The BJP-led government in Assam has decided to close down state-run madrassas and Sanskrit 'tols' (centres of learning) and converted them to schools teaching regular courses, Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
If religious books are taught with government funds, then the Gita also has to be taught in Sanskrit tols, Sarma told reporters, according to PTI. "We have decided to close down madrassas and Sanskrit tols of the state because it is not the job of government institutes to provide religious books," he said. Madrassas and Sanskrit tols of the state will be converted to high and higher secondary schools within three to four months, the minister said.
Sarma told NDTV: "As the state government is a secular entity, it cannot fund organisations involved in religious teaching. Private madrassas and Sanskrit tols can continue to run, but we will soon bring a new law to ensure they function in accordance with a regulatory framework."
"We don't want any student to be deprived of general education due to overindulgence in religious learning," he added, according to the publication.