A six-member committee of the Uttarakhand Madrassa Education Board (UMEB) on Wednesday cleared a proposal to include Sanskrit and computer science as optional subjects in madrassas in the state from the next academic session. The committee was headed by additional director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), Uttarakhand, Pushpa Joshi.
At present, students in 297 registered madrassas are offered Maths, Science, Ayush and Social Science as optional subjects.
The approval to include Sanskrit in the syllabus comes days after the Madrassa Welfare Society of Uttarakhand (MWSU), a social organisation that oversees 207 madrassas across the state in which over 25,000 children study, approached the state government with a request to include Sanskrit as one of the languages taught to its students.
Confirming the development, deputy registrar of UMEB, Haji Aklaq Ahmad Ansari, told TOI, “The lower committee of the board on Wednesday gave a go-ahead to inclusion of Sanskrit and computer science as optional subjects in the madrassas. The proposal will now be forwarded to the upper committee for its consent.”
Acting chairman of UMEB, Maulana Zahid Raza Rizvi, who will be presiding over the upper committee, said, “We will approve the proposal once it is forwarded to us. We welcome the introduction of Sanskrit and computer science in the madrassas here.” Rizvi, however, added that madrassas should be provided grants at par with government schools so various steps could be taken to improve infrastructure and other amenities.
He said that only a single madrassa in the state was government-aided and that too because it had been included in the list of government-aided madrassas when the hill state was part of UP. “In 17 years of the state’s formation, no other madrassa was added to the list either by the state government or the Centre. We believe in ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ slogan of PM Modi, let us also feel that our rights are being given to us,” he said.