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NCERT team all praise for state Madrasas

Thursday, August 13, 2009 09:59:40 AM, Shiv Sahay Singh

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Kolkata: A central team comprising experts from the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on Tuesday heaped praise on the 575-odd madrasas in the state for their focus in science and technology, saying they could be an “eye-opener” for the rest of the country where popular perception about the Islamic seminaries is stereotypical.


The NCERT team is in the city for a three-day orientation programme in science and mathematics in the light of the National Curriculum Framework -2005. “There is no difference between madrasas in the state and the schools here. This is an eye-opener for us. We will like to convey this to other parts of the country,” said Prof Hukum Singh, the head of mathematics and science department at the NCERT.


According to Singh, madrasas in the other parts of the country are considered to be backward and shying away from science and technical education. The members expressed satisfaction that the department of madrasa education in the state was focusing on mathematics and science education. “This is the first time we are organising an orientation programme with madrasas of any state in the country,” Singh said.


He also pointed out that the NCERT will be organising the Jawaharlal Nehru Science Exhibition for Children in West Bengal after a gap of 27 years.


In Bengal, there are around 575 madrasas with over four lakh students. Of these, about 102 are senior madrasas where emphasis is given on religious education. In the remaining, the curriculum is much like those followed in state schools, where Islamic studies and Arabic are taught along with other subjects. About 150 madrasas are Higher Secondary ones and are affiliated to the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education.


According to figures available with the government, around 15 per cent Hindus, mostly from SC, ST and OBC categories, and about 65 per cent female students are enrolled in the madrasas, some of which have more Hindus than Muslims as students.


Minister for Minority Affairs and Madrasa EducationAbdus Sattar said the state budget for the madrasas would be increased to Rs 500 crore from the existing Rs 400 crore. He said there is a provision of providing Rs 100 to each female student from Class VIII onwards to reduce dropout rate.

(Courtesy: Indian Express Group)










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