Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that all teachers who came from outside Assam to teach in Madrasas in the state may be asked to appear "from time to time" in the nearest police station.
The move comes after police cracked down on alleged modules of terrorist organisation Ansarul Bangla Team, and 51 Bangladeshis were discovered among the preachers at Madrasas.
'Rationalising' madrassa education
Sarma said that a checklist has been prepared for the Madrasas, though the state is yet to "enter into an agreement with stakeholders, but things are moving in the right direction”. The Assam Police is working with Muslims in the state to “rationalise” Madrasa education, he said on Sunday.
There are some 3,000 registered and unregistered Madrasas in Assam.
Sarma said the police are coordinating with Bengali Muslims, who have a positive attitude towards education to create "a good environment" in the Madrasas.
Science and mathematics will also be taught as subjects in the Madrasas, and right to education respected and a database of teachers maintained, he said. "They should not be considered as enemies, instead we want them as stakeholders," the chief minister added.
Madrassas under the radar in BJP ruled states
Assam is not the first state making headlines for its bid to enhance a regulatory oversight over madrassa education. In December, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that alleged objectionable content being taught in some madrassas in the state will be scrutinised.
In the same vein, in august last year, Madhya Pradesh Culture Minister Usha Thakur had said illegally-run madrassas may be used for human trafficking and a probe must be carried out against such facilities.
In November, the central government closed the window for students from Class 1 to Class 5 to apply for scholarships citing provisions of free education under the Right to Education act. Earlier, the madrassa students from class 1 to 5 used to receive Rs. 1000 scholarship and the students from class 5 to 8 used to get it on the basis of the courses they take. These scholarships are perceived as an incentive for the poor people to join Madrassas.
This move of the central government came within just three months of the UP government’s controversial decision to conduct a survey of Madrassas. Following allegations of regular abuses suffered by students in madrassas, the BJP ruled state initiated a survey to look into several aspects like the infrastructures, water facilities, furniture, student-teacher ratio and so on, but the major point of enquiry for the government was question no. 9 – where does from the funding come?
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had termed the survey a ‘nefarious attempt’ and said that it was an effort to enhance strife between Hindus and Muslims. AIMIM chief and renowned Muslim leader Asaduddin Owaisi called it a ‘Mini-NRC’ and said, “The government cannot interfere with our rights under Article 30. They just want to harass Muslims.”
(With inputs from PTI)