GUWAHATI: Dispur will issue an official notification next month to close all government-run madrassas in the State. A separate notification will also be issued to decide the fate of Sanskrit tols.
Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said that government-run madrassas would be closed down soon after the notification is issued. He, however, refused to use the word 'closure' about the Sanskrit tols.
"Functioning of Sanskrit tols is transparent. The notification to be issued next month will mention everything about the future of tols," Sarma said. There are 200 Sanskrit tols in the State.
In February this year, the Assam government announced that it will shut down all the State-run madrassas and Sanskrit tols and convert them into regular schools within a period of six months.
Justifying the move, Sarma said that "it is not the job of a secular government" to teach religion, scriptures and languages such as Arabic to children.
Dispur's announcement in February did not go down well with the leaders and organizations representing Muslims as well Hindus.
The All Assam Minority Students' Union had termed the move as the agenda of "harassing Muslims and denying them basic rights" guaranteed by the Constitution. "Madrasas don't only teach Islamic scriptures and Arabic, they also teach subjects like any regular school," the AAMSU said
A group of xatradhikars (monastic heads) from Majuli had also criticized the Assam Government's decision. Majuli has 32 xatras or neo-Vaishnavite monasteries adhering to the teachings of the 15th Century reformer Srimanta Sankaradeva; and 10 of these have Sanskrit tols.
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