The Assam Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill abolishing state-run madrassas amid protest by the Opposition. The opposition MLAs walked out after their demand to send the legislation to the Select Committee for “proper discussion” was rejected. The bill scraps government funding for madrassas, and they will be converted to general schools by April 1, 2021. Under the bill, the State Madrassa Education Board will also be disbanded, but it will have no bearing on status of allowances and service conditions of the teaching and non-teaching staff.
Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated the government would soon introduce another bill to regulate private madrassas as well. However, Wednesday's bill did not cover, or even mention Sanskrit tols (centres of Vedic education), which the govt had earlier said would also be shut as the government cannot fund religious education because it is a “secular entity”.