Special Correspondent

In the wake of amendment to Tamil Nadu Private Schools (Regulation) Act

  • Act stipulates that no grant be paid to any private school established after 1991-92
  • Government wants minority colleges to surrender 30 per cent of seats

    CHENNAI: Muslim educational institutions have urged the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions to act against a Tamil Nadu Government amendment to legislation, which "introduces discrimination between similar schools established before 1991-92 and those afterwards."

    In a memorandum submitted to NCMEI Chairman M.S.A. Siddiqui at a meeting here on Monday, the Organisation of Muslim Educational Institutions and Associations of Tamil Nadu (OMEIAT) said the Tamil Nadu Government had enacted an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Private Schools (Regulation) Act, stipulating that no grant be paid to any private school established after 1991-92 or to any school to which no grant was given before the academic year 1991-92.

    Though the mother tongue of a substantial population of Muslims in Tamil Nadu was Urdu, the Tamil Nadu Government made Tamil compulsory as the first language from Standard I. If the linguistic minority wanted to learn its mother tongue, it could study the language as an optional third language. Learning Tamil, English and the mother tongue from Standard I was much of a burden on young minds.

    The memorandum said under the Constitution and in the light of Supreme Court judgments, unaided minority educational institutions enjoyed unfettered freedom in admission. But, the State expected the colleges to surrender 30 per cent of seats to the Government. This should be discontinued.

    The Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, said it must be ensured that huge funds said to have been allocated by the Government for Muslims' welfare reached the community. Muslims were equal partners in the country's development. They should not demand backward or most backward class status. "We must develop our own potentialities."

    Senior advocate Habibulah Badsha referred to the Sachar Committee's report and said the Government should come to the aid of Muslims for their educational development.