Hindu madrassa teachers attend AMU course for first time

August 5th, 2008 - 11:58 am ICT by IANS  

By Asit Srivastava
Aligarh, Aug 5 (IANS) Eight Hindu teachers in madrassas across Uttar Pradesh have enrolled themselves for the first time in Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) annual orientation course. They are among the 28 madrassa teachers from the state attending the course that began here Tuesday, belying the myth that Islamic seminaries only recruit Muslim teachers.

“This is for the first time that there is a representation of Hindus in the course and this breaks the myth that madrassas don’t appoint non-Muslim teachers,” the university’s official spokesperson Rahat Abrar told IANS.

This clearly indicated the willingness of the madrassas to change the stereotypes about themselves, he added.

“It indicates that the madrassas are no longer dogmatic in their principles for appointing Muslim teachers only,” Abrar said.

AMU has been running several orientation programmes since 1985 for madrassa teachers to improve their teaching skills. But the university officials had not seen Hindu teachers enrolling before.

The eight are mostly from madrassas in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich and Shravasti districts. They are Anupam Kumar Srivastava, Raj Kumar Srivastava, Susma, Shyamendra Verma, Arti Srivastava, Atul Kumar, Uday Raj and Dayaram.

Teachers from other states including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Gujarat are also attending the orientation programme that began Tuesday.

Encouraged by this trend of non-Muslim teachers enrolling for the orientation courses, AMU has decided to rope in non-government organisations (NGOs) for motivating more teachers to opt for such programmes.

“Although at present we include 25-28 teachers in orientation programmes, we may increase the intake after witnessing the new trend if NGOs assist us in convincing non-Muslim teachers to join our orientation programme,” an official said.

At present, there are 42 AMU-accredited madrassas in different states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Uttar Pradesh, where AMU is located, has over 1,900 madrassas recognised by the state Madrassa Education Board. Around 170,000 students - highest among all the states in the country - study in these seminaries.

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