Directorate of Madrasah Education
Like the Directorate of School Education, the Directorate of Madrasah Education, West Bengal, has been set up specially to look into the Madrasah matters to speed up the Madrasah Education smoothly. The help of West Bengal Urdu Academy, another statutory organization for promotion of Urdu in Madrasah and other institutions are also been received as and when necessary.
Director of Madrasah Education, W.B., generally looks into the day to day works/activities of the recognized 615 Madrasahs through District Inspector of Schools (District Officer, Minority Affairs in 23 Districts) which is relating to approval of Salary, retiring etc., benefits and such other matters of the teachers of the Madrasah, infrastructure, Toilet, MDM, Labs, Libraries etc., of the Madrasah.
Old concept of Madrasah Education with present main-streaming :
However, the origin and concept of Madrasah Education system was sown in Bengal (later on in West Bengal) on the establishment of Calcutta Madrasah (also called Madrasah Aliah) in 1780 A.D. which is one of the oldest institutions for higher learning in the Country. The Calcutta Madrasah or Madrasah Aliah was upgraded and given the status of a college and thereafter through Aliah University Act, 2007 it has been elevated as Aliah University with the accommodation of Madrasah students aspiring of the higher education in Kamil / MM with other main-stream organization.
West Bengal is the role model to bear the burden of Madrasah Education by the State Govt. :
It may be iterated that there are two types of education system, one is School Education System and another is Madrasah Education System. In the Madrasah System of Education in West Bengal, Institutions are of two categories namely, Government recognized/fully aided with entire liabilities of Salary and Retiring benefits etc. of the teaching and non-teaching staff including the infrastructure development etc. borne by the State out of its own Budget and SSA Support.
The other category of Madrasahs are established, run and maintained by the individual or by the community or by the organization etc. The Madrasah Education up to class XII in aided institutions is free. No tuition fee is charged. In shouldering this burden the aid from Central Govt. / SSA needs to be made sufficient.
Main-streaming, linkage with School Education, equivalence, recognition of Degrees in competitive education (as per recommendation of Sachar Committee (page 248) :
The Madrasahs aided and recognized by the State Government are generally
2 (two) types viz. (1) High Madrasah or new scheme system, (2) Senior Madrasah or old scheme system. In High Madrasah system, 3 (three) categories of Madrasahs namely
Jr. High Madrasah (Class V to VIII), High Madrasah (Class V to X) and Higher Secondary Madrasahs (Class V to XII) are functioning.
The Sr. Madrasahs from classes I to X and from classes I to XII is called Alim and Fazil respectively. As all the subjects of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education i.e. English, Bengali/Urdu, History, Geography, Mathematics, Physical Science, Life Sciences, Work Education and Physical Education are taught in Madrasahs in addition to Arabic and Islam Parichay/Islamic Theology up to 10th Standard, the High Madrasah/Alim Course is at par with Secondary School Course, and the 10th Class Pass Certificate called the High Madrasah or Alim Pass Certificate is equivalent to Madhyamik Pariksha Certificate of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and that of 12th Standard Pass Certificate from Senior Madrasah called Fazil is equivalent to Higher Secondary (H.S.) Pass Certificate of the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education.
It may be pertinent to note that the pass-outs of High Madrasah like their counterparts in schools join the mainstream education under the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education while those of Senior Madrasahs may opt for Higher Secondary Education or continue in the Senior Madrasah System pursuing Theology along with others. So the convergence and mainstreaming is well harmonized whatever may be the medium of instruction (language) i.e. Bengali or Urdu.
The Aliah University with the higher studies looks after also the education at the level of Kamil/Kamil Hons. (12+3) Course which is equivalent to Graduate and Graduate Hons., and that of M.M. (12+3+2) is equivalent to Post Graduate Course/Degree of other recognized Universities. At present these courses have further been modernized and remained as Hons. in Theology and Postgraduate in Theology instead of Kamil and M.M.
Co-educational and secular characteristics are spontaneous :
Barring few, all Madrasahs are co-educational with the recommendation of Managing Committee. The ratio of Boys & Girls learner is 1:1.56 which is unique in nature. And surprisingly it may be noted that about 18% of the total learners and a considerable number of teaching and non-teaching staff including Headmaster/Headmistress are from other than Muslim Community i.e. mostly from Hindu Community which has created a unique blend of secular character, the main characteristics of the great democratic country like ours for which we are abundantly proud of.
Imparting of quality education :
To maintain the quality of the Education and to reach the ultimate goal of 1:40 teacher-student ratio, the State Government has set up the West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission by passing an Act in the State Legislature (The West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission Act, 2007) to select and recommend quality teachers in all subjects and non-teaching staff for appointment in the Madrasahs to keep uniformity in all Madrasahs with non-compromising commitment on imparting uniform quality education in the Madrasahs. The West Bengal is the only state where the teaching and non-teaching staff enjoy the equal salary and other benefits as those of school teachers and non-teaching staff. In addition to B.Ed. and M.Ed course of the teachers, the in-service training / orientation in collaboration with NCERT, SCERT is going on.
The continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE) and grading system has been introduced in all types of Madrasahs following the recommendation of NCF-2005.
Democratic character of Managing Committee of the Madrasah :
The Management of the Madrasahs are controlled by the Managing Committee and the MC is formed following the Madrasah Management Rules framed under the West Bengal Madrasah Education Act, 1994. The Managing Committee (M.C.) consists of representatives from different stakeholders and categories viz. Founder, Donor; Representatives of the Guardians, Teachers, Non-teaching Staff; Panchayet, Government. The Head of the Institution is the ex-officio Joint Secretary of the M. C. Thus, the Management is well balanced and harmonized. The election of the representatives of the guardians, teachers and non-teaching staff for a definite period of three years gives the management true democratic character.
Expert Committee for quality improvement :
It may be stated that with avowed objective to reform Madrasah Education, the Govt. of West Bengal in 2001 constituted a committee called Madrasah Education Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. A. R. Kidwai and on receiving the report in the year 2002, several initiatives were taken as per recommendation, for becoming an example of excellence by transforming Madrasah Education in the tune with the national version of the future education and its role for advancement of the society.
Opening of Vocational training courses and Computer learning in Madrasahs :
To minimize the drop out in the VIII classes and above, to learn the earning of livelihood and so to make Madrasah Education more effective, in collaboration with West Bengal Council of Vocational Education and Training, in 103 Madrasahs vocational training courses has been started for skill development.
The Computer learning with the help of WIPRO (Bikramshila), as pilot project has been started which will be extended face by face.
Opening of Madrasah Shiksha Kendra / Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra / Shishu Shiksha Kendra :
To bring all the children under age group 5 to 14 years under the formal system of education both in School and Madrasah, other elementary alternative institutions like Madrasah Shiksha Kendra (MSK) / Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra (MSK)/ Shishu Shiksha Kendra (SSK) are also running in the State under the supervision and control of this Directorate.
Modernization of other Madrasahs :
Last but not the least, the other Madrasahs, such as Moktabs, Khariji Madrasah, etc., which are not recognized/aided by the State Government, till date, the State Government has already taken up the matter under A.I.M.M.P. and about 870 such Institutions have been responded so far for which the G.I.A.C. has already been set up and the same is under process.