Assam education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Education

Assam frames guidelines to ‘secularise’ school education – education

Going forward with its earlier proposal to stop providing religious education with public money, the Assam government has decided to ‘secularize’ school education in the state.

On Sunday, the state cabinet approved repealing the provisions of the Sanskrit Madrasa and Tols Law at the next assembly session scheduled for later this month, which will end religious education provided in schools with government funding.

In giving details of the exercise, the Minister of Education, Himanta Biswa Sarma, reported on Monday that the measure will affect 141 ‘high madrasas’, 542 ‘madrasas’ and 97 Sanskrit ‘tols’. The measure will not affect private ‘madrasas’ or Sanskrit ‘tols’.

“This is a historic step to secularize the education system across the state. State funding of ‘madrasas’ had started in Assam in 1934. We have been able to put an end to that, ”he said at a press conference.

The high ‘madrasas’ in Assam, which are under the Assam Secondary Education Board (SEBA), used to teach a subject on the teachings of the Qur’an in addition to other regular subjects.

The government has decided to remove the terms ‘madrasa alta’ from the names of these institutions and from now on they will be known as secondary schools. The subject of the Qur’an will also be removed. The final exam in 2021 would be the last high ‘madrasa’ exam.

Sarma reported that the state government will dissolve the Assam Madrassa Board and restructure the education provided in the 542 institutions that comprise it, which included Arab universities, titled “madrasas”, “madrasas” for seniors and “madrasas” for students. last year.

“The board of madarassa will be dissolved from the date of publication of the results for 2021-22. The administrative authority of the dependent institutions will be transferred to the secondary education directorate and the term ‘madrasa’ will disappear from the names of these institutions, ”said Sarma.

“Courses on Islamic theology will be discontinued from April 1, 2021. Arab universities will be transformed into upper secondary schools and will be under the control of the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC). The ‘madrasas’ of pre-senior and senior will begin to follow the curriculum of the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), ”he added.

The minister said that teachers who previously took Islamic theology classes will receive training so they can take classes on other subjects.

“We will present legislation at the next assembly session at the end of the month to implement these changes. Other changes like the renaming of ‘madrasas’, etc. they will be done through notifications, ”he said.

In addition to reforming the ‘madrasas’, the cabinet also decided that the 97 Sanskrit ‘tols’ in the state, who taught Hindu scriptures and other subjects, would stop doing so. The Sanskrit State Board, which regulated these ‘tols’, would be dissolved.

From now on, these ‘tols’ will belong to the Kumar Bhaskar Varma University of Sanskrit and Ancient Studies and will carry out diploma courses and degree courses on Indian history and culture.

“Assam will be the first state in the country to have exclusive diploma courses and undergraduate courses on Indian civilization. Besides history, the students will study about the Vedas and also about other religions, ”said Sarma.

Regular classes in schools for all students from January 1

The minister reported that, as previously announced, all regular classes, including those for students in kindergartens and kindergartens, would start from January 1, as the Covid-19 situation in Assam was under control at this time. .

“There will be a complete reopening of schools and regular classes will be held with students and teachers wearing masks and maintaining social distance,” Sarma said.

Although Assam had allowed the resumption of offline classes for Class 7 and above previously, junior classes had not started in schools. Sarma reported that detailed standard operating procedures will be announced in the coming days.

“Currently, we receive between 100 and 150 new cases on average every day. In Guwahati, there are between 20 and 25 new cases every day and most of them are people visiting the state from abroad. If a second wave of Covid-19 infections starts later, we will make the necessary changes, ”said Sarma.

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