Bengaluru: The ruling BJP in Karnataka has taken up an exercise to ascertain whether the children studying in madrasas are getting formal education as per the Education Rights Act. This, however, is being criticised by the opposition leaders, who allege communal designs in it.
The officials have started preparing to visit madrasas following the order by the Education Minister B.C. Nagesh, sources said on Thursday.
Minister Nagesh has discussed the necessity of formal education in madrasas and he had also mentioned the demands made by the parents of students studying in madrasas to give their children modern education to enable them to get jobs. However, he maintained that the government has not taken any decision so far.
The exercise though seems to be progressive at the outset is likely to create a controversy.
Afsar Kodlipet, State General Secretary for the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) told IANS that it was an agenda of Keshava Krupa (RSS headquarters in Bengaluru) to make the Muslim children devoid of their religious education.
“The madrasa system is 1,400 years old. In the beginning, the students were taught horse riding, artifacts and now they are giving job oriented education. More than 990 madrasas are enrolled under the Wakf Board. They are teaching maths, science, social science and even taking computer classes,” Afsar explained.
“We would have welcomed the move of the BJP government if they had spoken about improving the infrastructure of madrasas. This is the implementation of a hidden agenda by the communal BJP. 8,000 government schools in Karnataka have been closed down this year and the government is not saying a word on that,” he said.
Meanwhile, the education department officials have been asked to visit madrasas and ascertain whether the students are attending the nearest schools to study mathematics and science subjects as per rules. The department does not have information on how far madrasa students are being imparted with formal education.
Education Minister Nagesh had stated that there is a necessity to gather information on the present education system in the madrasas in view of the future of students studying there.
The education department maintains that the parents of the students have complained that their children were not getting the contemporary formal education in madrasas. They also demanded that their children should learn maths and science. On the other hand, the officers of the education department have complained that the authorities of madrasas are not cooperative during the process of verifications.
The department is preparing the officers to visit madrasas and study the system without leading to confusion and controversy. Once the report is ready, the education ministry is planning to discuss the issue with experts and madrasa authorities.
The education minister has expressed his wish to formulate a separate board to run madrasas in the state.