A significant number of non-Muslim students are getting admission to madrasahs of the state, if figures from the West Bengal High Madrasah examination results 2019 are any indication. The results were published on Thursday, and 11.9 per cent of the total candidates appearing in the High Madrasah (Class X) this year were found to be non-Muslims.

The West Bengal Board of Madrasa Education (WBBME) published the results of the High Madrasah (Class X), Alim (theology-based education in Class x), and Fazil (Class XII) at 11 am. The examinations commenced on 12 February and got over on 15 March. The results were published within 56 days. This year, the total number of candidates was 65,363 in these three categories.

The total number of High Madrasah candidates was 52,469, of which 11.9 per cent are non-Muslims. The number of female candidates was triple that of the male candidates.

Sainul Haque, from Murshidabad, bagged the first position in the High Madrasah, with 96.38 per cent. Three girl candidates of Agardanga Madrasah — Arpita Saha, Sathi Modak and Piupiya Saha — shared the second and third ranks in the district.

In Alim, total number of candidates that appeared was 8,915 and in Fazil 3,979 candidates in total appeared Pass percentage of Purba Midnapur, Bakita is 100 per cent in Alim and Fazil. Nadia also achieved the distinction in the Fazil exam.

Sheikh Wassimuddin from North 24-Pargana stood first in Alim with 93.89 per cent marks, while Sheikh Habibullah from Hooghly district stood first in Fazil with 90 per cent marks.

Abu Taher, president of WBBME, said, “As the quality of education has been improved in Madrasas and the benefits and scholarships that has been provided to the students, non-Muslims are getting interested in Madrasas significantly in Birbhum, East Bardwan and Bankura districts. Also we have more than 29 per cent non-Muslim teachers in Madrasas. From last year the percentage of candidates has increased by three per cent. Overall dropout rate has come down to almost nil in Madrasas.”

Total percentage of students who cleared the High Madrasa is 83.02 per cent. The pass percentage for male candidates was 88.17 and for female candidates 80.89 per cent.

Sheikh Habibullah, who stood first in Fazil, comes from a very poor family. He had lost his father last year and his uncle, Sheikh Salim, a Madrasah teacher, took up the responsibility of his family.

Sheikh Habibullah said: “My uncle helped me all through my studies. Without his help I could not have achieved this result. My mother Rakiba Begum encouraged me always. I want go for higher studies in Arabic. My aim is to become an IPS or IAS officer.”