Pak clerics not giving an inch to govt to modernise seminaries

Monday, September 7, 2009

LAHORE - The Pakistan Government’s ambitious plan of bringing the seminaries within the mainstream education has hit snag, at least for the time being, due to stubborn attitude of seminaries manipulators.

The recent meeting between the officials of Punjab Auqaf and Education departments with the administrators of five umbrella organisations to sort out modalities of constitution of religious boards on the pattern of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education did not materialise.

The office bearers of five different religious establishments, including Tanzim-ul-Madaras (Brelvi), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Deobandi), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Shia), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Salphia Ahle Hadith) and Rabita-ul-Madaris (Jamaat-e-Islami) insisted to give them the status of secondary board to conduct exams by themselves and issue certificates/degrees equivalent to Matriculation/SSC without any government interference.

The government had offered the seminaries, hitherto, issuing their own certificates of religious education like Dars-e-Nizami, Hafiz Quran and Nazra, The Nation reported.

But the seminaries’ students would have to study the additional subjects of Mathematics, English and Pakistan Studies at their institutions and appear in the respective proposed boards for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) at par with the students passing examination in the government and recognised private schools.

Moreover, the five umbrella seminary umbrellas were to enjoy the status of board but governed jointly by the present administrators and the government. However, the seminaries do not agree to give any room to the government to look into their matters.

The government had also offered teachers’ employment in accordance with government standardised scale in the three subjects along with computer labs.

The appointment of teachers was to be made in consultation with the proposed religious boards.

The basic objective to regularise, standardise, run and cover the seminaries within the main education system by updating the religious education provided there with modern knowledge is to enable the 2.5 million students accessing the present day facts and realities. (ANI)

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