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Chapter from Quran to be removed from Assam curriculumThis is a historic decision as this will make our education system a secular one, said education minister Sarma
Sumir Karmakar
DHNS
Last Updated IST
Representative image. Credit: Reuters Photo
Representative image. Credit: Reuters Photo

The BJP-led government in Assam on Monday said the chapters on Quran studies would be removed as part of its decision to convert all government-run Madrassa educational institutions into "normal education" system by 2022.

The government, on the other hand, said that there would not be much change in the curriculum of the Sanskrit tols and the lessons earlier taught there would only be replaced by studies of ancient Indian history and culture.

"In the 189 High Madrassas we have at present under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, lessons on Quran studies are offered for 50 marks. Those chapters will be removed as soon as the Madrasas are converted into normal curriculum. The decision will come into force from 2022 academic year. This is a historic decision as this will make our education system a secular one," education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters here on Monday.

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The state cabinet on Sunday evening approved the BJP-led government's decision to convert the government-run Madrassa educational institutions into "normal" education system. Sarma said the state government would bring a Bill in the winter session of the state Assembly from December 28 for an amendment of the Madrassa Education Act in order to implement the decision.

As per the decision, the State Madrassa Board, which at present looks after four Arabic colleges, 14 title madrassas, 230 pre-senior Madrassas and 138 senior Madrassas, would also be dissolved. The courses on theological education offered in such institutions would also be done away with, Sarma said.

The government-run Madrassa education system was started in 1934 when Syed Sadulla was Assam's education system, he said. "But we have taken a historic decision on not to allow religious education with public money," Sarma, also BJP's strategist, said.

Regarding the government's decision to also close down the Sanskrit tols, Sarma said such educational institutions would go under Kumar Bhaskar Varma Sanskrit and Ancient Studies University. "Instead of the religious lessons being taught at present, the university will start offering degrees and diplomas on ancient Indian history and culture for our next generation," he said.

All Assam Minority Students' Union (AAMSU) called it BJP's move to target the Muslims in Assam in order to garner political mileage ahead of Assembly elections slated in April-May next year. "This is nothing but a political move and part of BJP's polarisation tactics," Hasina Ahmed, organising secretary of AAMSU told DH after Sarma's announcement.

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(Published 14 December 2020, 18:50 IST)