A viral message on social media claims to reveal the number of madrasas in Kerala and the teachers working in those madrasas, as well as the amount the state spends on them and so on.
But when The Quint’s WebQoof team got down to verify the claims, we found that many of them have no basis and are false. The message attributes the entire information to KT Jaleel, Minister for Higher Education, Minority Welfare, Wakf and Hajj in the Kerala government, presenting the same in the Assembly. However, this too, has been denied by the minister’s office.
The message goes on to claim that the government is spending large sums of money on these madrasas. It further claims that KT Jaleel disseminated the information in the Assembly.
The claim found its presence on Facebook and Twitter with several social media users sharing it.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
Let’s look at the claims and the corresponding facts one by one:
CLAIM 1: TOTAL POPULATION OF KERALA
The viral message claims that the total population of Kerala is 3,56,99,443. As per the 2011 Census, the total population of the state stood at 3,34,06,061.
CLAIM 2: MUSLIM POPULATION IN KERALA
The message further claims that the Muslim population in the state is 88,73,472. The 2011 Census mentions the same figure.
CLAIM 3: NUMBER OF MADRASAS, NUMBER OF TEACHERS IN MADRASAS
According to the viral message, there are 21,683 madrasas in Kerala. It also mentions that as many as 2,04,683 teachers work in these madrasas.
To verify these numbers, The Quint’s WebQoof team reached out to Kerala Madrassa Welfare Board. The board’s CEO Hameed, in an email conversation, told us there are 27,814 madrasas in Kerala that are run by various organisations.
He further said, as many as 1,70,816 teachers are a part of these madrasas.
CLAIM 4: NUMBER OF PANCHAYATS IN KERALA
The message says that there are 941 panchayats in the state. The official website of the Kerala government says, the total number of gram panchayats in the state are 941.
CLAIM 5: AVERAGE NUMBR OF MADRASAS IN A PANCHAYAT
The viral message calculates the average number of madrasas in a panchayat as: (21,683/941) = 23
However, since the number that the Kerala Madrassa Welfare Board provided us with is higher, i.e., 27,814, this calculation does not hold true.
CLAIM 6: SALARY OF A MADRASA TEACHER
The message claims that the salary of a teacher working in Madrasa is Rs 25, 000 per month (excluding those earning Rs 300 per hour).
As per the website of Directorate of Minority Welfare, Kerala government, the state has 16 coaching centres for Muslim youths, who are appearing for competitive exams. It further mentions that principals of these coaching centres are paid a consolidated amount of Rs 25,000.
“Principals of coaching centres are appointed from Principals, Senior grade/selection grade lectures retired from colleges. They are paid with a consolidated amount of Rs 25,000. The classes are conducted through different faculties and they are paid on hour basis (Rs. 300 per one hour)[sic.],” the website notes.
However, no such figure has been mentioned for teachers working in madrasas.
We spoke to Dr Moideen Kutty AB, Director of Directorate of Minority Welfare, who rubbished the claim being made in the viral message and said that the state government does not pay any amount to teachers working in madrasas.
We also reached out to the office of KT Jaleel, and they said, “The salaries of madrasa teachers are paid by the respective madrasa committees. They are paid according to the financial capacity of the madrasa committees.”
CLAIM 7: MONTHLY SALARY PAID TO MADRASA TEACHERS
The message further calculates the monthly salary paid by the exchequer to teachers working in madrasa as: (2,04,683x25,000) = Rs 5,11,70,75,000.
But since the number of teachers and the salary paid to them have been wrongly mentioned, as shown above, the final figure is also incorrect.
CLAIM 8: PENSION PAID TO MADRASA TEACHERS
The message says that the monthly pension given to madrasa’s teachers is Rs 6,000.
We came across an article published in The Hindu in November 2019 which stated that the Kerala Madrassa Teachers Welfare Fund Bill 2019 had been passed by the Assembly. “With the House passing the Bill, their pension will be in the Rs 1,500- Rs 7,500 range,” the article mentioned.
It further said that as many as 230 had already been receiving pension under the said scheme.
The office of KT Jaleel said that the teachers are paid a maximum pension of Rs 1,000 per month in proportion to their total contribution on completion of 60 years of age.
“The propaganda that the government pays a madrasa teacher between Rs 6,000 and Rs 25,000 is completely untrue. The reality is that the government does not pay a single rupee on this item from the exchequer,” the minister’s office told us.
Further, Dr Moideen Kutty AB told us that as many as 411 retired teachers are receiving pension from the government. However, none of their pensions are above Rs 1,200.
CLAIM 9: TOTAL EXPENDITURE ON MADRASA SALARY AND PENSION
The viral message further mentions that the total expenditure on madrasa salary and pension in the state for one year comes to nearly seven thousand crore rupees.
Since we have shown how the individual figures that have been used to calculate this amount do not hold true, the said expenditure amount has no basis.
Evidently, the viral message has made several false claims on the Kerala government which have been shared by many social media users.