The Maharashtra government’s controversial decision to derecognise madrasas as formal schools may have raised furor across the country but in Madhya Pradesh, organisations running madrasas are enthused after an order by the Chhattisgarh government gives its Madarsa Board the power to conduct exams up till class 12.
The Madhya Pradesh Madrasa Board has prepared a proposal along the same lines and is expecting a positive outcome, considering the pattern that MP follows Chhattisgarh and vice-versa.
Secretary of the MP Madarsa Board Syed Sarwar said, “There is a general trend of following each other between Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in matters of administration. (The) Chhattisgarh government issued an order on June 19 to empower the Madrasa Board to recognise madrasas to teach up to Class 12.” A copy of the order is with HT.
“We are also preparing a proposal on the same lines of Chhattisgarh government. The proposal is almost complete and we would present it before the government soon,” said Sarwar. At present, the state madrasa board recognises madrasas till Class 8 only, he added.
The former chairman of MP Madrasa Board, Rashid Khan, said there were over 7,000 registered and unregistered madrasas in the state which were imparting education to nearly 5 lakh students.
“Out of that, about 2,000 madarsas are registered and recognised by the madrasa board but even the others that are not registered teach English, Hindi, social science along with religious education,” he said, adding that about 400 to 500 madrasas only impart religious education.
Khan said Madhya Pradesh is ahead of other states in modernising the madrasa scheme sponsored by the Centre.
“With the new proposal, madrasa students would gain considerably. There are several madrasas in Bhopal and Indore, where students speak English fluently yet maintain the identity of a madrasa.”
Presently, one of the biggest problems is that students who graduate from madrasas have difficulties in finding Urdu-medium schools.
“If the MP government also gives more powers to the Madrasa Board, more members from the minority community will get formally educated, thereby eradicating problems related with illiteracy,” said Mohd Kafeel, who runs a madrasa on the outskirts of the state capital.
State minister for minority welfare Antar Singh Arya while talking to HT said that the government would let the proposal arrive before commenting on the issue, but added that the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has always stressed on education for all and is very sensitive towards interests of minorities in the state.