Pakistan: 7,000 unregistered seminaries functional

The presence of 37 unregistered seminaries in Islamabad is matter of concern.

Last Updated: Apr 24, 2011, 15:05 PM IST

Islamabad: The Pakistan Government remains incognisant of the actual number of students enrolled with some 37 unregistered seminaries functioning across the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), according to a report.

A majority of the students enrolled with such unregistered seminaries belong to remote areas of the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and restive parts of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, The Nation reports.

The official record shows that a total of 154 registered seminaries are present in the ICT, harbouring approximately 15,191 students.

Beside these registered and unregistered seminaries, the ICT also houses some 101 Day Scholar Maktabs, who are not considered as Madaris, the report said.

The presence of 37 unregistered seminaries in the ICT is a matter of grave concern, as the educational boards of all five schools of thought signed an agreement with the Interior Ministry in 2009 regarding the registration of unregistered seminaries with Inter Madaris Board across the country.

The seminaries are also bound under the same agreement that they would modernise the standard of education as well as the syllabus to retain the dignity of such religious schools. However, all these reforms, including the registration issue, is a distinct dream, the report said.

After the signing of this agreement, radical clerics belonging to Ittehad-e-Tanzeemate-Madaris Pakistan expressed their concerns over the draft of the agreement, and termed it a ‘would-be total failure’, that it proved to be after one and a half years.

According to the record of Ittehad-e-Tanzeemate-Madaris Pakistan, out of a total of 21,000 seminaries across the country, 7000 remain unregistered.

A few days ago, the interior minister shamelessly announced in his written reply during the Question Hour session of the Lower House of the Parliament, that the concerned departments working under his ministry are unaware of the number of students getting religious education in unregistered seminaries.

ANI