Clerics oppose NIOS new curriculum in madrasas

| | Lucknow
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Clerics oppose NIOS new curriculum in madrasas

Monday, 08 March 2021 | PNS | Lucknow

Muslim clerics have opposed the new curriculum of the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), an autonomous institute under the Education ministry. The clerics argue that the NIOS has no jurisdiction to take decisions on madrasa curriculum.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed, Imam of Eidgah Lucknow and chairman of Darul Uloom Farangi Mahal, said the purpose of establishing madrasas was to strictly impart Islamic education.
Maulana Khalid Rasheed is also a member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
The National Institute of Open Schooling is facing stiff opposition from autonomous madrasas in Uttar Pradesh for its decision to make teaching of Hindu epics like Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana mandatory in 100 autonomous madrasas.
The NIOS has mandated the rule for madrasas as part of the new curriculum on ancient Indian knowledge and heritage in the New Education Policy (NEP).
"There are two types of madrasas in India; those governed by the Madrasa Board and others run by the community on its own. The madrasas governed by the Board are bound to implement its decisions but others are independent to take their own decisions," Maulana Rasheed said.
"The NIOS, which comes under the Education ministry, has no right to issue any direction to independent madrasas," he asserted.
Another Muslim cleric, Maulana Yasoob Abbas, also denounced the NIOS for introducing the epics in the curriculum of Islamic seminaries. He said if NIOS wanted to teach Gita and Ramayana in madrasas, why was it not introducing the Quran in the curriculum of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-funded Saraswati Shishu Mandirs.
Maulana Yasoob Abbas, who is also an executive member of Madrasa Sultan Al Madaris, said if anyone tried to impose something on madrasas, the community would protest against it.
Prominent academician Nadeem Hasnain said although there was no harm if madrasa students learnt ancient epics, it would be problematic if the government made it compulsory.
Hasnain, who is former head of Lucknow University's Anthropology department, said that NIOS should also teach Islamic books like the Quran and other books in schools.
Earlier in 2018, junior minister in the Yogi Adityanath government, Mohsin Raza, had triggered a similar controversy by announcing a dress code for madrasa students.
During a function at the Haj House, the minority affairs minister had asserted that the new dress code would be applicable to madrasas.
The NIOS has prepared 15 courses which are equivalent to classes 3, 5 and 8 of elementary education. The courses include Bharatiya Jnana Parampara (ancient Indian knowledge) under which the teachings of Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita, Vedas, yoga, science, vocational skills, Sanskrit and Panini-propounded Maheshwara Sutras etc are covered.
The NIOS has planned to introduce the new curriculum in 100 madrasas initially and extend it to 500 madrasas in future.

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