"Since the state is a secular institution, it can't fund religious teaching," says state education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. There are nearly 1,200 madrasas and 200 Sanskrit tols run by the state government
The Assam Government is all set convert all state-run madrassas to normal schools. The process will be completed in the next two months. Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Wednesday, said that the state government will soon bring in a law to convert all state-run madrassas and Sanskrit tols (ashrams where Sanskrit is taught) into high schools and higher secondary schools.
"These madrassas will function within a regulatory framework. We are bringing a law where government-run madrassas have to function under a regulatory framework and disclose the number of students enrolled. They will have to compulsorily teach general subjects along with religious one," Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
"Since the state is a secular institution, it can't fund religious teaching," he added.
According to the minister, there are nearly 1,200 madrasas and 200 Sanskrit tols run by the state government. He said the government has decided to convert them to high and higher secondary schools because at present there is no independent board to regulate them.
"These (govt-run madrassas and Sanskrit tols) issue certificates which are equivalent to matriculation (Class 10) and higher secondary (Class 12). Since there is no regulatory board to govern them, a lot of wrongdoings take place in issuing these certificates," the minister said.
Himanta Biswa Sarma clarified that this decision will not affect privately run madrassas. "The Assam government has no issue with the madrassas that are being run by various social organisations and NGOs,” he said.