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Kerala Madrasa Boom Keeps Faith With Studies

The intensive coaching provided in madrasas had a positive impact on the education of children from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

Published: 28th September 2014 06:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2014 07:40 AM   |  A+A-

Students

KOCHI: At a time when hectic school schedules and career-oriented ambitions are among the priorities of schoolchildren, madrasas that predominantly teach religion are increasing in the state. In the last six months, three different boards in Kerala had given the nod for more than 300 madrasas. Moreover, the Central Government’s Scheme for Providing Quality Education through Madrasas (SPQEM) has encouraged the setting up of more such schools.

Samastha Kerala Islam Matha Board runs the highest number of madrasas. In the year 2012-13, there were 8,087 madrasas functioning under the board. In 2013-14 this number rose to 8218. Until August this year, the board had 8,390 madrasas under its purview.

Similarly, under the Samastha Kerala Sunni Vidyabhyasa Board, there were 3576 madrasas in the year 2012-2013. In the year 2013-14 this increased to 3,981. Until August 2014, there were 4,118 madrasas under the board.

The Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen approved the starting up of 1,116 madrasas until March 2013. In 2013-14 this came down to 1105 reportedly due to unavailability of students. However, until August 2014, the number was at 1,126.

Presently, there are 13,634 madrasas in the state under the three boards.Apart from these, there are boards like Dakshina Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, Ithihadu Shubbanil Mujahideen and others that run madrasas.

“A board meeting is held on the second Saturday of every month. On an average, 15-20 applications come before us for approval each month. There has not been a single meeting in the last few months where an application was rejected. The applications come in after our team visits the place and ensures the required criteria are met,” said Bapu Musliyar, General Secretary, Samastha Kerala Islam Matha Vidyabyasa Board.

According to a report by K R Narayanan Centre for Dalit and Minorities Studies, 9,120 madrasas in the country had registered under the SPQEM until December 2013. Of this 547 are in Kerala. There are 209 madrasas in Malappuram availing this scheme which is the highest in the state followed by 111 in Kozhikode.

The SPQEM of the central government provides for extending support and capacity building of madrasas to teach modern subjects by providing salary of teachers, strengthening of libraries and book banks, providing teaching and learning materials and other equipment. Financial assistance is also provided for establishment of Science and Computer Labs and workshops in madrasas at the secondary and senior secondary levels followed by an annual grant for maintenance.

Besides, there is a provision in the scheme for in-service training for teachers as well as linkages with the National Institute of Open Schooling and other institutes offering vocational courses.

The report observed that the scheme particularly contributed to the enrolment of Muslim children coming from economically deprived backgrounds and residing in remote areas.

In Kerala, the intensive coaching provided in madrasas had a positive impact on the educational achievement of children from poor socio-economic backgrounds. According to the report, the madrasa functionaries’ response stated that the mix of religion and modern education under the same system was innovative.



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