New Delhi: A sum of Rs 294.50 crore was spent for modernisation of madrasas in 2015-16 under the Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM), but the government has no plans to open English-medium madrasas under the scheme, parliament was told on Monday.
“There is no provision of opening of madrasas under SPQEM. However, funds are provided under the scheme for appointment of English teachers,” Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply to questions by AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.
This is the highest spending by the government in a financial year ever since the scheme was introduced in 2009-10, he said. In 2014-15, the spending was just Rs 107.89 crore, down from Rs 182.73 crore in 2013-14, according to the ministry figures.
Under the scheme, financial assistance is provided to encourage madrasas and maktabs to introduce modern education in subjects such as science, mathematics, social studies, Hindi and English in their curriculum through support for teachers, books, teaching learning materials and computer labs, he said.
“The SPQEM is a demand driven Scheme and depends on the viable proposals from the state governments,” Javadekar said, adding that a number of steps have been taken during 2015-16 to spread awareness about the guidelines of SPQEM amongst all the states.
“A national workshop was held on October 9, 2015 to disseminate information amongst the stakeholders. The department also held two meetings with the state governments on December 22, 2015 and February 29, 2016 to sensitize the states on how to send viable proposals as per norms so as to ensure that maximum benefits are availed of,” he said.
“Due to the concerted efforts made in this direction, the department was able to incur expenditure of Rs 29,410.28 lakhs during 2015-16, which is the highest since the inception of SPQEM,” he said.
The highest number of madrasas covered under the scheme in 2015-16 is in Uttar Pradesh (14,974), followed by Madhya Pradesh (3,288) and Bihar (1,127).