Assam govt tables Bill to abolish state-run madrassas

Under the proposed law, all the madrassas will be converted into upper primary, high and higher secondary schools with no change of status, pay, allowances and service conditions of the teaching and non-teaching staffers

Himanta Biswas Sarma

Despite protest from a united opposition, Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tabled a Bill in the state Assembly on Monday (December 28) to abolish all state-run madrassas.

The Assam Repealing Bill-2020 proposes to abolish the two existing acts — The Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation) Act, 1995 and The Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialisation of Services of Employees and Re-Organisation of Madrassa Educational Institutions) Act, 2018.

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All the madrassas will be converted into upper primary, high and higher secondary schools with no change of status, pay, allowances and service conditions of the teaching and non-teaching staffers.

“No madrassa will be established by the government in future. We’re happy to introduce this Bill to bring truly secular curriculum in education system,” Sarma was quoted as saying by ANI. “This bill is not to control and repeal the private madrassas,” Sarma said.

The minister said that despite the opposition of Congress and AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front), “the government is determined to pass the bill.” Assam has about 610 state-run madrassas.

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In October, Sarma had said that his government will shut down all state-run madrassas and will convert them into regular schools. “Quran cannot be taught at the cost of state money, and if the government has to do so then it should also teach both the Bible and Bhagavad Gita. So, we want to bring uniformity and stop this practice,” the minister had said.

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