J.S. Ifthekhar

Survey done by the HRD Ministry finds that Muslim, ST and SC students are scoring poorly in these subjects

  • The proposal draws flak from educationists
  • APSCHE Chairman says without a strong foundation of mathematics and English job prospects will be bleak
  • Special coaching urged for weak students

    HYDERABAD: How about making mathematics and English optional at school level? Surely, a lot of students would jump at the idea of getting rid of these difficult-to-crack subjects. But would it be in their interest in the long run?

    While the question is debatable, the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) seems to be veering round the idea.

    The Commission is seriously examining the proposal to make mathematics and English optional for Muslim students and those belonging to weaker sections to check their dropout level in schools.

    NCMEI chief favours

    Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui, Chairman, NCMEI, who was in the city recently, said However, Justice Siddiqui personally favoured the idea. "When you want to be a musician or an athlete why study maths and English."

    "It is better the child remains in the school rather than out of it," he said.

    Suicidal

    However, the proposal itself has attracted lot of flak from educationists and minority leaders. "It will be suicidal if these subjects are downgraded to the level of optionals in the formative stages of the school education ," said Mohd Ishaq, noted educationist .

    Subjects like mathematics, English and science provide a firm base for higher studies. Making them optional would be a stigma on the Muslim community. Such students would be considered second-rate material. "What the Government should do is to streamline the administrative set up and create a healthy academic environment," Mr. Ishaq said.

    Fakhruddin Mohammad, honorary secretary, MESCO, also opposed the move. Economic deprivation and lack of educational background in the family is the cause for dropout.

    "Has reduction of qualifying marks for SCs and STs really empowered them," he asks.