Nalanda initiated this innovative program in 2001. The intervention in the Maqtab-Madarsa system aims at bringing those children under the fold of primary education who has so far received only religious teaching and transforming the mudaris (teachers of Madarasas) into trained skilled primary level teachers.The Madarsa program of Nalanda was one of its kinds when it first started, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and although more organisations have come forward with Madarsa based interventions, the intervention continues to retain its uniqueness. This intervention started more than 20 years ago so that Muderris in Madarsas may be capacitated to be quality teachers and children in the Madarsas may be included in quality and competency based mainstream education, even within Madarsas.
The focus of the program is both extensive and intensive. On the one hand, the program has been adding newer Madarsas to the existing once so that quality education can reach out to more children in Madarsas. At the same time in some Madarsas, which are the more proactive and capacitated of the Madarsas and are called Model Madarsas or Resource Madarsa, the focus has been intensive. Nalanda provides support to these Madarsas and tries to capacitate them so that they may function as independent institutions of quality education. These Madarsas are gradually getting institutionalised and evolving into resource Madarsas. They are also creating a model for different states and interveningorganisations.
Since the inception of the program in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar 2809 muderris (teachers) from 708 Madarsas of 37 blocks of 6 districts have been given basic pedagogical training on providing elementary education in mathematics, language and other primary level subjects. Groups of trainers of teachers from within the community have been also formed in all the five districts. In this wayA to Z package for replication of this intervention in to other Madarsas has been developed.
Currently, the program reaches1,30,909children directly or indirectly of the Muslim community in rural areas. There is significant improvement in learning outcome of the chidren studying in Madarsas.