HRD aims at imparting modern education to Muslims

Ministry wants to upgrade students skills for greater employability
Last Updated 29 January 2011, 18:09 IST

 “Minorities, especially Muslims, are the largest section of educationally backward minorities in the national education system. So, it is imperative that we promote education among them along with all other backward sections who have fallen far behind national average,” an official of the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry told Deccan Herald here.

As part of this year’s action plan, the ministry envisages opening 25,093 primary schools, 11,930 of which will be in districts with high Muslim concentration. Out of the 9,396 upper primary schools the ministry intends to open, 2,370 will be in Muslim concentration districts. The official said the ministry had established 1200 Centres of Equal Opportunity (CEO) in 51 universities across the country in 2009-10. A further 2,712 will be opened in various universities till 2012.

Equal opportunity offices have to be created in all universities for “effective implementation” of Centre sponsored schemes meant to benefit members of disadvantaged sections of the society including Muslims, he said.

New colleges of excellence, polytechnics and community polytechnics are being established in the districts with lower gross enrolment ratio (GER) than the national average in higher education, the official said.

New scheme

Under a new scheme to assist states to establish a model degree college in each of the 374 identified higher educationally backward districts -which have lower GER in higher education than the national GER- Rs 782 crore has been earmarked as the central government’s share in the 11th plan. “It has been proposed to set up 200 colleges of excellence during the remaining period of the 11th Five year Plan (2007-2012),” he added.

The Ministry is working on preparation of a “new roadmap to empower the Urdu-speaking population” and in a recent meeting of the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL), Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal noted that “there was need to preserve the past and at the same time need to make the study of Urdu relevant so far as the aspiration of the Muslim youths are concerned.”

The HRD Ministry is in the process of preparing a National Vocational Educational Qualification Framework which will include traditional Urdu art forms like Calligraphy, Ghazals, Architecture and Sculpture making, the official said.

“This will give an opportunity for Muslims to get employment on the basis of their skills in these arts and will also help preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Urdu language and literature,” he added.

(Published 29 January 2011, 18:05 IST)

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