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Assam plans to shut govt.-run madrassas, Sanskrit tols in November

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Guwahati, Oct 17: All government-run madrassas and Sanskrit tols will be closed in Assam and a notification to this effect will be issued in November, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.

Himanta Biswa

The Madrassa Education Board will be dissolved and all state-run madrassas will be converted into high schools and new admissions will be held for all as regular students, the minister said addressing a press conference here.

"The final year students will be allowed to pass out but henceforth all taking admission in these schools will have to study as regular students," he said.

The Sanskrit tols (institutes) will be handed over to the Kumar Bhaskarvarma Sanskrit University and these will be converted into centres of learning and research where Indian culture, civilisation and nationalism will be studied, the minister said.

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"This step has been taken by the government to ensure that students get regular education under the Secondary Education Board of Assam (SEBA)," he said.

The examinations of the madrassas and the tols are different with students not appearing for the matriculation examination conducted by the SEBA, he said.

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    "They are, however, given equivalency with those appearing in the board examinations which is unfair on the regular students," Sarma added.

    Asked if the step was taken with an eye on the state elections, which is likely early next year, the minister said, "How can this be an election issue when we are only closing the government-run madrassas and not the private ones."

    There are 610 government-run madrassas in Assam with the state spending Rs 260 crore annually, Sarma said.

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