[lg policy] Assam madrasas on way out, Sanskrit board to be scrapped

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon May 22 11:19:19 EDT 2017

Assam madrasas on way out, Sanskrit board to be scrapped
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[image: Assam madrasas on way out, Sanskrit board to be scrapped]
The State Madrasa Education Board runs 700 schools. Reuters file

*Bijay Sankar Bora*
The BJP-led government in Assam has decided to  disband the State Madrasa
Board and hand over the academic part to the Board of Secondary Education,
Assam. The Sanskrit Board will also be dissolved, according to Education
Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. “To mainstream madrasa education, we are
disbanding the Madrasa education directorate and making it a part of the
secondary education directorate,” he tweeted. Sarma told the House
 recently that the state government wanted to “mainstream” madrasas and
introduce modern learning, such as computers. “We want to introduce modern
learning in these institutes. For this, we will have to change the existing
structure,” he said in his reply to a cut motion on supplementary demands
for grants for the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. Assam had set up the Madrasa
Education Board in 1934, with nine schools under it. After Independence, it
was renamed as State Madrasa Education Board. It has over 700 madrasas
under it. *Heritage tag for tribal brews* An alcoholic beverage made from
fermented grain or fruit by tribes in Assam using traditional starter cake
has finally been provided with the  “heritage” tag. The brew, however,
should not contain more than 12 per cent alcohol volume to be bracketed
among “heritage” ones. From now, Assam’s  Excise Department  will grant
licence to establish heritage alcoholic beverage units while the licence to
establish microbrewery or a retail shop will be given by the DC of the
district with the prior  sanction of the Excise Commissioner. The licence
fee for retail outlet, microbrewery, wholesale and “manufactory” will be Rs
5,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively.  The manufacturer
will have to ensure use of transparent white glass, PET bottles and also
proper cleaning, washing, rinsing, sealing, labelling and packaging “to the
satisfaction” of the Excise Commissioner, according to a gazette

*Naga dialects in schools*
The Nagaland Government will introduce Naga local dialects in schools from
the academic session 2018. This, the government says, is to effectively
implement the three-language policy and to preserve, protect and promote
Naga languages. While English will continue to be the medium of instruction
in all schools, teachers will be encouraged to explain difficult concepts
and scientific terms in the children’s mothertongue. With the introduction
of local Naga dialects in schools, Alternative (Alt) English shall be
abolished in a phased manner, starting from Class V from 2018 and Classes
VI to VIII from 2019. In urban areas, in addition to local languages, Naga
heritage studies will be must for non-local students (those from outside
the linguistic group of the local area). A panel has been set up by the
state to examine the implementation of the three-language policy.


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