Guwahati: In a significant move, the Assam government has transformed 1281 Madrasas spread across 31 districts in the state into general schools, according to officials on Thursday. State Education Minister Ranoj Pegu took to the microblogging site X to share this transformative information.
Education Minister Pegu conveyed, “Consequent to the conversion of all government and provincialised Madrasas into general schools under the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), the Department of School Education, Assam has changed the names of 1281 ME Madrasas into Middle English (ME) Schools through a notification today.”
The shared order outlined, “As per the approval of the state government, the nomenclature of the 1281 Upper Primary Schools ME Madrassa under the Directorate of Elementary Education, Assam, shall be known as ME School with immediate effect.”
This development stems from legislation passed by the Assam government in January 2021, which opened the door for all government-run madrasas in the state to transition into general schools. However, this transformation excluded private madrasas, affecting 731 madrasas and Arabic colleges affiliated with the State Madrasa Education Board, Assam Higher Secondary Education Council, and Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA).
Addressing a rally in Karnataka in March of the same year, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma declared that his government had closed 600 madrasas and expressed his intention to shut down all madrasas in favour of promoting educational institutions over Islamic religious centres. Among the affected madrasas, the highest number of closures were witnessed in Dhubri district (268), followed by 158 in Barpeta, 128 in Nalbari, 98 in Goalpara, 65 in Morigaon, 64 in Nagaon, 63 in Bongaigaon, and 44 in Cachar district.
This sweeping change signifies a shift in educational policy in Assam, aligning with the government’s emphasis on a more secular and inclusive approach to education. The renaming and conversion of these madrasas into general schools reflect a broader strategy to restructure the education landscape in the state.
Assam’s decision to convert madrasas into general schools and implement a statewide renaming initiative underscores the ongoing efforts to redefine and modernise the education sector.