Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared the recognition of certificates of Dawrae Hadith under Qawmi Madrasa Education Board as equivalent to Masters Degree in Islamic Studies and Arabic.
Sheikh Hasina made the announcement at a meeting with the ulemas of the Qawmi Madrasas at Gonobhaban in the city on Tuesday night. The recognition was given on the basis of basic principles of Darul Ulum Deobandh of India and maintaining separate characteristics of the Qawmi Madrasas, she said.
During the meeting, Sheikh Hasina said she also ‘dislikes’ the statue at the Supreme Court premises, agreeing with Islamist who want it removed. A meeting will be held with the chief justice over the statue, she told a gathering of Qawmi Madrassa representatives on Tuesday evening, reports bdnews24.com.
Hefajat-e Islam chief Shah Ahmed Shafi, also chairman of Qawmi Madrasa Education Board, led the group.
The decision means the Dawra-e-Hadith degree holders will be seen as having master’s degree in Islamic Studies or Arabic and can apply for jobs meant for master’s degree holders. However, the government will not recognise certificates of any other level as the Qawmi madrasa representatives do not want such recognition now.
“I’m announcing that keeping the unique characteristics of Qawmi madrasa and based on the basic principles of Darul Ulum Deobandh, the certificates of Dawra-e-Hadith of Qawmi madrasa has been given the status of master’s in Islamic Studies and in Arabic,” UNB quoted the PM as telling the meeting.
Pointing out that there are many criticisms and harsh comments by many people of other countries about Qawmi madrasa, Hasina said, “But, I always protested this and I always felt that the government needs to give recognition to Qawmi education.”
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said now that Hasina made the decision, the ministry would follow the due process for its implementation.
“A circular would be issued and a law would be made, if required,” said Nahid, who was present at the meeting along with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and Roads and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
The primary decision to this effect came at a meeting at the education ministry on March 28. At the meeting, ministry officials said the government would gradually start recognising Qawmi madrasa certificates from elementary level. But the madrasa authorities pressed that the government recognise Dawra certificate first to help madrasa students get jobs.
Finally, the ministry accepted the proposals of the Qawmi madrasa authorities, backed by Chittagong-based Islamist group Hefajat-e Islam, reports Daily Star.
According to their proposals, a committee with representatives from the six existing Qawmi madrasa boards will issue the certificate. There will be no government representatives on the committee.
The country’s madrasa system is divided into two categories — Alia and Qawmi. Alia madrasas, all registered with and supervised by Bangladesh Madrasa Education Board, offer a distinctive combination of modern and religious education.
Qawmi madrasas, on the other hand, have so far been an uncharted territory with no government monitoring, supervision or support. They run with private donations mostly.
Currently, some 14 lakh students study in about 14,000 Qawmi madrasas, according to last year’s report of Bangladesh Bureau of Educational Information and Statistics.