HRD Ministry plans to set up ‘National Madarsa Board’ to register madarsas for better academic standards

The members of HRD Ministry’s National Monitoring Committee for Minorities’ Education (NMCME) has been contemplating collecting the details of all unregistered madarsas present in the country. According to the reports, NMCME has plans to set up a national-level madarsa board with a suitable system for accreditation to ensure their academic standards.

Afzar Shamsi, one of the panel members of the National Monitoring Committee for Minorities’ Education, in a recent meeting had recommended the idea of capturing the data of unregistered madarsas operating in the country. Shamsi said that they are two types of madarsas, one which is ‘registered’, which accounts for 20 per cent present in the country and the ‘unregistered’ forms the remaining 80 per cent of madarsas. He added that the government currently has data pertaining to the registered madrasas and do not have any details of the unregistered ones.

“There is a need to capture the details of the unregistered madarsas and bring them within the ambit of registration so that a clear picture is available,” he said.  Another member Jamshid Khan said, “Madarsa boards in some states are defunct. While some states have these boards, some like Maharashtra do not have any madrasa board”. Khan suggested that there should be a national level board with a system of accreditation to ensure that every madarsa is following the same academic standards.

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Suman Kumar, another member of the panel was of the view that education at the madarsas should be linked with skill development council. “In order to facilitate the spread of information amongst the madarsas besides making it available on the website, there should also be a move to spread an awareness campaign in their areas in which we members can contribute”, Kumar said.

The NCME works under HRD Ministry, and its aim is to monitor minority education and the ongoing schemes of the HRD Ministry specifically for the minority community. Chaired by Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, it includes academics, activists and nominees from state governments and makes recommendations to address the issues related to recognition and affiliation of minority institutions.

Earlier, the Centre had proposed to make board affiliation and geo-tagging mandatory for madarsas. Last year the HRD ministry had asked for the physical location data of those madrasas covered under SPQEM and the ones which were non-compliant had to wait for teacher’s payment.

This is just one of the many steps the government has taken to modernise madarsas. Last year in August, Yogi Adityanath led Uttar Pradesh government had introduced subjects like maths and science as well as introduction of NCERT books in madarsas. The UP government had also launched a Madarsa portal to provide transparency in employment, infrastructure and educational details of the several hundred madarsas operating in the state.

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