The Ministry of Interior Affairs says the government plans to take control of a network of over 5,000 madrassas as part of a drive to mainstream religious schools by putting them under the control of the state.
As part of the new plan, all madrassas are supposed to conduct their education activities under the monitoring of the government to help prevent possible misuse of these schools and ensure their security coverage under a system security policy.
The Afghan government does not have an exact figure about the number of the madrassas in the country, but a total of 5,000 are currently registered within the Afghan Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs. Of the figure, 250 Madrasas are operating in Kabul.
Darul-Ulom Imam Abu Hanifa is one of the madrassas in Kabul where 200 teachers are associated with religious education to over 3,000 students.
“70 percent of the curricula are focused on religious education. The remaining 30 percent is modern education,” said Abdul Ghani Rahimi, the principle of Darul-Ulom Imam Abu Hanifa.
Meanwhile, a source has said that in some parts of Kabul, the madrassa employees are not willing to cooperate with the government to undertake the biometric registration for students and its staff members.
“It will be a good move if they operate under the control of the government. This helps to prevent registration of any Pakistani or a foreign national to deceive our people in madrassas,” said Mohammad Sadiq, a resident of Kabul.
According to the Ministry of Interior, there are so many madrassas that are not registered.
“There is a need for biometric registration to identity these people and find out the main purpose of their activities. It has a great significance to us in terms of security,” said Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
Based on the government statistics, from 5,000 madrasas that are currently registered in the government, 1,180 are operating under the Minisry of Education.
“Madrasas should be under the coverage of the system and the state institutions. There should be a single source curricula,” said Aminuddin Muzzafari, Deputy Minister of Haj and Religious Affairs.
“380,000 students are currently enrolled there. From the number 55,000 are women,” said Najiba Arian, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education.
Recently, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that no one should be allowed to misuse madrassas. He also asked madrassas officials to help undertake the biometric process of the students.