2013 and 2017, on an average, 4.8% Hindu students took the exam.

“We have 512 High madrasas [up to Class X] and Junior High madrasas [up to Class VIII] affiliated to the board, which has seven lakh to eight lakh students. I can tell you about 5% of the students are Hindus,” Abid Hussain, president of the board, told The Hindu.

Bengali/Urdu, English, Maths, Physical Science, Life Science, History and Geography are taught in these madrasas, apart from Arabic and Islam Parichat (Islam Studies). “A student can choose either Islam Studies or Arabic as an optional elective. Many choose Islam Studies as a regular subject as it is a little more scoring than Arabic,” Mr. Hussain said.

Merit list

Some Hindu students also make it to the board’s merit list. This year, Prashama Sasmal from the Khalatpur High Madrasa in Howrah made news by getting the eighth rank. In 2014, Mou Halder from the Bogdhara Siddikiya High Madrasa in Bankura district was ranked sixth and in 2013, Sanjay Bhuniya from Dakshin Dinajpur made his Belpukur High Madrasa proud by coming 10th.

Though the Madrasa Board in the State was set up in 1927, it had no legal status till 1994, when an Act of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly enabled it. Of the 2,287 Hindu students who took the 2017 Board examination, 930 are from Scheduled Caste (SC) and 311 from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories. Similarly, in 2016, the percentage of Hindu students from these categories was about 71.01%. In 2015, the figure was 68.2%, and in 2014, 71.6%.

“Most of the Hindu students studying in these madrasas are first generation learners. Though there are provisions under the Right to Education Act to provide schools in every neighbourhood, the situation is dismal in areas inhabited by economically weaker sections, particularly minorities and SC and ST communities,” says Sabir Ahamed, a research coordinator at the Pratichi Institute set up by Amartya Sen.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 6:45:51 PM |

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