Around eight Lakh students, enrolled in 4,000 madrasas across the state, are now able to study English, Hindi, science, social science, and math from grades 1 through 12, aside from the Arabic and Islamic studies they are taught, Bihar Madrasa Education Board Chairman Abdul Qayum Ansari said.
“To keep up with society, we launched the modern and general curriculum from the current academic session in all madrasas of the state. Efforts to launch a modern curriculum based on the SCERT and NCERT curriculum would be without it the help has not been possible from UNICEF and UNFP, “said Ansari.
Madrasas students can now choose science, arts and commerce subjects after grade 10, as SCERT textbooks have been mandated through grade 8 and NCERT textbooks from grades 9-12, he said.
The language of instruction would be Urdu and the school texts would also be in this language for better understanding.
When asked about the need, Ansari said, “If modern and universal education is not followed, we will be cut off from society.”
He said, “If we have to live in society, we have to learn English, Hindi, science, social science, math, and all technological advances … Students in Urdu will learn science, social science, etc. language that will help them conceptualize better understand “.
Efforts are being made to improve the skills of students studying in madrasas so that they not only learn Arabic, but learn how to translate from Arabic to English and vice versa so that they can get a job abroad as well. he said.
The board chairman, commending Prime Minister Nitish Kumar for the initiative, said, “It is Kumar’s determination to bring them into the mainstream as he (CM) believes that if they (minorities) are left behind, Bihar will not move forward.”
The Board has also started distributing books in the state’s madrasas on “Mukhya Mantri Madrasa Pustak Vitran Vahan”. All course materials from Grade I to Grade 12 are also available on the board’s website www.bsmeb.org, where they can be obtained.
Madrasas is also running online classes for its students through its Youtube channel, he said, adding that an “app” has been launched for students to access the materials.
Around eight lakh students are enrolled in 4,000 madrasas that are affiliated with the Madrasa Board. 1,942 madrasas are funded by the state government.
Another 1,000 madrasas will also soon be approved by the government, he said.
Of the 15,000 madrasas teachers, 5,000 teachers received online training through the Zoom app and other modes during the lockdown, Ansari said.
Pramila Manoharan, UNICEF Education Specialist, Patna, said that in 2018 the world organization conducted a study recommending major changes to the existing education system of madrasa education and submitted a report to the madrasa board and state government, which the board approved have .
“In our study, we found that children in madrasas, like all other children, enjoy studying subjects such as science, social science and math.
“After three years of hard work, we have succeeded in changing the madrasas curriculum by starting studies based on modern and general curricula in the current academic session,” said Manoharan.
The UNICEF study showed that the madrasas in the state had no science and math teachers. She added that none of the madrasas have either a laboratory or library.
The State Madrasa Board is also planning to develop an app to monitor teaching under the provisions of the Children’s Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) of 2009, the UNICEF official said. They have already conducted an online orientation program for 5,000 madrasas teachers during the lockdown, the official added.