Guwahati, Feb 22 (IANS) The Assam government has decided to delete the Arabic word ‘maktab’ – traditional islamic elementary school – from the nomenclature of 63 state and state-aided primary schools immediately, a senior minister said here on Saturday.
“We have come across 63 such schools in Assam which have the word ‘maktab’ as part of their names. A search may reveal more such schools. But 63 such schools have come to our knowledge in this regard. The state government has passed an order directing these schools to drop the word ‘maktab’ from their names,” education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told mediapersons.
However, these schools would be allowed to retain the remaining part of their names.
The classical definition of Maktab refers to the traditional Islamic elementary school primarily teaching literacy and the Quran.
Sarma said the term has become irrelevant now as the Maktab education system doesn’t exist in Assam anymore.
He said the nomenclature of these schools landed the students in difficulty if they sought admission in higher classes in general schools after studying in ‘maktab’ schools for a few years
“The authorities would often refuse them admission saying how they can pursue studies in a general school after learning religious education for so many year,” said Sarma.
The latest decision comes days after Sarma announced the state-run Madrassas and Sanskrit tols (centres of learning) would be closed down within the next three to four months.
The minister said madrasas and Sanskrit ‘tols’ have been apprised of the government decision to convert them into higher secondary schools.
The process would start after the presentation of the state budget, and be completed by August.