Uttarakhand Madrassas To Teach Sanskrit, Says Waqf Board Chairman

Uttarakhand Waqf Board chairman Shadab Shams

New Delhi:

The Uttarakhand Waqf Board has said it will introduce Sanskrit in state’s madrassas registered with it. Board chairman Shadab Shams said it is good for the future of the children who need to come out of the confines of the traditional madrasa education to meet the challenges of the contemporary world. He also said that this initiative will allow children to follow in the footsteps of the inspirational figures like APJ Abdul Kalam. The board chairman said that Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has assured him of necessary measures to educate the children.

“If Sanskrit is not taught in Devbhoomi, Uttarakhand, then where will it be taught?” Shadab was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “Students should have knowledge of every language and culture. The education in madrassas should not be limited. Muslim children have the right to study everything,” he added.

Talking about modernisation of madrassas’ education system, Shams said the curriculum will be an amalgamation of scientific learning and Islamic studies.

“The Waqf Board in Uttarakhand has decided to implement the NCERT syllabus in the 117 Waqf Board madrassa in the state. The NCERT Syllabus includes Sanskrit also. When our children can learn Hindi, English, Math, Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Arabic, they can study Sanskrit too,” Shams said.

“The chief minister has assured us that any help needed to educate the children, the government is ready for it. They will also walk on the path of APJ Abdul Kalam. We are going ahead with positive vibes,” he said.

40-50 madrassas approached seeking modernisation: Uttarakhand Waqf Board chairman

The Waqf Board chairman said 40-50 madrassas “have approached us seeking modernisation of their education system”. “This will be done on the lines of four madrassas that were modernised in Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital districts,” Shams told PTI. 

“Have received positive response from students’ parents”

“The enthusiastic response of parents and guardians is no less than a revolution. We were expecting a stiff resistance from the Muslim families, especially under the pressure of clerics to any attempt to modernise madrassa education in the state, but the situation is the opposite,” Shams said. 

The infrastructure required for this exercise is being created in the madrassas selected in the first phase, he said, adding it was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that he wanted to see madrassa-going children with the Quran in one hand and a laptop in the other. 

After the first phase of this exercise is completed, more districts will be taken up in the second phase of the modernisation programme, he further said. 

Soon after taking over as the chairman of the Uttarakhand Waqf Board in 2022, Shams had pitched for providing modern education at madrassas and talked about the board’s plans to impart the same education to madrassa students as those studying in other schools. The Uttarakhand Waqf Board runs 103 madrassas in the state. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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