ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood on Wednesday said religious seminaries not fulfilling the registration terms of Federal Ministry of Education and Professional Training (FE&PT) would not be allowed to continue their operations.

The minister said this in a press briefing held here on the agreement done with the organisation of religious seminaries Ittehad Tanzeem Wafaq-ul-Madaris (ITWM).

Briefing about the agreement, the minister said that all seminaries would be registered with the education ministry and unregistered seminaries would not be allowed to work.

The agreement in the registration in its 3rd clause said that “Federal government will be authorised of closing the seminaries not registered with the ministry of FE&PT”.

 Replying to a query asked by The Nation, the minister said that 12 regional centres would be established across the country for new registration, while already enlisted seminaries with the government would be renewed. The minister also said registration would be done following the registration form issued by the ministry.

Shafqat Mehmood said that registration process will start from 15th of this month.

The minister also said that ITWM had agreed that the religious seminaries students will regularly appear in the board exam of middle, matriculation and intermediate and Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) will issue certification.

“Madaris students will learn the national level compulsory syllabus and appear in board exam with other students till intermediate level. Seminaries have asked for around four years to form a comprehensive plan of reforming the syllabus through their curriculum committees,” he said, adding that all details of the reforms had been presented and approved from the federal cabinet and budget for establishing of regional centres had also been approved.

He said that ministry will take approval of Rs02 billion for the reforms and implementation.

The agreement also said that ministry will also said that registered seminaries will be allowed admitting foreign students and ministry will assist in providing visa facilities to students which will be maximum of nine years.

It also added that registered seminaries will be allowed of opening bank accounts in scheduled banks. He said that ministry will also write a letter to state bank for opening of the account of registered seminaries.