UP madarsa board bans co-education in its institutes::7,000 Madrasa (Muslim Religious Schools) as CBSE affiliated schools: HRD Minister, India
The Uttar Pradesh Board of Madarsa Education (UPBME) has banned co-education in madarsas across the state, saying it is against the "spirit of Islam".
"In Islam, parda (veil) is very important. By allowing co-education we promote 'be-pardgi' (women without veil), which is against Shariyat".
"This is why we have directed all the madarsas to do away with the co-education system from this academic session. And we will ensure that this directive is followed in letter and spirit," UPBME Chairman Haji Rizawan Haq said.
He said a madrasa is an institution of learning, where Islamic studies, literature and philosophy are taught among others.
The avowed aim of madrasa education is to inculcate the belief and practice of Islam among its followers and guide them to follow Quran and the traditions of the Prophet. The education is basically standing on two pillars of Quran and Sunna (Tradition of Prophet Mohammad), he said.
Uttar Pradesh has more than 16,000 madarsas of which only over 1,900 are affiliated to the UPBME including 360 'wait for aid' from the government. More than seven lakh students are enrolled in these madarsas (affiliated) for a number of courses like Maulvi and Munshi (equivalent to matriculation), Aalim (BA), Kamil and Fazil (MA).
"Among the affiliated ones, there are around 170 madarsas for girls and rest are for boys, which allowed co-education. Many of such madarsas enroll girls promoting co-education in a bid to inflate the number of students to get more aid from the government. But this will not be allowed now," Haq said.
Co-education system is in place for Tahtania (class first to fifth) and Faukania (class sixth to eight) classes in madarsas and there is no objection on co-education up to these classes but above this level it is not acceptable, he said.
"There are separate arrangements of education for boys and girls above Faukania level and co-education will not be allowed there and those enrolling girls in madarsas of boys would be taken care of," Haq said.
Taking strong exception to the move, All India Women Personal Law Board (AIWPLB) has, however, said the madrasa board should first ensure availability of adequate number of madarsas for girls before taking an "extreme step", which could affect prospects of girls education in the state.
"The board should first ensure education for the girls before taking such an extreme step. Number of madarsas in UP are already inadequate," Chairperson of AIWPLB Shaista Amber said.
"Girls can be allowed in the existing madrsas if they are properly dressed and are in 'hijab'(veil) so that there should be no 'be-pardgi'. This is the best way to ensure education for them in the present scenario," Amber said.
She emphasised that her contention was that girls should get proper educational opportunities along with boys.