An official of Assam's Madarsa Education Board (MEB) has said they are yet to receive any official notification regarding Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's announcement on shutting madarsas, as well as Sanskrit tols (schools), in the state.
"I have learnt about the government's decision through media reports," Imran Hussain, chairman of MEB, said on Thursday.
Sarma on Wednesday said the state-run madarsas and Sanskrit tols would be wound up within the next three to four months and the teachers would get their salaries sitting at home till they reach the age of retirement.
He said there were 1,200 madarsas and 200 Sanskrit tols run by the state government, and they would be converted into high and higher secondary schools and give lessons on regular courses.
The Minister said that the state government considers it was not right to pursue the teaching of religious scriptures at the cost of the government exchequer
Hussain said there are 706 madarsas in Assam. Of the 707 madarsas, 614 are recognised by the MED which was constituted in 1934, when India was under British rule.
Of around 1,000 Sanskrit tols, only 97 are financially aided by the state government.
The All Assam Minority Students' Union, various other organisations and academicians have protested against the government's decision.
"Madarsas, high madarsas and Sanskrit tols are funded by the state government. Our government feels it is not just to teach religious scriptures with government money," Sarma said while interacting with the media at Guwahati's Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra.
The minister, however, clarified that if any individual or any private body spends their own funds to teach religion, government would not dispute.