TCN special: Misra Commission report excerpts- Part 12

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Misra Commission report excerpts – home page

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Achievements & Impact of Planned Strategies for Weaker Sections/ Minorities
For assessing the impact of developmental programmes and statutory measures on the minorities, a comparison between physical and financial targets and achievements thereof in various sectors is being made to identify gaps and obtain a realistic picture of the challenges ahead in the succeeding paragraphs.

Empowerment through Education

After independence, the Government of India took a number of steps to strengthen the educational base of weaker sections of society. While most of the relevant educational programs are designed and implemented by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, some are within the purview of the Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Minority affairs and yet others in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Specific Interventions for Educational Advancement of Minority groups: Two major schemes relating to minorities, i.e. Scheme of Area Intensive programme for Educationally Backward Minorities and the Scheme of Financial Assistance for Modernization of Madrasa Education have been merged into a single scheme in the Tenth Five Year Plan, called the Area Intensive Madrasa Modernization Programme (AIMM), Under AIMM, the components of the old scheme are being carried forward: a; infrastructural development and b) Madrasa Modernization. Under this revised scheme, 5000 Madrasas were to be covered during the Tenth Five Year Plan. A major objective of the Scheme is to provide basic educational infrastructure in primary/upper primary and secondary schools, where needed. Viability is established on the basis of a school mapping exercise. The target identified during the Tenth Plan is 325 blocks and 4 Districts of Assam,. During the Tenth Plan period, the Component of infrastructure development is being implemented in this region only. The second major component of the AIMM Scheme is Madrasa Modernization. This component aims at inclusion of modern subjects in the Madrasa system, so that students can be linked to the mainstream education system in the country. To some extent, this has been successful but more effort is required to ensure that students from Madrasas join the mainstream educational system. The Madrasa Modernization scheme is limited in scope and not a substitute for the regular education of children. The scheme includes payment of salary for teachers, and grants for purchase of science kits and setting up of book banks. It provides for the salary of two teachers per Madrasa @ Rs 3000 per month p[er teacher, for teaching modern subjects like science, mathematics, English and social sciences. A grant of Rs 7000 is given for purchase of science/math’s kits and another grant of Rs 7000 for book banks and strengthening of libraries. The assistance is available to Madrasas all across the country irrespective of the curriculum they pursue.

The Tenth Plan allocation for the AIMMP scheme (covering components of infrastructure development as well as Madrasa modernization) was Rs 83.92 crore. The expenditure during 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05 was Rs 28.45 crore, Rs 29.00 crore and Rs 22 crore respectively. In 2004-05 the expenditure of Rs 22 crore was incurred for construction of 11 hostels for girls, 11 senior secondary school buildings, and payment of salaries for teachers teaching modern subjects in 575 Madrasas.

Impact of Special programmes, Schemes and incentives for SCs and STs
There has been a visible impact of special programmes and incentives for SCs and STs, Consequently, number of Scheduled Caste children have shown steady increase. During 1890-81 to 2003-04, their enrolment has gone up from 11 million to 23 million in primary classes; from 2.2 million to 8 million at the middle stage and from 11 million to 4.8 million at the Secondary stage and girls forming 44.8 percent, 41.4 percent and 38.2 percent at these levels respectively.

Focus on Educationally Backward Minorities

SSA has identified 93 districts in 16 states for focused attention ot education of minority children. During 2005-06, 2643 primacy schools, 1978 upper primary schools and 2900 EGS centres have been sanctioned in minorities’ concentrated districts. In addition, SSA provides:
* Special emphasis on modernization of Madrasas-modern syllabus and training of teachers.
* Support to Madrasa: under this scheme, Madrasa affiliated to State Madrasa Board and satisfying conditions specified for State Government aided schools, are eligible for assistance. A large number of children especially girls, studying in Madrasas which are not recognized or affiliated, an EGS or AIE center can be started at the Madrasa by the local body/community based organization whereby, free textbooks, an additional instructor if necessary, training to the instructor in the State curriculum, can be provided. Based on State reports, 8720 Madrasas, (6867 recognized and 1853 unrecognized / non registered Madrasa) are being supported under SSA in 13 states. According to All India Educational Survey by National Council for Education Research Training (NCERT), only percent of the Muslims children in the age group 7-19 years study in Maktabs which is lower in the case of urban areas and enrolments are the same for boys and girls. If Madrasas and Maktabs are combined, only 6.3 percent of the Muslim children study in them.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Out of School Children: The intervention under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and its predecessor District Primary Education Project have has a positive impact on school enrolments with substantially improved access and school children estimated at 42 million at the start of the Tenth Plan, has come down to 23 million in September 2004 according to Mid Term Review of the Tenth Plan ( June, 2005). The success of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is further evident as close to 93 percent children in age group 6-13 years are in school according to a recent study carried out in June, 2005 by the Social and Rural Research Institute of Ministry of Human Resource Development. While among SC children in this age group, 8.55 percent of rural children are out of school compared to 6.25 percent in urban areas, among ST children in this age group, 10.11 percent of rural children are out of school compared to 4.21 percent in urban areas. Similarly, among OBC children in this age group, 7.73 percent of rural children are out of school compared to 3.83 percent in urban areas. As against this percentage of out of school children among Muslim children in this age group is 9.97.

A study on ‘Socio-economic Status of Minorities – Factors for their Backwardness’. By Centre for Research, Planning and Action, New Delhi, conducted in urban areas of five states i.e. Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, UP and West Bengal, spread over 15 cities selected on the basis of high concentration of religious minorities, covered households with income up]to Rs. 3,000/-p.m. indicate that 35.68 percent of minority population had no formal education. Graduates were only 5.82 percent and post-graduates 1.26 percent. The ratio of those with no formal education or primary educations was as high as 71 percent among Muslim families indicating that direct efforts need to be made to enhance access to education for Muslim families.

Another study conducted on Educational Status of Minorities by AROH Foundation, New Delhi, found that many Muslims families do not enroll their children in regular schools and Children sent only to religious schools (Madrasas) lag behind their compatriots in the mainstream educational system. Students from Madrasas are unable to take advantage of upcoming employment opportunities as they mismatch qualifying educational requirements.