GUWAHATI—Assam government has dropped Islamic theology subject and converted 189 `madrasas’ into institutions of general education in the state.
There are two kinds of madrasas in the state. These include 189 High Madrasa and Madrasa Higher Secondary Schools run under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) and the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC).
“The Cabinet has decided to convert madrassas into general educational schools. There are 189 high madrassas that have a subject on theology that carries 50 marks. There is a difference between collegiate schools and high madrasas. Therefore, the government had decided to remove the word madrasa from the 189 institutes and drop the subject on theology. They will be known as high schools,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam’s Education Minister.
He said 189 madrasas have 90% general education and 10% religious education. “They will now become secular. The Board of Secondary Education, Assam will not hold the high madrasa exam from 2022,” he said.
Sarma said the cabinet has also decided that the state madrasa board would be dissolved from the declaration of results of the examination to be held in the 2021-22 academic year.
Under the madrasa board, there are 542 institutes including Arabic colleges, title madrasas, senior madrasas, and pre-senior madrasas. Their syllabus is prescribed by the Assam Higher Secondary Educational Council but they have a subject purely on Islam.
“The theological/Islamic courses will be withdrawn with effect from April 1 next year. Their theological teachers will be imparted training so they can teach general education. Arabic colleges will be transformed into higher secondary schools. The Arabic Council will come under the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council,” the minister said, adding, “The pre-senior and senior madrasas will have SCERT curriculum,” he said
Sarma said the state government would bring a law in the next Assembly session, beginning on December 28, to repeal provisions in the madrasa and Sanskrit Tolls Act.
As far as Sanskrit tolls are concerned, the Cabinet has decided that the 97 provincialized tolls will be converted to study centres, research centres and Institutions to study the Certificate/ Diploma/ Degree courses to be started by Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University, Nalbari with effect from April 1, 2022.