Mumbai: In a controversial decision, the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra has decided to derecognise madrasas, which do not teach primary subjects, as 'schools'.
Madrasas which do not teach primary subjects such as English, Maths and Science would be considered as "non-schools" and children studying in them as "out of school" students, state Minorities Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse said.
Khadse added that as of now, madrasas only impart religious education.
"Madrasas are giving students education on religion and not giving them formal education. Our Constitution says every child has the right to take formal education, which madrasas do not provide," the minister told PTI.
"If a Hindu or Christian child wants to study in a madrasa, they will not be allowed to study there. Thus, madrasa is not a school but a source of religious education. Thus, we have asked them to teach students other subjects as well. Otherwise these madrasas will be considered as non-schools," Khadse said.
"Students who are studying in madrasas that do not provide formal education will be treated as 'out of school' students. Our only aim behind doing this is to ensure that every child of the minority community gets a chance to learn and come into the mainstream, get good paying jobs and have a prosperous future," he stated further.
Madrasas are facilities where Muslim students are imparted education. Madrasas are different from regular schools as these don't follow a formal education curriculum and are not affiliated to any educational boards like the CBSE.
The state government's decision came after madrasas failed to comply with the government directive to teach primary subjects like English, Science, Maths and Social Science to children.
As per the Maharashtra government's decision, funds will be provided to madrasas only if they follow formal school curriculum.
According to the minister, there are a total of 1,890 registered madrasas in the state and 550 out of them have agreed to teach the four subjects to students.
"We are even ready to pay madrasas for giving students formal education and are ready to provide them teaching staff as well," Khadse said.
In the Union Budget 2014-15, the Narendra Modi government had allocated Rs 100 crore for the modernisation of madrasas.
(With PTI inputs)