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'Sabka Vikaas': UP Board Rejects NCPCR Directive To Shift Non-Muslim Students From Madrasas

Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ideology of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas," the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa Education chairman Iftikhar Ahmed Javed expressed his dissonance with such divides being brought into educational institutions.

The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education has rejected the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) recommendation and has stated that it would not be carrying out the investigation of non-muslim children admitted to madrasas. The NCPCR had directed the Board to shift the non-Muslim students studying in madrasas to other educational institutions. However, the Board opposed this notice and conveyed that such differentiation would foster a divide between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ideology of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas," the Board chairman Iftikhar Ahmed Javed expressed his dissonance with such divisiveness being brought into educational institutions.

Rejecting Directives For Development

The statutory child rights body sent the direction to all states and union territories on December 2022, asking them to investigate registered madrasas for enrolling non-Muslim students. The reason attributed to the move was that the madrasas primarily impart religious education, and obliging non-Muslim students to such religious instructions without the parent's consent would be a direct violation of article 28(3) of the constitution. Article 28(3) states that - No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State or receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution or in any premises attached thereto unless such person or his guardian has given the consent thereto.

Dismissing the directive issued by the NCPCR, the UP Board of Madrasa Education conveyed during a meeting that they have unanimously decided against conducting such probes. Adding on to this, Javed said, "We will not allow a divide to be created between Muslims and non-Muslim communities as this goes against the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJPs) principle of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas." Justifying it further, Javed added that there are multiple institutions, such as missionary schools, which have taught and educated non-Christian students as well.

Both the NCPCR member who sent across the direction and Javed are BJP members. As per a report by the Indian Express, the Board has rejected the move by tagging it a "discriminatory practice" that would categorise students based on their religion. The Board was vocal about its conflict with removing students of non-Muslim faiths from the madrasas and added that such practice should not be implemented in the education sector.

Education Does Not Discriminate

Elaborating on the Board's decision not to carry out the NCPCR directives, Javed conveyed that madrasas have inculcated modern education over time, and students get the opportunity to study science and maths under the madrasa system. Furthermore, they added that even if non-muslim students were exposed to different religious texts, there is nothing wrong with it. It would simply make them more tolerant and understanding of other faiths that co-exist with them.

In concluding his statement, Javed said that if parents send their wards to the institutions, the children will continue to be taught by the teachers at the madrasas. During the same meeting, the Board also discussed improving the quality of education and recommended introducing the NCERT syllabus within the registered madrasas and training teachers to impart the basics.

Also Read: 'Officers Instead Of Maulvis': UP Government's New Initiative Aims To Introduce Science & Maths In Madrasas

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Writer : Laxmi Mohan Kumar
Editor : Jayali Wavhal
Creatives : Laxmi Mohan Kumar

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