GUWAHATI: The Assam government has virtually started the process of shutting down madrassas run by it.
According to an official memo, 148 contractual madrassa teachers will soon be transferred to schools under the state’s Secondary Education.
“...I am directed to inform you that Government has decided to close Madrassas. Therefore, the 148 numbers of Madrassa Contractual Teachers may be shifted to schools under general Secondary Education,” SN Das, who is the Deputy Secretary of Assam’s Secondary Education Department wrote in a recent memo to the department’s director.
Das had sought a formal proposal in this regard from the director.
In February this year, the Sarbananda Sonowal government had decided to shut down the state-run madrassas and Sanskrit “tols” (centres of learning) under state education boards citing that “religious teachings cannot be imparted with government funds in a secular country”.
The state’s Education and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had then said that the state-run madrassas and Sanskrit tols would be converted to schools teaching regular courses.
The government is likely to issue separate notifications for the madrassas and Sanskrit tols in November. Assam has over 1,500 madrassas – 614 of them run by the government. Of the around 600 Sanskrit tols, some 100 are state-run.