Skip to main content

Attendance rate of Gujarat Muslim children one of the worst in India: NSSO

By Rajiv Shah 
Seven years after the committee headed by Justice (retired) Rajinder Sachar, appointed by the Prime Minister to quantify relative backwardness among Indian Muslims, submitted its report revealing how the minority community remained on the back-foot in education and other social sectors vis-à-vis other communities, a new report by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) has given state-wise inter-religious comparisons, belying claims by certain quarters that Gujarat Muslims have lately been doing better than the rest of India and other communities. Released in July 2013 and titled “Employment and Unemployment Situation among Major Religious Groups in India”, the report is particularly important as it provides facts on not just literacy levels of different communities, but also rate of attendance in educational institutions.
The report finds 81.4 per cent attendance rate of Hindu children of the age group 5-14 in Gujarat’s educational institutes. This is against 78.7 per cent rate of attendance in the same age group among Muslims. What is more distressing is that the attendance rate of Muslim children in Gujarat is found to be one of the worst in India – with only three states performing poorer that Gujarat – Bihar (74.6 per cent), Rajasthan (73.2 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (73.2 per cent). The report reveals that the all-India average of Muslim attendance rate in educational institutes in this age group is 82.3 per cent, higher by nearly four percentage points. The NSSO report is the first major finding on the status of minority education in India after the Sachar committee submitted its report to Parliament in November 2006.

The rate of attendance in educational institutions among Gujarat Muslims significantly goes down with children of the higher age group. Thus, in the age group 15-19, just about 32.5 per cent of Muslims are found to be attending educational institutions, which further goes down to 13.2 per cent in a still higher age group, 20-24. The report confirms the findings of senior economist Abusaleh Shariff of the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Delhi, who had noted in a study two years ago that “despite 75 per cent net enrolment, about similar levels compared with the SCs/STs and other groups, the Muslims are deprived at the level of matriculation and higher levels.”
Shariff’s report, which came as a virtual rejoinder to those in the Gujarat government who, claiming to quote the Sachar Committee report, had been trying hard sell the view, including to those in the Planning Commission, that the average educational standards of Gujarat Muslims were much better than India. Among others, the Gujarat chief minister told a Planning Commission meeting in 2011 that the literacy rate among Muslims in India was five percentage points below the national average, but in Gujarat Muslims it took “a leap, with average literacy rate among them eight percentage points higher than the national average.”
Further, the state government has argued that the Muslim females in urban areas of Gujarat “surged ahead with average literacy rate among them being five points higher than the national average” and a “similar trend was visible in the state’s rural areas too, where average literacy rate among Muslim women was 14 points higher than the national average”. It has added, “A greater percentage of Muslims had attained primary, secondary and higher-secondary level education in Gujarat compared to the countrywide average and compared to other states.”
While Census 2011’s community wise figures are still not available, it is no doubt true that overall literacy level of Muslims in Gujarat is better than India. Thus, the NSS figures suggest that 26.8 per cent Muslims fall in the “not literate” category, as against the national average of 36.3 per cent. However, when it comes to “current attendance rates in educational institutions, irrespective of rural areas or urban areas”, and gender-wise analysis, the Muslims fare are found to be worse off than most states, and of course all-India average.
Thus, in the rural areas, the current attendance rate in Gujarat in the age-group 5-14 is 67.0 per cent among females, as against the all-India average of 77 per cent – a lag of exactly 10 percentage points. Three states which are worse performers than Gujarat in this category are (65.1 per cent), Haryana (66.1 per cent) and Rajasthan (58.5 per cent). In the higher age group, 15-19, merely 19.3 per cent rural females attend educational institutes, as against the national average of 35.3 per cent – and the gap rises to 16 percentage points!
Things are almost similar with regard to urban female children of Gujarat – in the age group 5-14, 81.8 per cent attend an educational institute, which goes down to 28.1 per cent in the age group 15-20. While in the age group 5-14 the national average here is 85.3 per cent, a gap of less than three percentage points, the gap suddenly widens in the higher age group. With just about 28.1 per cent of urban females in the age group 15-20 attending an educational institute in Gujarat, as against the all-India average of 45.0 per cent, the gap reaches a whopping 17 per cent!
If the authors of the NSSO report are to be believed, the rate of attendance in educational institutions suggests the quality of education children get in schools and colleges. Clearly, a poor rate of attendance would mean that children have either dropped out or are not attending schools or colleges because of lack of interest in the education system. Reasons for this could be variegated, including poverty. To quote Shariff’s scholarly study, “Gujarat Shining: Relative Development of Gujarat and Socio-Religious Differentials”, “Poverty among Muslims in Gujarat is eight times (800 per cent) more than high caste Hindus, about 50 per cent more than OBC Hindus and the scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs).”
Shariff, who was member-secretary of the Sachar committee, says, “Rural poverty among the Muslims is two times (200%) more than the high caste Hindus,” adding, “Despite 75 per cent net enrolment, about similar levels compared with the SCs/STs and other groups, the Muslims are deprived at the level of matriculation and higher levels… A mere 26 per cent reach matriculation whereas this proportion for ‘others except SCs/ STs’ is 41 per cent.” He underlines, “Among the Muslims a large dropout takes place at about 5th standard. A disturbing trend was noticed in case of education at the level of graduation. Muslims, who had about the same level of education in the past, are found to have left behind compared with even the SCs/STs who have caught up with higher education.”

Click HERE to download report

Comments

TRENDING

Mental health: We talk of poverty figures, but not increase in suicides since 2014

By IMPRI Team Highlighting  the issue of mental health and addressing the challenges involved, # IMPRI Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a panel discussion on Institutional Support for Mental Health and Wellbeing under the #WebPolicyTalk series The State of Gender Equality – #GenderGaps . The discussion was chaired by Prof Vibhuti Patel, Visiting Professor, IMPRI and Former Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai . The distinguished panel included – Prof Anuradha Sovani, Former Professor and Head, Department of Psychology, and Former Dean, Faculty of Humanities at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai and National Core Committee member and Ethics Committee Chairperson, Association of Adolescent and Child Care India ; Dr Soumitra Pathare, Director, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy at Indian Law Society, Pune ; Dr Swati Rane, Founder CEO at SevaShakti Healthcare Consultancy, Mumbai and Founder V

How India, Bangladesh perceive, manage Sunderbans amidst climate change

By IMRPI Team The effects of climate change have been evident, and there have been a lot of debates around the changes to be made locally to help and save the earth. In this light, the nations met at the COP 26 conference recently. To discuss this further, the Center for Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (CECCSD) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi , organized a panel discussion on “COP 26 and Locally Led Adaptations in India and Bangladesh Sunderbans” under the #WebPolicyTalk series- The State of the Environment – #PlanetTalks . The talk was chaired by Dr Jayanta Basu, Director, Non-profit EnGIO, Faculty at Calcutta University and an Environmental Journalist, The Telegraph , ABP . The Moderator of the event, Dr Simi Mehta, CEO and Editorial Director, IMPRI , started the discussion by stressing the talk on the living conditions of people living in the Sunderbans Delta from both the countries, i.e. India and Bangladesh. According to the report

NEP: Education must shift away from knowledge, move to teaching students

Dr Anjusha Gawande* The Education sector in the globe is changing dramatically. Many manual jobs may be captured over by machines as a consequence of multiple spectacular advances in science and technology, including the machine learning, and artificial intelligence. A professional workforce, particularly one that includes mathematics, computer science, and data science, as well as multidisciplinary competencies in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, will be in incredibly popular. As a result, education must shift away from knowledge and toward teaching students, how to be creative and transdisciplinary, and how to innovate, adapt, and process information differently in innovative and rapidly changing sectors. The education development agenda at the global level is represented in Goal 4 (SDG4) of India's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015. Ministry of Education has announced the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) on 29.07.2020. In J

Dishonesty, corruption, manipulation and sustainable growth of mediocrity

By Arup Mitra* The theory of mediocrity would suggest that the meritorious who are always small in number as a nature’s gift will be dominated by a vast number of mediocre as the latter cannot withstand the inferiority they suffer from. By subjugating the merit, they derive a pleasure of having established their superiority. Such processes are functional in all spheres in life though the field of art is the worst sufferer. An artist mind is most sensitive and those who are meritorious in this lot possess exceptionally different traits. This makes them more vulnerable and, on the other hand, it paves the path of the mediocre to cast their shadows all around. Unjust and strong criticisms are sufficient to detract many. In developing countries, the modes of subjugation are many. Individuals do not hesitate to take recourse to criminal means as the subconscious prevalent with vengeance, accesses easily the outlets for execution. The lack of civility and the power of money form a unique com

Migrant problem during Covid and the role of equality for cohesive development

By IMPRI Team  The covid-19 pandemic has deepened the pre-existing inequalities across socio-economic groups, the distressing images of migrants’ exposure remained attached in our minds but not a lot has changed in terms of data collection and policy making since then to understand the role of equality for cohesive development. Cohesive development also means that human beings should respect the boundaries of nature which they cross at their own peril and the peril of other living beings on earth. In lieu to this, The State of Development Discourses – #CohesiveDevelopment, #IMPRI Center for Human Dignity and Development (CHDD) , #IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute , New Delhi organized #WebPolicyTalk with Prof Amiya Kumar Bagchi, on The Role of Equality for Cohesive Development. The session is inaugurated by Ms Mahima Kapoor, researcher and assistant editor at IMPRI. Ms Mahima Kapoor extended her gratitude to the speaker, moderator and the discussant. The moderator for the eve

Parallel govts: How unity of various streams of freedom movements took shape in India

By Bharat Dogra  In one of the most inspiring examples of highly courageous spontaneous actions based on the unity of people, parallel governments were formed by freedom fighters in several parts of India in the course of the Quit India Movement in 1942. Although generally four such leading efforts have been identified in Satara (Maharashtra), Talcher (Odisha), Tamluk (West Bengal) and Ballia (Uttar Pradesh), there were some other smaller efforts as well such as those in Bhagalpur (Bihar) and Gurpal (Balasore, Odisha). It is very interesting to see in most of these efforts (also very significant for understanding the freedom movement) that there was constant merging of the various streams of the freedom movement, with more militant activities openly taking place with the help of quickly mobilized militias and this being combined with various constructive programs emphasized by Mahatma Gandhi such as anti-liquor efforts and anti-untouchability movements. In addition we see actions in

West Bengal police inaction in immoral trafficking case of a Muslim woman

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) writes to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, on Muslim woman victim trafficking, police inaction, and need immediate rescue: I am writing to inform you about a case of illegal trafficking and profuse police inaction regarding the same of a marginalized Muslim teenager named Anima Khatun (name changed), daughter of Mr. Osman Ali. The victim and her husband had been residents of the village Daribas, under Dinhata police station Cooch Behar district since their marriage in 2014. Six months following their marriage, Anima Khatun along with her husband, sister-in-law, sister-in-law's husband as well as her in-laws shifted to Delhi in search of work. They stayed there for 2 years after which they all came back to their native village. They stayed at their native residence for about one month and then they went back to Delhi. In Delhi, Anima was in touch with her family till the next six months, after which t

Impact of climate change on Gujarat pastoralists' traditional livelihood

By Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Karen Pinerio* We are sharing a study[1] based learning on climate resilience and adaptation strategies of pastoralists of Kachchh district, Gujarat. There are two objectives of the study: (i) to examine the impact of climate on traditional livelihood of pastoralists of Gujarat state; and (ii) to explore and document the adaptation strategies of pastoralists in mitigating climate adversities, with a focus on the role of women in it. In order to meet these objectives, the research inquiries focused on how pastoralists perceive climate change, how climate change has impacted their traditional livelihood, i.e., pastoralism in drylands (Krätli 2015), and how these pastoral families have evolved adaptation strategies that address climate change (CC)/ variabilities, i.e., traditional livelihood of pastoralists of Kachchh district, Gujarat state. Pastoralism is more than 5,000 years old land-use strategy in India; it is practised by nomadic (their entire livelihood r

Bangladesh sets shining example of communal peace, harmony in South Asia

By Dr. Abantika Kumari Bangladesh is made up of 160 million people who are multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual. The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees all citizens the freedom to freely and peacefully practice their chosen religions. Religious minorities make up roughly 12% of Bangladesh's present population, according to conservative estimates . Hindus account for 10% of the population, Buddhists for 1%, Christians at 0.50 percent, and ethnic minorities for less than 1%. As an example of how people of different religions can live together, cooperate together, and simply be together, Bangladesh is regarded. Bangladesh is a country that values religious liberty, harmony, and tolerance. Bangladesh's population is made up of a diverse spectrum of religious groupings and ethnic groups. Such communities and groups live in harmony, putting aside their differences and learning to embrace and respect the diverse and diversified culture that has contributed to Bangladesh

Political leaders' actions are causing decontextualisation of democracy

By Harasankar Adhikari In India, does democracy become a matter of prescription, i.e., to follow the footpath left? Isn't it, in some ways, the adoption of certain prescribed procedures and mechanisms, such as timely election and populist schemes for the poor, etc.? In some cases, acts of government and governance turn democracy into a myth. It is full of political party-based agendas. This continuous hegemonic practise creates a conditional situation for the people of India. People elect their representatives who are not their representatives. They are only representatives of a particular political party that nominated them in the election. Democratic decentralisation of power is undoubtedly a unique step towards the grass roots. But a Panchayat member has no free will to act without the party’s instruction and approval. Michael Saward, a political philosopher, defines democracy as a matter of correspondence in state-society relationships. But India’s parliamentary democracy is un