Madressahs' registration easier now -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Madressahs’ registration easier now

KARACHI, Feb 25: Contrary to the opposition’s apprehensions, the Sindh government is not discouraging establishment of madressahs (religious schools) in the province. Rather, facts and figures, as well as procedures, show that registration of such institutions is being facilitated.

There is no fee for the registration of a madressah although in the case of a welfare society, a sum of Rs15,000 is charged under this head. No tough conditions are required to be met either.

The Sindh registrar of societies has enlisted 1,655 madressahs since August 24, 2005, when an ordinance was promulgated for a period ending December 31, 2006. Out of them, 633 have been registered in Karachi, 535 in Hyderabad, 298 in Sukkur and 189 in Larkana.

Prior to August 2005 the registration wing in Karachi was not empowered to register madressahs and all applications had to be sent to the federal Ministry of Interior through the provincial home department for approval. A fee of

Rs15,000 was also chargeable.

However, following the promulgation of the ordinance, the provincial registrar was empowered to approve an application without seeking the ministry’s approval. The fee was also withdrawn after it was reduced to Rs500 first.

The time period involved in the process of application has been curtailed from weeks to days.

The conditions required for opening a madressah include, among other things, presence of seven members on the managing committee. The sponsors are required to submit audited accounts every year along with performance report. They are supposed to submit the literature or courses offered to students.

The only major rule to follow is submission of an undertaking by the sponsors that no education or training leading to militancy or violence will be imparted to the students. Another condition is that the sponsors will not publish any literature and will not teach a course that could promote militancy or create religious or sectarian hatred.

A registration official told Dawn that Secretary Zakat of the province was assigned to supervise the registration and supposed to send a weekly report in this regard to the federal authorities.

Source: Dawn

Date:2/26/2007