Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Right to Education have improved their access to education

The enrolment of Muslim students in elementary schools now exceeds the community’s share of the country’s population, Union Minister for Human Resource Development M. M. Pallam Raju said here on Monday.

Mr. Raju was addressing a meeting of the National Monitoring Committee for Minorities’ Education.

As per the 2001 census, Muslims make up 12.4 per cent of the country’s population. The enrolment figures for 2012-13 show that the percentage of Muslim children in elementary schools exceeds that number.

While the enrolment of Muslim children at the primary level stood at 14.2 per cent, it was 12.1 per cent for upper primary in 2012-13. This puts the enrolment of Muslim students at the elementary level 13.15 per cent.

The increase in enrolment from 8.3 per cent in 2006-07 to over 13 per cent, according to the Minister, was a direct result of improvement in access to elementary education —due to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the Right to Education.

Enrolment of girls

A happy statistic for the Ministry is the increase in enrolment of Muslim girls in schools and their retention. As a result, the number of dropouts from the community has come down from three crore in 2001 to 30 lakhs by March 2013.

At the meeting, Mr. Raju also disclosed that a new scheme – the Maulana Azad Taleem-e-Baligan – was being drawn up to impart functional literacy to a crore Muslim adults in the 15-plus age group. This is part of the adult education effort of the government.