In a possible move to modernise the 16,000 odd madrasas in the state, the Yogi government is reportedly planning to revamp the course curriculum of the madrasas which would mean that subjects like mathematics, science, social sciences, English and Hindi would have to be compulsorily taught by them.
In order to bring in the fresh curriculum, the state government has enacted a 40 member committee which includes a members from NCERT, Aligarh Muslim University, Lucknow University along with principals of secondary, higher secondary schools and research scholars from Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Urdu, Arabi-Farsi University.
The medium of instruction of the non-language subjects would be in Urdu and would be based on the NCERT curriculum. According to Monika Garg the principal secretary of minority welfare and wakf department, this move is being undertaken to modernise the madrasas’ teaching methods so that its students can get jobs. She then clarified that the government won’t interfere in the religious curriculum of the religious institutions. The UP government has also reportedly allocated Rs 15 crores so that it can buy education material and conduct exams via its online portal. Incidentally even the BJP government had proposed a similar madrasa modernisation program in its 2014 lok sabha manifesto[PDF].
The UP government is also reportedly seeking further transparency about the inner-workings of the madrasas. According to the report, the government would be tracking them through a GPS-based service and each madrasa would get a unified district information system for education (UDISE) code. The government has tried to justify such measures by claiming that it wants to detect fake teachers and pupils plus provide better administration. Also these madrasas in order to retain their government funding would also have to register on the UP government’s madrasa portal. But the madrasas on the other hand have questioned the government’s intention.
Yogi government’s focus on the state’s madrasas had come into public attention after it was reported that the state’s Madarsa Shiksha Parishad had directed all Madrasas in the state to unfurl national flag and recite the national anthem on India’s 71st Independence Day. This was sensationally reported by many to be a test of patriotism, but this charge was debunked by us in our report which pointed out how it was a standard “Sarkari” circular which the Yogi government had issued after being instructed to do so by the Allahabad High Court.