New Delhi: The government will not fund religious instruction like Quranic interpretation and Islamic law at madrassas (religious schools), but financially support regular subjects like math and science that may soon be taught there as part of its modernisation process.
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development will link madrassas with the National Institute of Open School and introduce Mathematics, Social Sciences, Hindi, English and other regular subjects as part of the modernisation process of the religious schools.
“As a part of the modernisation process, it is certain that we would introduce additional subjects like Maths, Science, Social Sciences, English and Hindi at all the madarasas and maktubs. A regular curriculum of a madrassa and maktub includes courses in Arabic, Tafsir (Quranic interpretation), Shariah (Islamic law), Hadith (recorded sayings and deeds of Prophet Mohammad), Mantiq (logic), and Muslim History. Government will not fund these subjects,” a senior HRD Ministry official said.
Depending on the educational demands, some madrassas also offer advanced courses in Arabic literature, English and other foreign languages, as well as science and world history.
People of all ages attend madrassas and many often become Imams. The education of an alim (religious teacher) requires approximately 12 years of study. Evening classes are also held in madrassas and many of them also have dormitories.
There are demands to treat madrassa degrees at par with those of public schools.
“The HRD ministry had discussions with religious teachers and institutions associated with the madrassas. The ministry made it clear to them that to put their degrees at par with public school certificates, assessment is required. And the students have to study additional subjects to make their degrees valid as per rules,” highly-placed sources said.
The course will incorporate standard content that is being offered by the NIOS. “The students will also have to appear for examinations in all these additional modern subjects that would soon be taught,” sources confirmed.
The examinations will be conducted by NIOS. “We are working on the modalities of setting up the rules for taking exams. It could be similar to what NIOS is offering right now to students and could also be something different. The ministry is still working on these things,” a senior HRD ministry official said.