The Sindh government has decided to register the existing madrassas in the province as educational institutions. According to the spokesperson of the Chief Minister, a meeting of the Apex Committee was held under the chairmanship of Syed Murad Ali Shah in which a briefing was given on issues including the National Action Plan. came. G. Sindh said in the briefing that there are 8 madrassas and imambargahs in Sindh. It has been decided that madrassas in the province will be registered as educational institutions and will be registered by the education department. On the occasion, the Chief Minister said that madrassas have an important role to play in providing free education.
We think that this decision of the Sindh government with regard to religious madrassas is welcome and while welcoming it, we need to work with it and create an environment for similar decisions in other provinces as well. Religious schools have been constantly filling the gap in our society for over a century and a half, which was created after the expulsion of the state education system and curriculum from the Qur'an and Sunnah, Islamic jurisprudence and Arabic and Persian languages. And that clearly posed a threat that these subjects in the national curriculum, which had been part of the South Asian education system for centuries and were part of the basic needs of Muslim society, would gradually become alien to them. Continuity will not remain in society. The independent education system of religious madrassas, which has been engaged in this regard for one and a half hundred years with selflessness, austerity and confidence, is a bright and radiant chapter of history.
After the establishment of Pakistan, it was the responsibility of the rulers of an independent and sovereign Muslim state that as the British rulers from the state education system, The Persian languages were excluded, as well as the re-inclusion of these subjects in Pakistan's state education system so that the duality of the education system created by the British government would be eliminated. But this has not yet happened in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. On the contrary, efforts are being made to make religious madrassas part of the incomplete and one-sided state education system and all sorts of pressure is being exerted for this. ۔
Religious madrassas, meanwhile, remained a football between various departments and a constant interference from visible and invisible institutions. The main aim of which was to deprive the religious madrassas of their independent educational role and to gradually dissolve their separate religious curriculum in the name of collective stream. But the federations of religious schools faced the situation with courage and foresight and are still facing the same ordeal. Therefore, in this context, the federations of religious schools demanded from the government to recognize their role as educational institutions and to deal with the issues and matters related to them through the Department of Education. Despite a formal agreement between the federations of religious madrassas, the situation is still unclear and the game of tug-of-war between various departments and institutions continues.
It is by no means incomprehensible that religious madrassas are formal educational institutions, fulfilling the basic requirements of religious education as well as being an effective means of increasing the literacy rate in the country, and providing free education to ordinary citizens of the country. They are also fulfilling the responsibility of the state and the government to provide free education to the common man. Even religious madrassas are providing free education as well as housing and food, clothing and medical treatment to the needy sections of the society free of cost, which has also been acknowledged by the Sindh Chief Minister, according to the aforesaid news. But the pressure of departments and institutions on religious madrassas is not diminishing in any way, even on the one hand it is being said that unregistered madrassas will not be given a chance to work, on the other hand there is no formal registration system of education department and federations. It is not coming out even though the issues have been settled. At the same time, new systems are being shown from different angles with regard to registration, which is increasing their confusion instead of resolving issues. It seems that the real agenda regarding religious seminaries is to maintain confusion and pressure and not allow them to continue their work with confidence and satisfaction, which is increasing uncertainty.
In these circumstances, the decision of the Sindh government is welcome that religious madrassas will be registered as educational institutions and their registration will be done by the education department. This seems to be a positive development which we welcome and would like to draw the attention of the concerned departments and agencies to another confusion which is appearing under the heading of registration or affiliation.
It is understandable as far as registration and its monitoring and performance of necessary matters of religious madrassas are concerned, but the issue of creating an environment of affiliation under the title of registration is a matter of independent educational role of religious madrassas and their separate identity. It would be anti-discrimination, which would be difficult for the religious community to accept. Therefore, in the case of religious schools, where it is being acknowledged that they are educational institutions, it is also important to acknowledge that they are private educational institutions and have their own separate identity and separate system, which is to be respected as their educational Character and historical continuity are indispensable.
We hope that these matters will be settled amicably between the federations of religious schools and the education department as soon as possible and that religious educational institutions will be able to continue their religious and educational role with confidence.