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Hijab ban: 16% Muslim girls from Mangalore University colleges drop out

145 out of the total 900 Muslim girl students who had enrolled for various courses in 2020-21 and 2021-22 had collected TCs
Last Updated 20 August 2022, 07:35 IST

Close on the heels of Mangalore University (MU) vice chancellor Prof P S Yadpadithaya’s announcement on issuing TC (transfer certificate) to students who were not keen on attending classes without the hijab (headscarf) in May this year, over 16% of Muslim girl students in second, third, fourth and fifth semesters of government and aided colleges affiliated to MU have collected their TCs.

According to information obtained under RTI by DH, in government, aided and constituent colleges of MU in Dakshna Kannada and Udupi districts, 145 out of the total 900 Muslim girl students who had enrolled for various courses in 2020-21 and 2021-22 had collected TCs.

While some of them have taken admission in colleges where hijab is allowed, others have dropped out due to reasons like inability to pay the fee. However, in Kodagu district, all 113 Muslim girl students continue studying in their colleges. There are 10 government, aided and constituent colleges of MU in Kodagu district.

The number of Muslim girl students seeking TC is higher in government colleges (34%) compared to aided colleges (8%). There are 39 government, 36 aided colleges in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. The number of students who sought a transfer in Udupi district (14%) is higher than in Dakshina Kannada district (13%). Dr P Dayananda Pai-P Satisha Pai Government First Grade College in Carstreet topped the list among government-run colleges in Dakshina Kannada with as many as 35 out of 51 Muslim girl students collecting their TC.

In Haleangadi Government First Grade College, 20 girl students who had attended classes in first, third and fourth semesters have collected TCs while being in second, fourth and sixth semesters. College principal Sridhar told DH, when contacted, that students had ignored his appeals to attend classes. They did not even collect TCs, he added.

Government First Grade College in Ajjarkad, the epicentre of the hijab row, topped the list of government colleges in Udupi district with nine students collecting their TC.

What next after TC?

Among aided colleges, SDM College in Ujire (11) and Bhandarkars College (13) in Kundapur witnessed the highest number of Muslim girl students collecting TCs. So what are these students doing after having collected the TC? “I am hoping to get admission in another college,” Hiba Shiekh told DH during the “Girls conference” held recently in Mangaluru. She was pursuing second year BSc at government college in Carstreet when she decided to collect her TC.

Gausia, who had completed her fifth semester in University College, Mangaluru, managed to secure admission in a private college. “But her sixth semester might begin in March 2023,” sources in MU informed. MU VC Prof Yadpadithaya said many Muslim girl students had met him seeking his help to get admitted to colleges with their combination. “As these issues cannot be resolved, I had directed them to approach Karnataka State Open University (KSOU),” the VC told DH.

“I had informed students that education was more important than religion,” he said.

Bengaluru-based psychologist and activist Ruksana Hassan urged Muslim girl students on not to be “emotional” but continue with their education. Talent Research Foundation (TRF) chairman Riyaz Ahmed said many girls with the help of the community in Dakshina Kannada district were enrolled in private colleges.

‘Numbers could be higher’

Uppinangady First Grade Government College in Uppinangady which had witnessed clashes over the hijab issue, had furnished information under RTI to DH declaring that no students had dropped out. On verification, college principal Prof Shekar admitted that two Muslim girl students had dropped out of college. Campus Front of India (CFI) district president Athavulla Punjalkatte told DH that the data being compiled by them indicates that the percentage of dropouts was much higher.

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(Published 19 August 2022, 19:03 IST)

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