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UP Madarsa education board member protests release of 2023 calendar maintaining Friday weekly-offs

Lucknow: A member of the Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Education Board has protested the release of the annual calendar for next year that marks Fridays as weekly-offs in Islamic seminaries ignoring a proposal to shift it to Sunday like other state schools. Board member Qamar Ali, who had proposed Sunday holidays in madrasas in the state, said on Monday said he would complain to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath about the calendar being issued without any discussion in the board. Ali had placed his proposal in the board meeting on December 20 and it was expected to be taken up for discussion in the next meeting.

Speaking to PTI, Ali accused board chairman Iftikhar Ahmad Javed of releasing the calendar for 2023 on December 24 without consulting other members. “On my proposal to shift weekly-offs in madrasas on Sunday, the board chairman had publicly said that the board’s plenary meeting in January would consider the issue,” he said. Accusing the board chairman of arbitrariness, Ali alleged that he does not take the opinion of board members before doing any work.

“Members of the board are answerable to the Muslim community and a peculiar situation arises in case of decisions which are harmful,” he said. Board chairman Javed termed Ali’s allegations “false” and said, “He can complain to the chief minister if he wants, but the routine work will definitely be done.”

Asked about his statement that the suggestion to have holiday on Sundays instead of Fridays would be decided in next month’s full board meeting, Javed said there was no need to discuss the proposal in the meeting. Arguing in favour of his proposal, Ali said when government officials visit madrasas on Fridays to give information about various welfare schemes of the state government they find them closed.

And when officials have holiday on Sundays, the madrasas are open. Since madrasas are being modernized on the lines of basic schools, it would be better if they also have holiday on Sundays instead of Fridays, Ali argued. In a recent survey, it was found that 8,500 madrasas were unrecognised in Uttar Pradesh. Only 558 of them are government-aided.

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