Move to close religious educational institutions historic: Assam minister
Assam Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Move to close religious educational institutions historic: Assam minister

The state cabinet on Sunday approved a proposal to repeal provisions for madrassas and Sanskrit tols (schools). The legislation will be tabled in the winter session of the Assembly session later this month.

GUWAHATI:

Assam Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday termed the state Cabinet’s decision to close all government-funded religious institutions a “historic move” towards “secularisation of education”.

The state cabinet on Sunday approved a proposal to repeal provisions for madrassas and Sanskrit tols (schools). The legislation will be tabled in the winter session of the Assembly session later this month.

“The Cabinet had decided to dissolve the state madrassa board from the date of declaration of the results of the examinations to be held in the academic year 2021-22. The madrassa board will be merged with the Board of Secondary Education (SEBA) and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC),” Sarma told newsmen here on Monday afternoon.

Subsequently, High Madrassa exams will no longer be conducted from the academic year 2021-22.

“Academic and administrative authority of the madrassas will be transferred to the Directorate of secondary education, while the term ‘madrassa’ will cease to exist from the institutions which will be transformed into regular schools,” the minister said.

“This is a historic initiative to secularise education in Assam as madrassas were introduced in the state way back in 1934. The government has now overhauled a system prevalent since the pre-Independence days,” he said.

542 madrassas, 147 high madrassas and 97 Sanskrit tols have been functioning in Assam since the pre-Independence days.

The minister said that the Sanskrit ‘tols’ in the state, which were teaching Hindu scriptures and other subjects, will from now on come under the Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University and would run diploma and degree courses on Indian history and culture.

“Assam will be the first state in the country to introduce exclusive diploma and degree courses on Indian civilisation,” he said.

High madrassas under SEBA had been imparting a subject on religious teachings (theological studies) with 50 per cent marks, which will be dropped after the final exam next year.

(Edited by Laxmi Chyrmang)

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