Assam’s Bill to abolish State-run Madrassas

The Assam Government recently tabled a bill that will abolish all the state-run Madrassas and will convert them into schools from April 1, 2021. The bill is called Assam Repealing Bill, 2020.

Key Features of the Bill

  • The bill will abolish two existing acts namely,
    • The Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation) Act, 1995.
    • Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation of Services of Employees and Reorganisation of Madrassa Educational Institutions) Act, 2018.
  • There will be no change in allowances, change of status or service conditions of the teaching and non-teaching staff.

Background

There are 610 state run Madrassas in Assam. According to the survey conducted by a Guwahati University Professor found that the parents and guardians of most of the students of Madrassas are not aware that the children are not taught regular subjects in Madrassas. Rather they are imparted lessons of theology. Therefore, it is essential to convert the Madrassas into regular schools that provide primary and secondary education.

Madrassas

Madrassas is a type of educational institution that teaches the religion of Islam. Madrassas were the hubs of nationalism during the 1857 revolt. More than half a million clerics sacrificed their lives for India during the revolt. The British needed Indian scholars to teach them Sanskrit and ancient laws. Therefore, they built Madrassas in the country. Lord Warren Hastings opened the Madrassa at Calcutta. They follow the Hanafi school of thought. Hanafi is one of the four principal Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

The first network of Madrassas was built in Iran, Khorasan and Mesopotamia by Nizam-al-Mulk. The Madrassas mainly teach the holy book of Muslims, The Quran.

The Madrassas imparted education to female scholars as well. In the fifteenth century there were more than 8,000 female scholars who received education from the Madrassas.

Maharashtra Government

In 2015, the Maharashtra Government faced wide criticism for derecognising Madrassas. The Maharashtra Government too brought up the same reason that Madrassas give student education only on religion without imparting formal education such as maths, English and science.

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