Jorhat IGNOU’s academic course is the first such programme by the open university in religious schools
From a Correspondent
JORHAT, January 22: In order to dispel the rumour that first started in 2009 that madrassas spread across Assam were spearheading a movement to produce fundamentalists and training jihadi elements, the Jorhat Central Club in collaboration with the Jorhat Unit of the IGNOU (Indira Gandhi tiol Open University) Regiol Centre has started a Bachelor Preparatory Programme (BPP) and inducted about 15 students who will study under this scheme, besides the regular Islamic studies, and send a message that not all madrassas have a fundamentalist base, especially those in Upper Assam.
The Deputy Director of IGNOU Jorhat Branch, Dr. Anil Chandra Bora said, “We at the Jorhat IGNOU centre are currently looking after nine districts starting from gaon to Dhemaji. We have started this BPP programme in these madrassas from August last year and interestingly these are not government madrassas but are known as kaumi madrassas. We have seen an overwhelming response from the students who want to study under the BPP programme, besides their regular Islamic studies.”
In near future, Bora said, there are plans to induct more such students.
In Jorhat district, the town madrassa as well as the Islamia madrassa at Melamatti in Titabor subdivision had first embraced the IGNOU programme.
“IGNOU is known for providing education to all. We saw that the students of the kaumi madrassas do not gain much in the otherwise competitive world apart from religious knowledge which is even not recognized. Hence, we decided on a certificate programme so that their education and skills are recognized.”
The programme is said to be India’s first IGNOU–sponsored certificate course in religious schools.
“We want our future to be bright so that our problems are solved,” said a madrassa student who has been inducted into the programme. "Many think that extremist elements are being sheltered in the guise of students in madrassas. We can now, through this BPP programme, show the world that we are neither fundamentalists nor extremists but simply students under IGNOU which is an educatiol centre of India and not of any foreign country,” he said.
“Also for the lack of general education, we sometimes fail to excel in other spheres and our dreams remain as dreams. Through this education we will try to solve the unemployment problem of our community,” the student added.