A day after the Uttar Pradesh government started surveys of unrecognised madrassas, Priyank Kanoongo, chief of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said on Wednesday that the statutory body will again remind other states to carry out similar exercises.
Till now three states have begun the process of identifying madrassas that are not recognised or are not on the official list and have not applied for recognition. These are Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. Sources said that according to a survey, there are almost 89,000 madrassas where modern fundamental education is not imparted and they have come up on their own with the state having no knowledge of them and that there are almost 1.10 crore students enrolled there.
“It was after we got several complaints about such illegally run madrassas that we toured them and found that they were in violation of the Right to Education Act. There are no fundamental formal studies that are being imparted. The children were misbehaved with in madrassas, which is also against the Constitution,” said Kanoongo.
The NCPCR chief added that according to the Right to Education, it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that every child gets basic education. “Either they need to regulate such madrassas or close them and shift students to neighbouring schools. There are provisions for shifting students to elementary schools as well that fall within three kilometres of the closed madrassas. The state has a responsibility to provide them books and arrange for their education,” added Kanoongo.
Sources said that a majority of the funding for such madrassas happens domestically. The NCPCR chief said that there are governments that are concerned about the future of the children and are working to convert these madrassas into schools.
“Our concern is that children should get basic fundamental education. It is their right given by the Constitution and it is the duty of the state to do so. We will ask other states to initiate action against such unrecognised madrassas. Assam has done some good work in getting the survey done,” said the NCPCR chief.
“They have a wing to groom children. It is called Jawahar Bal Manch. No other political party has such a wing. Every political party has to submit to ECI its constitution when it goes to seek recognition. The Congress has submitted it as well. It is now up to the ECI to take whatever action it deems fit,” added Kanoongo.