Madaris (plural of Madrassah/ Religious Seminary), usually sponsored and run by religious organizations and philanthropy, were mostly beyond any formal state-regulations and monitored only through a self-regulatory mechanism under the Wafaq-ul-Madaris (Federation of Madaris). During the War on Terror and consequent terrorism in Pakistan, it was found that some of the terrorists were informally schooled in some of the Madaris. Although the suspect Madaris was placed under intense scrutiny, a need was felt to bring all the Madaris under a registration framework, reforming of their education system and curricula and their mainstreaming into the formal education framework.
The National Internal Security Policy (NISP 2014-18) and National Action Plan (NAP 2014) formally included regulation, reform and mainstreaming of Madaris as its agenda items.
NACTA took the following two measures vis-a-vis Madaris reforms:
1- Registration Forms & Mechanism:
Pursuant to decisions taken in meeting held on 8th September, 2015 under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister of Pakistan, NACTA devised “Madaris Data & Registration Forms” in consultation with Ittehad-e-Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Pakistan (ITMP) with the objective that only registered Madaris shall be allowed to operate. The forms have been prepared and finalized after consultation with all stakeholders including provinces and are ready for adoption after approval by the Prime Minister.
2- Curriculum and Status issue:
Two committees with representation from ITMP were established to revisit curricula and a mechanism for granting equivalence of status to Madaris Isnad vis-a-vis Formal Degrees. First committee is working under heads of Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education and the second committee is working under chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) regarding grant of equivalence certificate to Wafaq-ul-Madaris for Sanad Shahadat ul Aama wa Khasa. Both committees have made extensive deliberations for early completion of the process.