Kazan, January 25, Interfax - Cooperation between secular universities and Islamic educational establishments under joint programs takes Muslim education to a new level and gives it fundamental importance, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"The practice of working with large federal universities is in itself very important, especially at this stage in the development of religious education. Cooperation with a large educational establishment, a scientific center, gives a totally different coloring and level [...] to religious education, especially at the development stage, making it fundamental," Putin said during a meeting with the muftis of the centralized religious organizations of Russia's Muslims and the heads of the Bolgar Islamic Academy in Kazan.
Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Russia and chairman of the Russian Council of Muftis, asked the president to reduce the number of secular partner universities that support the system of Islamic education under the government program.
"Partner universities of our Islamic educational establishments, there are many of them, and the Presidential Administration knows that funding provided to support Islamic education is sometimes not spent in line with its purpose, in a sense that it goes to a state university, it goes through them, but they keep most of it, the money doesn't reach our Islamic educational establishments [...] We now need to keep 2-3 partner universities and provide financial support through them to support our academic programs," he said.
The president promised to get to the bottom of this situation.
"In this regard, I would like to say that [...] we will continue support through state universities because it is a requirement of the law, but what you said about reducing the number of partner universities is probably right, and we will definitely consider it," Putin said.