Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has promised to complete the registration of religious seminaries with the provincial educational board by November 2017.
In May 2017, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had announced during the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference that KP government will introduce uniform education system and all of the religious seminaries would be registered with the concerned educational boards.
Furthermore, on October 31, 2017 the provincial government issued directives to affiliate all the seminaries with concerned educational boards in order to integrate them into the national mainstream educational institutes. In this regard, the provincial government directed the KP Elementary and Secondary Education Department to complete the process of registration of the seminaries within one month’s time and collect all detail about the madrassas from across the KP.
To implement government directives, the KP Elementary and Secondary Education Secretary on that time through a letter, directed the administrators of the seminaries, located in all districts of the province, to file the details of their respective institutions in academic section of the education boards.
For this purpose the KP Elementary and Secondary Education Department designed and circulated a specific form to the education boards concerned in which the seminaries were directed to mention their curriculum, number of students, number of teachers, sources of income and other necessary information.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Muhammad Atif Khan said that it was included in the initiatives of KP Education Reforms to introduce a uniformed education system in the province. He said that the KP Elementary and Secondary Education Department had directed all the concerned education boards to collect all necessary information so that they bring these seminaries into the mainstream.
The minister said that in this regard, several meeting of concerned officials of the education department and the seminaries’ leaders have taken place and they agreed to affiliate the religious seminaries with the education boards.
He said that with this affiliation the seminaries’ students would also be registered with the concerned educational boards and they could appear in examinations like any other school students.
However, Jamaat Islami (JI) Provincial Ameer, Prof Ibrahim Khan, said that it is not possible for the seminaries to register with the educational boards. He argued that the religious seminaries are registered with Industries Department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and that these seminaries are registered under Societies Registration Act-1860.
Ibrahim said that the registration of new religious seminaries is not possible in the already existing law. He said that the KP government should first find a way for new registration. He admittedly appreciated these efforts of the KP government but also demanded that they must first take in confidence all the leaders of these religious seminaries.
Provincial Nazim of Wifaq-ul-Madaris and Nazim-e-Taleemat of Darul-Uloom Jamia Usmania, Maulana Hussain Ahmad, shared that there are around 18500 religious seminaries across Pakistan, out of which 5000 located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and above 800 in only Peshawar district.
Hussain said that the affiliation of the seminaries is not possible with the educational boards in the current situation, as these seminaries are already registered under Societies Registration Act-1860 with the industries department.
He said that seminaries curriculum, subjects, examination system, vacations and other routine matters are different from the government education institutes and the government should first enact another law on both federal and provincial level in this regard if they really want to make it practical.
Hussain pleaded that they not opposed of government effort to affiliate religious seminaries with educational boards, as these seminaries are also educational institutes but it should need consultation and meeting with responsible people of madrassas.
Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar (BISEP) Chairman Prof. Dr. Fazlur Rahman said they have consulted administrative of different seminaries in different parts of the province and they agreed to affiliate with BISE Peshawar. He said that seminaries administrative first had some reservations but finally they agreed to discuss it with Wifaq-ul-Madaris responsible.
KP Government had promised to complete seminaries registration across province by November 2017. However, they failed to convince the religious leaders for the completion of the registration of the seminaries in KP.