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Kapil Sibal allays clerics' fears on RTE Act; says no to Madrasa Board

Monday, July 26, 2010 04:39:24 PM, & Agencies

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Lucknow: Union Human Resource Development Minister (HRD) Kapil Sibal clarified on Sunday that Madaris have been clearly kept out of the purview of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 (RTE).

"We can only interfere in the madrasas imparting religious education if the community wishes so. They are governed by Article 30 and nobody can go above that," Sibal said while interacting with the media during his visit to Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) in Lucknow.

"These institutions are not recognized by the government and are hence out of the ambit of the Act. Some sections of people are playing politics and making an issue out of it," he added.

'Clerics unconvinced'

This might be Sibal’s attempt to allay apprehensions expressed by Muslim clerics that the law would eventually take away the autonomy of the Madaris. But they are not satisfied at just verbal assurances. They want amendment in the RTE Act 2009, which makes it very clear that Madaris don’t come under the purview of the Act, thereby leaving no scope for speculation.

“We have read some assurances by the concerned minister that the Act doesn’t cover Madaris, but we want clear amendment in the Act which clarifies this fact, as it is the written law which is implemented on the ground and not what a minister has said,” Madani said.


All India Muslim Personal Law Board General Secretary Sayyad Mohd Wali Rahmani is also wary of the minister's assurance. “From the name, the Act looks very attractive. But the fact is that in its present form it is against the very aim with which it has been designed and forbids children from seeking education in the institutions of their choice. At the same time, it prevents minorities and people with limited resources from establishing educational institutions."


“The constitution has given the minorities the right to establish and run their own institutions with syllabus suitable to them. But the Act defines education in a way that has virtually made the education imparted in Madaris and other minority institutions a crime", he said.

"It is not only dangerous for the Madaris but is also against the basic rights of Hindus, Christians, Sikhs everyone and prone to be misused anytime and against anyone by overzealous people”, he added while demanding immediate amendments in the Right to Education (RTE) Act.


'No to Madrasa Board'

Meanwhile Mr. Sibal also denied any plans of constituting Central Madrasa Board for governing the Madrasa education. He also denied receiving any such proposals from Muslim clerics.

"I have not received any such proposals. Even we have no plans to constitute any central Madarsa board," he added.

Like, Right to Education Act, the clerics across the country are opposing the government's move to establish the Madrasa Board. They are of the view that by forming Madrasa Board, the government wants to interfere in the Madrasa Education.





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