Assam to shut down government-run madrasas as part of policy against religious education

Director of Secondary Education told to transfer 148 teachers to general schools

October 10, 2020 02:45 pm | Updated 02:45 pm IST - GUWAHATI

The Assam government has set in motion the process of transferring 148 teachers after a decision to close down State-run madrasas or Islamic educational institutions.

“...I am directed to inform you that Government has decided to close madrasas. Therefore, the 148 numbers of madrasa contractual teachers may be shifted to schools under general secondary education,” read an official memo from Assam Secondary Education Department’s Deputy Secretary S.N. Das to the Director of Secondary Education earlier this month.

Copies of the memo were sent to the office of Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and the mission director of Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan in Assam.

“You are therefore requested to submit a formal proposal” regarding the transfer of the 148 contractual teachers, the letter from Mr. Das said.

The Assam government a couple of years ago decided to close down madrasas and tols (educational institutions focussing on Sanskrit learning) under State boards as “religious teachings cannot be carried out with government funds in a secular country”.

Dr. Sarma on Thursday said that the State government would come up with separate notifications for madrasas and tols in November.

The Assam government runs 614 madrasas, while 900 are run privately, mostly by the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind. There are about 100 government-run and 500 private Sanksrit tols in the State.

While the madrasa education system started in Assam in 1780, Sanskrit education became official under the Assam Sanskrit Education Act, 1957.

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