‘Discriminatory decision’: UP teachers upset over new madrassas’ exclusion from grants

New Delhi, May 19 (KMS): Teachers have expressed anguish over the government decision in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to exclude the new madrassas from the grants list.

On Tuesday, Yogi Adityanath cabinet decided to end the policy of the previous government.

Talking to media, Aijaz Ahmed, President of IMASS (Islamic Madarassa Modernisation Teachers Association, Uttar Pradesh), said this is discrimination against madrasas which has upset teachers.

Madrassas teach the same syllabus that is prescribed by Uttar Pradesh education board, Madhyamik Siksha Parishad (MSP). They also teach NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) books like the UP board. “If Madhyamik Siksha Parishad schools can be included in the grant list, then why can’t Madrasas be included,” he said.

According to official figures, there are more than 16,000 madrassas in the state of which 558 are being given grants by the state government. Around 20 lakh students are enrolled with the madrassas across the state.

Madarssa teachers have already accused the Indian Government of withholding their salary for several years. Ahmed, a madrassa teacher, feels that there is a politics behind targeting the madrassas.

“If there is a talk of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Vishwas, why is this discrimination against madrassas. If we are working for the government, can it not give us what we deserve? I have become extremely upset by this decision. This is wrong,” he said.

He asserted that madrassas played a positive role in educating society. It has Hindi, Urdu as well as English medium. “If you compare the education of our students with that of government schools, our students will fare better,” he said.

Ahmed pointed out that the lack of grants will keep away good teachers from the madrassas.

The decision to stop grants for new madrassas has come days after the UP government made it mandatory to sing the Indian national anthem. Minority Affairs Minister of the state Danish Azad Ansar said that the government wants madrassa students to be “full of patriotism” and the government wants to instill society’s values through the national anthem. Ahmed said the national anthem is always sung at madrassas. Since he joined the madrassa, the national anthem is always sung. Such a move taken by the government is aimed at defaming the madrassas.

“There are 40 percent Hindu teachers in madrassas. You can ask anyone about the national anthem. These are baseless allegations. The move is aimed at appeasing certain forces,” he said.

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