01/04/2017, 14.50
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More than a hundred unlicensed madrasas in Bogra District

The mastermind behind the attack against Fr Piero Parolari came from the same district. Unlicensed Islamic schools are not monitored. Pupils are sometimes victims of abuse and torture. Their monthly fees are lower than those of state schools.

Bogra (AsiaNews/Agencies) – More than 100 madrassas (Islamic schools) operate in the Bogra District without a license, this according to local sources.

These schools are located in rented apartments, without a school yard and other facilities needed for pupils’ psychological and physical development.

Local residents also report abuse and torture by teachers on students, who are forced to engage in activities not included in the curriculum.

No one monitors these madrasas, said Gopal Chandra Sarkar, head of the district’s education office.

This is that more significant considering that the Islamic extremist who organised the attack against Fr Piero Parolari came from Bogra. The clergyman, who is a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), survived an assassination attempt on 18 November 2015, in Dinajpur.

One of these schools is the Bogra Cadet International Madrasa, in Rahmannagar. Headmaster Maolana Abubakar Siddique said that the school teaches Bangla, English and Arabic, along with computers.

Hazrat Shah International Madrasa, in Nishindadara, is another unlicensed school. It is operated on the ground floor of a building bordered off by a bamboo fence. Some witnesses saw children sweeping the floor.

Fees in such schools are significantly lower than in state facilities: 1,500 takas per student (US$ 19), 3,000 takas (US$ 38) for residential pupils. The rate is even lower in some fenced off schools: 800 takas per month per pupil (US$ 9.50).

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