NEW DELHI: The rift between the contemporary and theology has come to the fore among the madrasas here. Even though the state government wants to bring some 5,000 of them into the mainstream education system, around 30 per cent of them refuse to allow their curriculum to be modernised on par with other schools where subjects like science, English and computers are taught.
The dissident madrasas believe that formal education is a threat to the Islamic education system and values. Maulana Zafaruddin, who runs Bab-ul Uloom, says, “Many maulanas feel the identity of the madrasas and their religious education will be lost and they will be overtaken by formal education over a period of time.” There was also the fear of job losses, if the government were to hire teachers in madrasas, he said. Madrasas here are run by private players, NGOs and various trusts. Of the 5,000, only 124 madrasas like the prominent Sunheri Masjid, Abusidique, Bilal Masjid, Madarsa Ahle Sunnat Islamia Mohamdia and Fazal-e-Uloom are registered with the Delhi Education Department. As thousands of students attending madrasas were not getting the benefits of modern education, the Delhi Minority Commission has been tasked to bring them into the mainstream.
“A survey of around 450 madrasas carried out found that 70 per cent of them want to incorporate modern topics within the traditional curriculum,” said former IPS officer and Delhi Minority Commission chief Qamar Ahmed.
Many local madrasas do not want to impart formal education as they lack infrastructure. “Some are run from a single room and their numbers are in the hundreds. In 2009, the government launched the mid-day meal scheme under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme for madrasas. Only around 70 madrasas applied; 20 are availing the facilities,” he added.
Congress leader Mateen Ahmad said: “Though many madrasas give Adeeb, Adeeb-E-Mahir and Adeeb-E-Kamil degrees which are equivalent to Class X and Class XII, they cannot help a student gain admission to colleges and institutions.”