The Uttarakhand Waqf Board has announced plans to introduce Sanskrit into the curriculum of state-registered madrassas, a move aimed at modernizing education and equipping children with diverse knowledge. The decision reflects the belief that students should be well-versed in multiple languages and cultures to meet the challenges of the contemporary world.
Board chairman Shadab Shams emphasized the importance of providing a well-rounded education to children, transcending the confines of traditional madrasa education. He cited inspirational figures like former President APJ Abdul Kalam, highlighting the need for students to broaden their horizons.
Shams further explained that the curriculum in these madrassas would be an amalgamation of scientific learning and Islamic studies. The Uttarakhand Waqf Board plans to implement the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) syllabus in the 117 Waqf Board madrassas across the state. This syllabus includes Sanskrit, a decision aimed at promoting linguistic diversity.
Regarding the modernization of madrassa education, Shams disclosed that approximately 40-50 madrassas had expressed interest in upgrading their educational systems. The modernization process would follow the successful model of four madrassas in Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar, and Nainital districts.
Notably, the move has garnered enthusiastic support from parents and guardians, defying expectations of resistance. Shams expressed gratitude for this positive response and mentioned that necessary infrastructure is being developed in the selected madrassas in the first phase of the modernization initiative.
Shams concluded by highlighting the alignment of this effort with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of seeing madrassa-going children equipped with both the Quran and modern tools, such as laptops. The modernization program, initiated under Shams' leadership as chairman of the Uttarakhand Waqf Board, aims to provide a holistic education to madrassa students, bringing them in line with their peers in other schools.
The first phase of modernization is underway, with plans to expand the program to additional districts in subsequent phases. The Uttarakhand Waqf Board oversees 103 madrassas in the state, making this initiative a significant step towards educational reform and inclusivity.