Himanta told media persons in Sivasagar since the madrassas will be converted into general schools affiliated to state education boards, students will be able to continue with their education. Madrassa teachers and minority student bodies in Assam have been opposing the government move, accusing the BJP-state government of trying to draw “political mileage” by closing down the madrassas ahead of the 2021 assembly polls.
“In November, we will convert the (government-run) madrassas into government general educational institutions. No one, including the teachers, will lose their jobs. Only the theological subjects will be abolished and modern subjects will be introduced. These institutions will be known as high schools or higher secondary schools and the name madrassa attached to them will be removed,” Himanta said.
The board examinations in these educational institutions will be conducted by the state education boards — the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (Seba) and Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC).
From early this month, the state education department has started moving out the teachers from the madrassas under it to the general schools. In a letter to the director of secondary education dated October 7, deputy secretary to the secondary education department SN Das directed the former to submit a formal proposal regarding shifting of 148 contractual madrassa teachers to general schools.
There has been massive hue and cry since then, with opposition parties, madrassa teachers unions and minority student bodies condemning the move.
However, Himanta on Friday confirmed once again that the government will not reconsider its decision.
“The madrassas will be closed down in November because the state government will no longer spend public money to offer religious teaching. If someone says they need madrassas, then the government will also have to set up Vedic schools and impart education on the Bible as well,” he said.