GUWAHATI, April 6 - Making a strong pitch for modernisation of madrassa education, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today told the Assam Legislative Assembly that it also needed to be pondered whether the State should sponsor theological education, which he said was best left to be run by the community.
Speaking during the passing of the Assam Madrassa Education (Provincialization of Services of Employees and Reorganisation of Madrassa Educational Institutions) Bill, 2018, Sarma said that even though he was moving the Bill on madrassa education, �the time has come to take a hard look into the reality.�
�We should go for modernisation of madrassa education by giving thrust on subjects like Mathematics, Science, English, etc., in greater public interest. We also need to have a rethink on whether the Government should promote Arabic madrassas and Sanskrit tols. This is not communal polarisation as somebody might tend to think, but a realistic assessment,� he said, adding that bringing uniformity should not be construed as working against a community.
Sarma said he was not opposed to the teaching of functional Arabic as a skilled course for enhancing the employability of the State�s youth in the Middle East but �it cannot be a medium of instruction as it is not a subject recognised by the Constitution of India.�
Attributing the undue thrust on Arabic by the governments in a few States like Assam, West Bengal, etc., to a �historical legacy�, the Minister said State sponsorship of education in theology actually amounted to negating the secular tenets of the Constitution.
�I am positive that the coming generation will embrace modern, general education rather than going for religious education. The need of the hour is to improve the quality of our education by removing the constraints hindering its qualitative growth,� he added.
Sarma said that more than lack of teachers, the problem area was the absence of effective distribution of teachers. �Quality is of paramount importance. We do not need any more venture schools as they lack quality,� he said.