No data on 1,700 madrasas in SL – Auditor General

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By Methmalie Dissanayake

Although nearly 1,700 madrasas are in operation all over the Island, there is no data on them and they are not supervised or monitored by any Government institution, the Auditor General revealed.

This was stated in the Auditor General’s report on Regulatory Process on Non-Governmental Schools.

The report said sufficient data with regard to overall madrasas are not available in the Department of Muslim Religious Affairs.

“Among the main observations, the number of madrasas registered with the Department of Muslim Religious Affairs amounted to 317 only but the Department had informed the audit that 32 schools were not in operation by 6 September 2021. It can be stated that nearly 1,700 such schools are in operation all over the Island but there is no data on them and they are not supervised or monitored by any government institutions whatsoever.”

Despite government schools that provide general education being situated in the relevant districts, the Ministry of Education had not intervened to monitor the enrolment of children to such schools. Madrasas came under the spotlight following the Easter attack on 21 April 2019. The schools have been reported to have no nationally or internationally accredited syllabi, no supervision by recognised bodies on their teaching functions and it was also stated in the Sector Committee report on National Security dated 19 February 2020 that the number of students, number of teachers and their qualifications, basic facilities available to students, financial position and sources of funding, etc., are not monitored by any government authority, the Auditor General said.