The BJP-led government in Assam has decided to close down state-run Madrasas and Sanskrit 'tols' (centres of learning) and converted them to schools teaching regular courses, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Wednesday.
If religious books are taught with government funds, then the Gita also has to be taught in Sanskrit tols, Sarma told reporters.
"We have decided to close down Madrasas and Sanskrit tols of the state because it is not the job of government institutes to provide religious books," he said.
According to a report in NDTV, Sarma said, "We have about 1,200 madrassas and 200 Sanskrit tols in Assam without any independent boards to run them. A lot of problems have cropped up because these people get a certificate equivalent to matriculation or high secondary school. That is why the state government has decided to convert all madrassas and Sanskrit tols into regular schools.”
"As the state government is a secular entity, it cannot fund organisations involved in religious teaching. Private madrassas and Sanskrit tols can continue to run, but we will soon bring a new law to ensure they function in accordance with a regulatory framework," he said
Madrasas and Sanskrit tols of the state will be converted to high and higher secondary schools within three to four months, the minister said.