SPQEM – Scheme is Faltering due to Tardy Implementation

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Hundreds of teachers employed under the scheme have received only six months wages during the last three years.

By A Staff Writer

Bengaluru: Tardiness mars the efficacy of the Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrassas (SPQEM). The Scheme was launched in 2009 under the Eleventh Five-Year Plan with Rs. 325 crore being allocated for the purpose. It envisaged modernization of the madrassas through assistance towards salaries for teachers teaching Mathematics, English, Sciences and Languages relevant to the state or the students.
But cursory survey of madrassas opting for the scheme in Karnataka reveals that the teachers appointed under the scheme have not been paid salaries for the last two years. The last payment was disbursed in February-March 2016 towards salaries falling due in 2013.
The scheme proposed enhancement of quality of learning in madrassas on par with curriculum followed in mainstream schools by providing teachers in the above mentioned subjects. It aimed at enabling the madrassa students getting their studies certified upto 5th, 8th, 10th, and 12th standards (Primary, Higher Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary levels respectively) in order that they get linked to National Institute for Open Schooling (NIOS). Several madrassas across the length and the breadth of the country opted for the scheme and recruited teachers. The graduate teachers were to be paid Rs. 6,000 a month and double-graduates (those having either PG or B.Ed. qualifications) eligible to get Rs. 12,000 a month.
But the scheme now seems to be in doldrums as late payments have bred frustration and teachers are not willing to work. Mohammed Shafiquddin, President of the Darul Uloom Arabic College in Muhammadpur village of Chinthmani district informed Islamic Voice that the teachers were recruited in 2013-14 to teach Kannada, English, Sciences and Mathematics. But they have received payments only for the first six months of the 2013-14 session. The payment was made in February this year. The madrassa has 110 children who undergo the Hifz, Diniyat course for eight years. However, he confirmed that they received three computer systems under the programme from the Union Government.
Similar account is related by Fathima Al-Zohra Arabic College, Harappanahalli in Davangere district. This madrassa set up in 2001 has 450 girls who besides doing Alimiyat course also appear for the SSLC exam of the State Board. The College administration has been employing three teachers on behalf of the SPQEM since 2013. But the college management has received allocation for only six months so far. However, it has been regularly paying the three teachers from its own funds and has been adding another Rs. 3,000 from its own side. Manager Fazlur Rahman told Islamic Voice that the implementation is tardy and there was no response from the State Minorities Department despite regularly sending them Utilisation Certificate for the money received under the programme.
Syed Sirajuddin of Darul Uloom Rashidiya, Bidar too had employed three graduates to teach these subjects to nearly 107 children doing Hifz and Diniyat course. They are also paying the teachers from their own funds as they have received only six months of salary during the last three years. Azeemullah Khan, Secretary of the Jamia Ahle Sunnat, Asar Mohalla, Chitradurga also informs that they had sent the Utilisation Certificate for the funds released for the six months, but there is no response from the State Minorities Directorate for the payment of arrears. Meanwhile, three teachers employed by the Jamia have been teaching the 40 kids for the last three years.
However, Madrassa Dawatul Quran, Mysuru said the grant to their madrassa under SPQEM was discontinued as they could not furnish the Utilisation Certificate. Mr. Akbar Shariff informed that since they had paid the salary in cash, they could not fulfill the requirements of the scheme. He said the madrassa received Rs. 1.90 lakh just once to pay out salaries for six months.
When approached Mr. Raghvendra, the officer incharge for SPQEM, in the State’s Directorate for Minorities Welfare, said the funds had not been released from the Centre and in some cases the madrassas too had not submitted the Utilisation Certificate.
The Scheme had proposed holding training sessions for the teachers employed for the purpose. But such is the air of uncertainty over the continuance of the scheme that no such training program was possible.