Union Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday underlined the need for quality education for Muslims while saying that the country would not truly progress if the community lags behind. “…Samaaj ka ek tabqa achcha padhega aur doosra tabqa peeche rahega… isse desh aage nahin badhega,” (If one section of the society gets good education while the other does not, the country will not progress),” Javadekar said while inaugurating the 20th All India Urdu Book fair in Bhiwandi on Saturday.
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He further assured that the present government believes in “Sabki shiksha achchi shiksha ( good education for everyone)”.
“I want to tell you what pains me. The education of Muslims is a topic that we have to think about. If government schools do not have good education, people dropout by the time they reach Class 9. I want to stop this and I have taken a challenge that all government schools in Indian languages will see an improvement in quality,” the HRD minister said.
The minister talked about a five-year plan to give an impetus to Urdu language. “We have taken several steps in this direction, including publication of Urdu books and journals, and giving advertisements in Urdu newspapers. I want to start an online Urdu course so people can learn the language sitting at home,” he said, while addressing a crowd mainly comprising students who had come to purchase books from publishing houses across the country at the Rais Campus in Bhiwandi.
Talking about the facilities introduced by the government to ensure that quality of government schools is improved, he said that by March 2017 amendments will be made to the Right to Education Act (RTE) with “binding learning outcomes” for government schools. “There will be lists of what a Class 1 student should know, what a Class 2 student should know. This will ensure accountability on teachers, parents and students,” he said. “We are also giving an impetus to Arabic and Farsi languages since a lot of our people go to countries where these languages are spoken and I feel glad that even these courses have become popular,” he added.
Emphasising on the role of community in improving education facilities, he said that in the past when students from rural areas, who could not afford education, had to stay in a common room and feeding them became a issue, “a system was devised whereby different neighbours arranged lunch for them on particular days to ensure that the children don’t go hungry. “