Govt places madrassas under education ministry’s control

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ISLAMABAD: In a major breakthrough, the federal government on Tuesday gave the approval to place 30,000 madrassas (seminaries) under the administrative control of the education ministry in a bid to bring them at par with modern educational institutes.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting which discussed the proposal put forth by the Ministry of Education.

The government had been working to introduce reform for a year now, with Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood having held a number of meetings with the leaders of clerics belonging to different sects.

Overall, the government is planning to spend Rs2 billion to bring these madrassas into the mainstream, with annual spending of Rs1bn. At present, around 2.5 million students are studying in these seminaries.

These reforms were on the cards for a long time now. In the aftermath of the Sept 11, the Musharraf regime had taken up the matter, but without any success, after the move was resisted by the religious lobby.

After coming to power, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated the desire to mainstream madrassas and bringing the students into the mainstream.

His minister for education held a number of meetings with the religious leaders to convince to be a part of the government’s uniform education policy.

 

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