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Madrasa boards are welcome if…
By S Ubaidur Rahman

Delhi government’s announcement to set up a 'Madrasa Board' should be welcomed. It is notwithstanding the fact that the decision is made out to look hostile given the fact that the announcement was made when the accusations against these institutions were flying thick. The announcement to form Madrasa Board was made at a time when the West Bengal chief minister was being criticized by people of all sections for making provocative announcements against Muslims and their madrasas and wild allegations against some madrasas in the state. 

Several states including Bihar, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh already have madrasa boards. But to say the least, the system has not been able to deliver in an appreciative manner. Bihar Madrasa Board despite having a large number of madrasas under its fold has been marred by administrative inefficiencies and lack of government interest in the set-up. Condition of other such boards is no better. Notwithstanding their in-built handicaps, these madrasa boards are still welcome as they provide an approved forum for the their graduates. 

The number of madrasas has gone up significantly in the recent times with the increasing population and a simultaneous increase in demand of these madrasas. Even small hamlets have makatib and small madrasas where children are provided elementary Qur'anic education and rudiments of Urdu and Hindi as well as English. 

It is a fact and should be accepted that madrasas use outdated syllabi and have not been able to keep pace with modern times. Though it may not be true of all the madrasas, it is a matter of fact with a large number of them. Their style of teaching as well as what they teach has become a topic of discussion today. Increasingly Muslims in the country have come to the conclusion that something drastic should be done to streamline these institutions. The importance of modernization and universalization of education among Muslims in India is borne out by their poor performance in various fields. It is a matter of gratification, therefore, that there is growing convergence of views on the need for modernization of madrasas and bringing the education imparted therein into the mainstream of universal trends in education. Continued

 

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