Bailing Out Seminaries.


The Ministry of Federal Education is hard at work in the registration of seminaries and looking to include aspects of contemporary education alongside religious at these institutions. However, the decision to pay the salaries of contemporary teachers at madressahs is both unsustainable and unwise.

At a time when tightening purse strings is the need of the hour, paying salaries to employees of hundreds of seminaries for an indefinite period will only add stress to the government's limited expenditure. The government can simply not afford the costs of paying for teachers of hundreds of seminaries across the country, not to mention the many logistical costs that will likely prop up alongside in this process.

Rs 1.84 billion has been approved by the federal government for this project, but what the government fails to realise is that setting this precedent from the get-go is not going to encourage seminaries to include contemporary education within their own business model.

By choosing to pay the salaries of teachers that will not impart religious education, the government has already established that this is not the purview of seminaries, even though the objective of this policy is to bring madressahs on board with the idea of providing more holistic education to its students in the long run. This government bailout is a slippery slope, because if salaries are paid for a certain period, any move to remove this support might result in seminaries regressing back to their old models, and blaming the government for failing...

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