Army Chief Took Meeting with Ulema And Minister for Madrassa Reforms
ISLAMABAD: In addition to imparting compulsory subjects such as English, Maths etc., to offer careers chain for the students of those religious institutes, the Government claims to achieve significant progress in the Madrassa Reform program, under which religious schools without government control are registered.
The News Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced the significant advancement made so far during a Wednesday press conference but he had to postpone his communication with the media on this significant topic because of the Kulbushan case ruling. Shafqat Mehmood stated that on Tuesday evening a group of top Islamic scientists (ulema) in the nation discussed the subject of Madrasa reform. The session, conducted at the GHQ, was also attended by Shafqat Mehmood.
Mufti Muhammad Naeem of Jamia Binoria, who was present at the GHQ session, said to The News that Ulema and the Madrassa Council were very helpful and welcoming in the area of Madrassa changes. Mufti Naeem said that the Army Chief said that the attempt was made to integrate religious schools into distinct professions for Madaris learners, just as other normal school students.
Mufti Naeem informed Ulema that he would make sure personal progress is not adversely affected by the government's work on the Madaris, which will stay autonomous in order to maintain the religious education scheme.
Mufti Naeem said the COAS only requested for the implementation of mandatory topics like English, Math, Pak Studies, and so on in Madaris, to enable every religious school student to attend the Federal Board Examination and receive Matric and FA and F.Sc degrees besides receiving a public degree. Thus, the gathering was informed that Madaris learners had a larger career path and could join forces of defence, become physicians, technicians, etc. Gen Bajwa, according to Mufti Naeem, also assured the Ulema that the government’s reform programme in no manner will compromise the independence of the Madaris. Mufti Naeem said the Army Chief’s meeting, which started at 5:00 pm and continued till 12:00 am, with ulema was encouraging and positive. When the News contacted Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, he confirmed that last night the Army Chief chaired a meeting on the subject. The minister said that there is significant progress in Madrassa Reform Programme. He explained that it has been decided that all Madaris will be registered. These Madaris, he said, will not be under the Ministry of Education but will be affiliated with the religious ministry. He said that the Ministry of Education will set up its 12 regional offices in different parts of the country to facilitate the registration of the Madaris. He insisted that the government is not “taking over” Madaris but said that Madaris, which will not be registered will be closed down. Similarly, he said the Madaris, which will be found involved in spreading hatred and sectarianism will also lose their registration and would be closed down as well.
The second aspect of the Madrassa Reform Programme, he said is the introduction of compulsory subjects like English, Pakistan Studies, Maths etc to enable the students of religious schools to appear for Federal Board’s Matric, FSC, FA exams. Shafqat Mehmood said this particular initiative will open a variety of career choices for the madrassa students as well. The minister added the regional offices of the education ministry will facilitate the madrassa not only in their registration but will also extend help in other matters like the issuance of visas for their foreign students. He said depending on the availability of funding, the government will also financially assist these Madaris in hiring teachers for compulsory subjects.