A group of Ulama on Tuesday demanded the reopening of educational institutions, including Qawmi madrasas, across the country as soon as possible in compliance with health rules.
From a press conference arranged under the banner of National Ulama Mashayek Aimma Parishad in the city, they also want fair recruitment and a standard pay scale for imams, muazzins, and khadems, in the newly-inaugurated 560 model mosques across the country.
Mawlana Nurul Islam Foyazi, president of the platform, said the government should reopen educational institutions-- especially qawmi madrasas -- before the upcoming Eid-uL-Azha as these madrasas manage food and accommodation for a huge number of orphan students.
A lot of orphan madrasa students are facing an acute crisis of food, security and accommodation due to the closure of Qawmi madrasas amid the pandemic.
"We have come to know there is inequality in job status and pay scale of imams, muazzins, and khadems recruited for the model mosques. Their pay is not equivalent to other comparable government jobs," he said.
A Master's and Honour's level educational qualification is required in the circular for the recruitment of imams, muazzins, and khadems in model mosques. But they are in the category of fourth class government employees, which is unexpected and disgraceful to consider, for madrasa students seeking jobs, he added.
Mawlana Gazi Ataur Rahman, general secretary of the organisation, said, "We want to reopen all educational institutions -- including qawmi madrasas-- and urge the government to set up a recruitment board that includes national level ulamas, for the recruitment of imams, muazzins, and khadems for the model mosques.
Mawlana Gazi Ataur Rahman also demanded the unconditional release of innocent ulamas arrested, as soon as possible.