Community Leaders Urge Govts To Continue Funding Modernisation Of Madrasas After UP Halts Teacher Payments

Community Leaders Urge Govts To Continue Funding Modernisation Of Madrasas After UP Halts Teacher Payments

The community activists said that halting the crucial scheme would deny education of subjects taught in regular schools to madrasa students and force their teachers out of their jobs.

Musab QaziUpdated: Saturday, January 13, 2024, 12:31 AM IST
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Community Leaders Urge Govts To Continue Funding Modernisation Of Madrasas After UP Halts Teacher Payments | File Photo

Following the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government's decision to stop paying around 21,000 teachers of contemporary subjects such as maths and science at madrasas (Islamic seminaries), Muslim community leaders have demanded that the Central and state governments continue funding the scheme for 'modernisation' of madrasas.

The community activists said that halting the crucial scheme would deny education of subjects taught in regular schools to madrasa students and force their teachers out of their jobs.

Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas

The Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM), which is a component of the Scheme for Providing Education to Madrasas/Minorities’ (SPEMM), was introduced in 2009 by the Centre to teach subjects such as languages, mathematics, science and social science to madrasa students alongside religious education. Under the scheme, which was jointly funded by the Centre and the states, teachers were appointed at religious schools in several states to teach contemporary subjects.

The Centre discontinued SPEMM and stopped providing honorarium to the teachers after the financial year 2021-22. Uttar Pradesh, which has the highest number of madrasas in the country, continued to pay around Rs2,000-3,000 per month to these teachers. However, earlier this week, the state minority welfare department issued directions to all the district minority welfare officers to stop these payments as well.

Decesion prompts condemnation and worry

The decision has prompted condemnation and worry among educationists and activists in the community.

Rafey Islam, president the Central UP chapter of the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) said that laying off the teachers in the middle of the academic year is a surprising move. “How can the government stop the payments days after the minority affairs minister Dharampal Singh gave directions for continuation of the scheme?” he asked.

Iftikhar Ahmed Javed, chairman of the UP Board of Madrasa Education and National Secretary of BJP Minority Front, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to revive the scheme and clear the teachers' salary arrears of last six years.

Last month, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice and Empowerment questioned the Centre for the delay in approving the continuation of SPEMM.

14 states benefited from SPEMM between 2018-19 and 2021-22

Data presented by the Central government in Lok Sabha shows that as many as 14 states have benefited from SPEMM between 2018-19 and 2021-22. While Maharashtra didn't receive any funding under SPQEM, it did get Rs44.49 lakh in 2020-21 under the Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions (IDMI) component of the scheme, which is aimed at improving infrastructure in minority-run educational institutes.

The Maharashtra government, however, has decided to allot Rs10 lakh per madrasa under its Zakir Hussain Madrasa Moderniaation Scheme, up from Rs2 lakh given since 2013. The benefits are extended to those madrasas that are willing to impart contemporary education.

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