Saturday, May 18, 2013

Goa madrassas face 100% fund cut in 2013-14

Goa madrassas face 100% fund cut in 2013-14

Gauree Malkarnekar, TNN Apr 6, 2013, 03.30AM IST

PANAJI: Uncertainty is staring Goa's madrassas in the eye. The restructuring of funds by the Union human resource development (HRD) ministry in light of the Right to Education Act has meant the residential schools for Muslim children may not receive any funds for the academic year 2013-14.
The residential Muslim schools, better known as madrassas, were provided funds through the Goa Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for the last two years.

Goa madrassas were entitled for 1 lakh aid for every 20 students for 10 months of an academic year, which amounted to around 75% of the funding for the schools. The institutions had relied largely on philanthropists for donations until the GSSA finance arrived.
The aid financed most essentials in the madrassas like notebooks, textbooks, training for out of school children, honorarium for teachers, teaching learning aids, rent, electricity, water supply and contingencies.
The HRD ministry has asked states to seek funds for madrassas through a national 'scheme for providing quality education in madrassas', which is already facing a financial crunch.
Goa is among states that has found the transition difficult. Only eight states have managed to complete the processes necessary to seek funds under the scheme so far and Goa is not on the list.
When the academic year 2013-14 begins, the madrassas face having to go back to seeking donations to keep the schools afloat, in the interest of the 177 students studying in the institutions in Goa.
"We would receive the funds from Goa SSA at the end of the ten months, but we could take a loan to run the schools because of the certainty of the aid to come from the government at the end of the academic year. Without the funds we will be forced to go back to asking donations to run the schools. We will not allow the madrassas to be closed, we will fight for our right as per the Prime Minister's 15 point programme," minorities' convener for Goa, who also runs the Tanzim-e-Khwaja Garib Nawaz in Chimbel Shaikh Suleiman Karol said.
There are 78 maqtabs or schools where Muslim children receive Urdu and Arabic education in Goa, but madrassas being the only full time residential schools that provide education in these languages are crucial to the upbringing of these children culturally, Karol said.
An official from the Goa Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan said, "According to the RTE, the government believes that it is now the responsibility of the local bodies like panchayats to look after the neighbourhood schools and the funding pattern has been altered for this reason."

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