Largely reiterating the findings of the Sachar Committee on the educational status of Muslims, a committee appointed by a foundation of the Ministry of Minority Affairs has recommended a three-tier model for their education — Kendriya Vidyalaya-styled central schools, community colleges and national institutes. The report, which also talks about the educational backwardness of Muslims, lower rates of literacy among Muslims, the “alarming” difference in enrolment rates of Muslims and other communities and disparities in higher education — all of which had been dwelt at length in the report of the committee headed by Justice Rajendra Sachar set up by the UPA government in 2005 — was submitted to minorities minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday.
“…The Committee arrived at a consensus for a three tier pyramid structure having Central Schools at the bottom of the pyramid, Community Colleges at the middle level, and National Institutes at the top having Masteral, Doctoral, and Post-Doctoral level programmes and research infrastructure at par with international standards. The Committee feels that these Institutions would serve as role models for other initiatives that may come from the private and non-governmental sector,” reads the report.
The 11-member committee headed by former IAS officer Afzal Amanullah was constituted by the Maulana Azad Education Foundation headed by the Union minorities minister. It recommended setting up of 211 Central Schools (167 in rural areas/blocks of minority-dominant and minority-concentrated districts, and 44 in minority-dominant and minority-concentrated cities across the country) that will be co-educational, having only day scholars, following the CBSE curriculum from class 1 to 12, with three streams of education. “It is recommended that the norms of Navodaya Vidyalaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya should be suitably amended and made applicable,” the report said.
There should also be, it said, 25 Community Colleges across the country in line with the 2012 UGC guidelines and five national institutes in the fields of science & tech, health, architecture, climate change, and disaster management. They would be set up by Acts of Parliament.
Naqvi announced that in the next six months, Garib Nawaz Skill Development Centres, providing job-oriented skill training in various fields, will be established in Hyderabad, Noida, Lucknow, Jaipur, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Bhopal, Indore, Allahabad, Mysore, Chennai, Goa, Guwahati, Kolkata, Patna, Kishanganj, Dehradun, Shahjahanpur, Rampur, Ranchi, Giridih, Mewat, Tijara, Panipat, Delhi, Uddhamsingh Nagar, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Mumbai etc. He talked about using education as the means of tackling radicalism and communalism. He said said a record number of youth from minority communities, which also includes about 50 Muslims, have cleared the civil services examination 2016. It is the highest since Independence. Bilal Mohiuddin Bhatt from Jammu & Kashmir has got 10th rank.
“Youths belonging to minority community, especially those from Jammu & Kashmir, should take inspirations from these candidates who have cleared civil services examination. Youths from Kashmir should not come under influence of anti-social elements. They should leave activities such as stone pelting. They should join mainstream, get better education and better employment. They should defeat those forces who are the biggest enemies of progress of these youth,” Naqvi said.