The Human Resources Develoment Ministry has expressed dismay that Jammu and Kashmir is not utilising the funds released by the Centre for the reformation of madrasas. The ministry has told the J&K government to ensure that the seminaries in the state start imparting formal education to its students.
The ministry’s directive came after J&K’s Education Department officials said that the majority of the madrasas were imparting only religious education to the students and have turned down funds meant for starting formal education.
The funds released under the Scheme for Quality Education in Madrasas (SQEM) and also under another scheme of Infrastructure Development in Minority Institutions (IDMI) have remained unutilised. “We offered them monetary assistance, but they refused,” said a state Education Department official when asked why the funds have not been utilised. He said that only Rs 1.24 crore have been used by different madrasas after a lot of motivation was provided by the state government. He further said that these schemes could not take off in the past three years because most of the madrasas refused to take the government money meant for imparting formal education to students. “They are suspicious of accepting any government grants for their madrasas and we need to educate them that it is for the collective good of the students,” the official further said.
Another source in the department said that there are more than 260 madrasas active in the state but only 58 of them are registered with the State Board of School Education. Students studying in the other madrasas are getting only religious education.
Director of Education, Kashmir, Shah Faisal said that he was trying to have a personal interaction with the heads of the madrasas in order to convince them that the grants should be utilised.
He said that he is hopeful of holding a meeting with the major heads of the madrasas in the Kashmir valley and that he will try to see that they benefit from the government schemes available for the modernisation, computerisation and the development of infrastructure of the madrasas.