The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Test to assess madarsa syllabi

Calcutta, Dec. 24: The government has decided to introduce a special examination to test students in madarsas across the state in a bid to improve the quality of education imparted in the institutions.

The type of questions to be asked in the proposed examinations will be different from those in the conventional school-leaving tests, officials said.

The first phase of the examinations will begin this week.

According to plans, the results will be used to conduct a comparative study with the levels achieved by students belonging to the same classes in the Madhyamik or equivalent courses. The findings will be used to restructure the madarsa syllabi.

“To begin with, the examinations will cover students of Class X. In the following stages, we will hold the same kind of tests for students in the lower classes,” said Mohammed Refatullah, member secretary, West Bengal Board of Madarsa Education.

According to Refatullah, the initiative to improve the madarsa courses comes in the wake of frequent complaints from students that they are finding it difficult to adjust to the higher secondary and equivalent syllabi after changing streams following the the tenth standard madarsa examination.

“We need to know the areas where our students are taught less, where they are deficient when compared to those studying in the other boards. This will help us incorporate exactly those topics in the madarsa syllabi,” said Refatullah.

A government directive had asked the madarsa board to measure their standard of education in comparison to the other boards at the same levels.

The move has no link with the recommendations of the A.R. Kidwai committee, which recently submitted its report to the government on the necessity of improving the quality of madarsa education in the state, insisted Refatullah.

Initially, only three Class X students from each of the 238 high madarsas (equivalent to secondary schools) in the state will take the tests. The students will have to be from among the top three in their classes.

“Once we are ready with the infrastructure, we will include more students. We hope to conduct similar tests for the students of classes VIII and IX by the end of next year,” said Refatullah.

The government will offer privileges in higher education to the toppers of the examinations that will assess the standards of madarsa education.

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