GUWAHATI: In sync with the mandate of New Education Policy-2020, the outreach division of the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) near here has developed bridge courses to help madrassa students in Assam move towards mainstream education to enhance their skills and employability.

The division of USTM has developed several professional, technical and skill-based courses in accordance with UGC norms for madrassa students, which are backed up by the most advanced technological support to not only make them qualified but equally skilled and self-reliant.

The university on Tuesday organised a seminar and brainstorming session titled ‘Employability for madrassa students through mainstream education’ at KNB Women’s College, Badarpur, in order to find a roadmap in the wake of Assam government’s closure of all government-run madrassas in the state, which has left many students at the crossroads.

Addressing the participants, USTM vice-chancellor Prof G D Sharma said, “The aim of our discussion is development of the students through skill based education — to make them job creators, instead of job seekers.”

Speaking as the keynote speaker, Prof K. Mohd Basheer, former vice-chancellor, University of Calicut, Kerala (presently teaching at Assam University Silchar), stated that the unprecedented move to guide the students who have passed out of madrassas for mainstream education has been taken with an aim to cater to higher educational need of the madrassa students, who would otherwise be deprived of mainstream education and become victim of massive unemployment.

“The students will be guided and especially trained towards becoming successful entrepreneurs, job creators instead of job seekers, thereby making them contributors in the nation building process,” Basheer said.

Throwing more light on the development, USTM chancellor Mahbubul Hoque said that under the initiative, the madrassa students would undergo a varied duration of bridge courses to be eligible for various professional and technical courses being offered at USTM.

“These courses have been designed based on the level of courses the madrassa students have completed from their madrassas and accordingly they may undergo one-year, two-year and three-year bridge courses so that they can acquire the requisite level of knowledge and skill in order to undergo a technical or a professional course,” Hoque said.

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