‘Efforts needed for better access to education’

The Muslim community should realise that there is a need for systematic transformation of the thinking process and the resulting behaviour through proper education. “In fact our salvation lies in acquiring strong knowledge economies powered by information technology, innovation and education,” chairman of the National Commission for Minorities Educational Institutions M.S.A. Siddiqui has said.

He was delivering the keynote address at a national seminar on ‘Minority Empowerment Through Education’ organised here on Tuesday on the occasion of the National Minority Rights Day observance.

Going by the Sachar Committee report, Muslims were scraping the bottom of the educational barrel of the country. Their enrolment and retention rates at the primary and secondary levels were lower than the national average. Sufficient numbers of educational institutions were not available for Muslims across the country. Equal opportunity was also not available to all sections of Muslims.

“Most of their institutions are lacking in infrastructural and instructional facilities. Growth in numbers of their educational institutions has not been accompanied by an improvement in the delivery of quality education,” he said.

Access to education

An important section of children of the Muslim community had involuntarily been excluded from mainstream education on account of their economic, social and cultural status. Concerted efforts were needed to promote access for such children to schooling and other educational resources. “Minorities in general and Muslims in particular should strive hard to harness every source that could lead them to quality education, quality growth and quality development,” he said.

Given the importance of a knowledge economy, the establishment of educational institutions of global standards ought to become the priority of minority communities. Internationalism in higher education needed to be promoted. The development of self-respect, a strong sense of ethics and inter-faith understanding through education were perhaps the most important mission of educational institutions, he added.

Minister for Urban Affairs and Minority Welfare Manjalamkuzhy Ali inaugurated the seminar.