Madrasa Board mulls over degree upgrade for courses

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Madrasa Education Board is mulling over affiliation with a state university or upgradation to a deemed university status to ensure wider recognition to the postgraduate (kaamil) and graduate (faazil) course degrees that it issues to madrasa students.

It is also considering making uniforms mandatory for madrasa students and providing madrasas (that currently observe weekly closure on Fridays) the option of shifting the closure to Sundays. “As of now, madrasas don’t follow a uniform dress code. We have received suggestions to that effect and a final decision will now be taken in our next meeting scheduled in January,” board chairman Dr Iftekhar Ahmad Javed said on Tuesday after a meeting with madrasa managers.

As of now, 16, 513 madrasas across the state are affiliated to the board. Affiliations aren’t being granted in the state for the past seven years and the board is now set to resume granting fresh affiliation from the New Year.

“We are getting a lot of requests for fresh affiliations. We will possibly open them in the New Year. The affiliations were held up so far due to major lapses that were detected. Though we do issue degrees to our students, who pursue kaamil and faazil courses, the degrees don’t have much acceptance outside the madrasa system. That is why we are now seeking an upgrade, either through affiliation with a state university or by getting the status of a deemed university, so that the degrees of our students carry more meaning and wider acceptance,” he said.

The move to either seek affiliation with a state university or approach the state government for upgrading to the status of deemed university is significant as it comes after the controversial madrasa survey in which about 8500 unrecognised madrasas have been detected.

While Javed said no decision on the madrasa survey report (that is now pending with the state government) had been taken as yet, those aware of the matter said the move to consider affiliation to a university or upgradation to a deemed university status was part of the initiative to provide more meaning and acceptance to degrees of students affiliated with State Madrasa Board.

“Once that happens, automatically it will make more sense for other madrasas to seek affiliation with the government board. The state government, in any case, has made its intent clear that along with religious education, madrasa students should also be given modern education and the degree upgrade of students is part of efforts to make madrasa education more meaningful and rewarding for its students,” a madrasa owner said.