MM News TV
Friday 28th January 2022 / 25 Jamadilakhir 1443

Registering madrassahs

The Sindh government has decided to register all madrassahs as educational institutes. A bill regulating madrassahs was one of the major components of the National Action Plan to counter religious extremism and Sindh is the first province to initiate the process of registering seminaries.

There are 8,195 religious schools in the province, many of them unregistered. They will now have to be regularized by the Sindh Education and Literacy Department. This is a thorny issue in the country as seminaries yield considerable influence and could resist the move. In 2016, the Deeni Madaris Act was the first ever legislation proposed for registering seminaries but has yet to see the light of day.

Madrassas are the only source of education for millions of children but have earned notoriety as the hotbed for religious extremism and radicalization. Children attending these schools receive free education but are ill-equipped for the modern world and cannot secure jobs. Thus, civil and military leaders decided to mainstream seminaries so they can continue providing Islamic education and also incorporate other subjects into their syllabus.

In fact, last year the army spokesman had said there was a close watch on madrassahs recruiting for any militant outfits. He had claimed that’s funds from security operations will be diverted to education as terror attacks have declined in the country. Pakistan is certainly eager to show that it is taking steps against violent extremism by providing equal opportunities to seminaries students.

It is imperative that students passing from seminaries have career opportunities similar to those belonging to traditional schools. For this, it is necessary to provide them with a syllabus, skilled teachers and finances. While religious education is of utmost importance, it is necessary that these students are prepared to handle the challenges of the modern world.

The decision by the Sindh government to register madrassahs is a step in the right direction and all provinces should follow suit. It will help the government’s policy to streamline the educational system and introduce a uniform curriculum. It is hoped that there will be no resistance from the seminaries as it is also necessary to maintain law and order and take action if anyone is involved in promoting extremism.

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