Uttar Pradesh madrasas see steady fall in number of students

The state government allocated Rs 479 crore for the Madrasas Modernization scheme in its 2021-22 budget to upgrade the traditional institutions and connect students with emerging opportunities.

Published: 14th March 2021 10:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2021 10:07 AM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purposes (File photo)

LUCKNOW: Despite the state government’s focus on lifting the standard of education in madrasas by bringing the curriculum at par with mainstream institutions, the number of students at these centres of Islamic education in Uttar Pradesh has been dwindling.

The trend is prominent in aided and recognised madrasas. The state government allocated Rs 479 crore for the Madrasas Modernization scheme in its 2021-22 budget to upgrade the traditional institutions and connect students with emerging opportunities.

As per data from UP Madrasa Shiksha Board, there are around 16,500 recognised madarsas, of which 558 are totally aided. At madrasas, students mainly from the minority community are imparted knowledge of Islamic theology and jurisprudence.

By rough estimates, there are around 40,000-50,000 private madrasas in the state. “Almost all mosques have a madrasa,” says Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, rector of Darul Uloom, Firangi Mahal and chairman of Islamic Centre of India, one of the biggest madarsas in UP.

In 2017, around 3.71 lakh students enrolled in recognised madrasas, of which around 3 lakh appeared in exams conducted by UP Madrasa Shiksha Board. In 2018, this figure dwindled to 2.70 lakh, of which 2.08 lakh appeared in board exams. Next year, there were 2.06 students, with 1.65 lakh appearing in exams.

In 2020, 1.82 lakh students got enrolled and only 1.41 lakh took exams. In 2021, 1.62 lakh students have enrolled for Madrasa Board exams. Usually, about 40,000 skip exams annually. So only 1.20 lakh are expected to appear in Board exams this year. A Mufti seeking anonymity claimed that besides Covid-19, lack of modern education, vocational education, English speaking ability of the teachers and professional approach to prepare students for the competitive world are reasons why Muslim students are shying away from madrasas. They believe those possessing madrasa certificates find it difficult to get decent jobs. 

Some madrasas teachers claimed that technical upgrade of the curriculum has not taken place. Students of this generation acknowledge the value of modern education to be at par with those from mainstream institutions. “They feel they get Islamic education at madrasas, which does not prepare them for competitions in other fields. This, they feel, hampers their professional growth,” said a teacher.

The pandemic played its role. Due to paucity of funds in the absence of donations during Ramzan, students could not be offered hostel facilities. The scare of the pandemic also kept students away.

“Though online classes were conducted and some of the students joined in, a majority was unable to access the technology,” said a senior Mufti of a prominent Lucknow madrasa.

Firangi Mahali said he is in favour of making madrasa students ready for competitions. The state government has introduced NCERT in syllabus of state madrasa, besides rationalizing their course. Science, mathematics, social science, computer and home science have been made compulsory. 

“The state government is committed to reforming madarsa education so that students can apply and qualify for any competitive exam like mainstream students,” said a UP Madrasa Shiksha Board official.


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  • Amit Agarwal

    Arif Mohd says that only 4% of muslims goes to madarsas
    1 year ago reply
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