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Madrasas outshine schools

Jaipur: In a remarkable achievement, the madrasas functioning with scant resources in Rajasthan have achieved excellent result in the middle school examinations this year. The madrasas – registered as schools with the State Government – have achieved 90 to 100 percent results against the 65 percent results of the government-run schools situated in the Muslim-dominated localities.

The state government – which had recognized 619 madrasas in 1999 – had allocated a financial assistance of Rs 2 crores to them in the State Budget of that year. The budget could not be utilized in time and has been reduced to only Rs. 78 lakhs now. The government now proposes to appoint ‘Shiksha Karmis’ in madrasas from that budget.

However, over 5000 madrasas functioning in remote areas across Rajasthan are spreading education among the Muslim masses in extremely adverse circumstances. Bereft of basic infrastructure, these institutions are surviving only on charity. Modernization is the much-needed first step towards bringing them into the mainstream of education.

A whopping 60 percent of the madrasas students have secured first division with distinction as against 20 percent students in government schools. Another encouraging sign is that girls constitute more than 50 percent of the madrasas students declared successful in the middle school examination.

The Rajasthan Madrasa Board – a representative body of madrasas in the state – organized a grand function, ‘Talimi Convention’, here recently to felicitate these students and their parents and teachers. Among others, the Chief Minister, Mr Ashok Gehlot, participated in the function and awarded gold medals, silver medals and trophies to successful students.

The Madrasa Board’s chairman, Mr Abdul Qayoom Akhtar, pointed out that more madrasas were coming out with the plea to introduce modern education into their curriculum. This will facilitate imparting of education in subjects such as Hindi, English, mathematics and science, in addition to religious education. Sabeeha Parveen of Rehmani Model School, Jaipur, achieved a record among all madrasas by securing the highest marks at 92 per cent.

The Madrasa Board has already launched an ambitious project for introduction of computer education in madrasas. A fully computerized madrasa is currently under construction in the Muslim-dominated Ramganj locality here and time-bound programme to supply computer as well as technical known-how to other madrasa has been chalked out.

Mr Gehlot said at the convention that the State Government would provide a one-time grant of Rs. 4,500 each to 500 more madrasas – apart from the 619 reorganized madrasas – this year and appoint Shiksha Karmis there under the Rajiv Gandhi golden jubilee schools scheme.

Mr Qayoom Akhtar emphasized that Muslim children studying in madrasas had an inherent talent, which needed to be tapped in order to minimize their gradual drop-out in the higher classes.

Muslim students comprise only 0.15 percent of the total students in the colleges and universities in the state.
Source: The Hindu, 31 May 2001
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