– Bazlul Basit Choudury
Dec. 15: The Department of School Education of the Government of Assam has declared the renaming of 1,281 Madrasas as ME ‘Middle English” schools. The move followed the conversion of all government-run and government-aided or provincialized madrasas into general schools under the supervision of the State Directorate of Elementary Education.
“Consequent to the conversion of all Govt and Provincialized Madrasas into general schools under SEBA, @SchoolEdnAssam has changed the names of 1,281 ME Madrasas into ME Schools by a notification today,” Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu posted on X on Wednesday.
Lower Assam’s Dhubri district topped the list with 269 madrasas-turned-general schools followed by central Assam’s Nagaon district with 165, and Barpeta District with 158.
Western Assam’s Dhubri district topped the list with 269 madrasas-turned-general schools followed by central Assam’s Nagaon district with 165, and western Assam’s Barpeta with 158.
The BJP-led government started the process of closing down all government and provincialized madrasas in 2021 by enacting a law to abolish two madrasa education-related Acts – one in 1995 and the other in 2018.
A provincialized educational institution is one which has been established by the community but funded by the government of Assam, including the salaries of teachers and non-teaching staff and maintenance. The new Act facilitating the conversion of the madrasas came into effect on April 1, 2022.
Madrasa education was included in the Historic Assam Education Curriculum in 1934 and the State Madrasa Board was also formed that year.