ISLAMABAD - The government has established 100 feeder schools in different Madaris of the country in order to achieve 100 percent target for the primary enrolment and bring the religious seminaries in the mainstream by equipping their students with formal education along with the religious education.

Out of 100 feeder schools, 91 male and 9 female feeder teachers have so far been deputed in these 100 Madaris of FATA, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Federal Capital territory Islamabad, official documents revealed.

At a presentation to Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, it was revealed that Madaris are being linked with District/Agency Education Department. As many as 100 feeder teachers, one each for each Madrassa, have been provided by the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) in the district of Islamabad, FATA, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan. About 2,480 students in these madrassas have been enrolled, it was informed. Course material has also been provided to all Feeder Schools which includes text books, white board with markers, seating mats, water coolers, school record registers, visitors log books and charts.

Under the plan, Madrassa students will be equipped with formal education system of the country to make them useful and productive citizens of Pakistan, especially by including Maths, Science and English in their curriculum and also contribute towards achieving Universal Primary Education targets.

Normal Matric level education must be provided to Madrassa students, so as to get them well familiarized with the subjects of maths, science and Pakistan studies and also to equip them to compete in the job market. The 70 percent of leaders of Malaysia and Turkey are qualified from Madaris, so Pakistan is also trying to bring its students from the religious schools to the mainstream.

Under the project it was recommended that the dialogue process should continue and be pursued on regular basis with Madrassah management to allow their students to take Matric board exams. The authorities will try to convince the management of the religious schools that the demand of Madrassa education will increase if they mainstream their students with the formal education system.

The total cost of the project is Rs 50 million while Rs 16 million have already been spent on the project and Rs 34 million were allocated during fiscal 2016-17.

Besides the Madrassa reforms five other education projects are being implemented by the Ministry of Planning Development and Reforms, they include; National Curriculum Council, Modernization and Standardization of Examination system, National Best Teacher Awards Scheme, Establishment of Smart Schools, Upgradation of ICT high schools. The total cost of these projects is Rs 1739 million.

Out of five projects another important project is to bring the examination and assessment system at par with the international standards. For the purpose a project for the Modernization & Standardization of Examination System under Federal Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education (FBISE) is being implemented in the country.

The Planning Commission has recommended that the sponsors should invite open bids for development of training manual and text books where private sector will also compete for best quality output.

Template for model examination board should be developed to remove discrepancies and variances and to meet the demand of new curriculum.

Establishment of National Curriculum Council (NCC) Secretariat is another important project which will facilitate to make coordination among various federating units in development of minimum National Education Standards up to Higher Secondary level (ECE to class XII) and National Curriculum Framework.