Madrasas in Uttarakhand are showing great enthusiasm for the state Waqf board’s initiative to modernize their educational system by integrating scientific learning with Islamic studies, as stated by its chairman, Shadab Shams, on Monday.
Shams informed PTI that approximately 40-50 madrasas have approached them, expressing interest in modernizing their education system, following the model of the four madrasas that were part of the first phase of the program in Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar, and Nainital districts.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly from parents and guardians who send their children to madrasas for religious studies but also wish for them to receive a well-rounded education, including computer science and science subjects.
Shams noted that the enthusiastic response from parents and guardians is akin to a revolution, as there was an expectation of resistance, particularly under the influence of religious leaders, against efforts to modernize madrasa education in the state. However, the situation has turned out to be quite the opposite.
He emphasized that this step is beneficial for the future of their children, who need to be equipped with a broader education to meet the challenges of the contemporary world. As part of this initiative, NCERT science and humanities books, computer education, and smart classes are being introduced in madrasas. Additionally, the study of Sanskrit language will be offered alongside Arabic and theological studies.
The necessary infrastructure for this modernization effort is being established in the madrasas selected for the first phase. Shams highlighted that this initiative aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of madrasa students holding both the Quran and a laptop.
Once the first phase is successfully completed, additional districts will be included in the second phase of the modernization program. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat have pledged their full support to the Waqf board for this endeavor.
Shadab Shams had advocated for providing modern education at madrasas shortly after becoming the chairman of the Uttarakhand Waqf Board in 2022. He emphasized the board’s plans to offer a similar education to madrasa students as those attending other schools.
The Uttarakhand Waqf Board oversees 103 madrasas in the state.