Government spends YR50 million on religious education [Archives:2005/861/Local News]

July 21 2005

SANA'A- Sheikh Yahya al-Najjar, Under-secretary of the Ministry of Endowments and Guidance, confirmed that the Cabinet has offered YR50 million through his ministry to finance religious summer schools.

The support was offered after the government imposed increased monitoring and control over the summer schools that is run by some of the most active religious associations and groups in Yemen.

The summer school, numbering approximately 350 in the capital alone, teachers students the Holy Quran, Hadith and other teachings of Islam.

Sources mentioned to the Yemen Times that government had requested 3000 teachers from al-Iman University to teach at the religious schools during the summer vacation.

Some sects, including the Zaidia's, are rumored to consider the new government support as an attempt to homogenize religious education in the country and that it is a violation against the human freedom.

The sources added that Mohammad al-Hazmi, an Islah MP refused to surrendered the Quran Memorization Center at al-Rahman Mosque where he works as a preacher.

A Cabinet decision issued previously rejected the autonomy of the Quran memorization centers and religious schools and requested that they should be under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Endowments and Guidance.

Procedures taken against religious schools have become severe after the recent blood clashes in Sa'ada between the government and supporters of al-Houthi, who had been controlling numerous religious schools in the north province of Sa'ada.