Guwahati: The Assam government is on its way to close down all state-run madrasas and Sanskrit tols (schools) under the policy of ‘no religious scriptures with public funds’, state Education and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.
“Our government’s policy we had announced earlier in the state Assembly. There should be no religious education with the government’s funding,” he told the media. “We have nothing to say about privately-run madrasas and Sanskrit tols,” Sarma was quoted as saying by EdexLive.
The education minister said that formal notification would be issued by the state government in this regard in November. A total of 48 contractual teachers are likely to be shifted to the Education Department schools.
Soon after the announcement, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief and perfume baron Badruddin Ajmal said that his party would re-open them after coming to power in the next year’s Assembly elections. “Madrasas cannot be closed. We would reopen these 50-60-year-old madrassas if this BJP government closes them forcibly,” Ajmal, also a Lok Sabha member, was quoted.
Assam has 614 government-aided recognised madrasas — 57 for girls, three for boys, and 554 co-educational, with 17 of them are Urdu medium. There are about 1,000 recognised Sanskrit tols, among them nearly 100 are government-aided.
Madrasas cost the state government about Rs 3-4 crore and Sanskrit tols Rs 1 crore annually.