Dropout rates among Muslim students are still the highest; the community to focus on remedial measures.
New Delhi: Distinguished academics, scholars, and activists said the high rate of school dropouts among Muslim students in India should be a major source of worry because it contributes to the socioeconomic backwardness of the community. Speaking at the launch of the book “Status of Muslim Dropouts in Comparative Perspective”, they asked the community to use different resources, including Awqaafs to arrest the decline.
The book highlighted that the overall school dropout rate for the academic year 2017–18 was 18.96%, but the rate for Muslim students remained pitifully high at 23.1%.
In the midst of discussions on the pressing concerns, the document published by the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) was released on March 4 in the IOS hall here. The seminal book prepared by Development Professionals, Mrs. Rubina Tabassum, and Mrs. Rubina Tabassum highlights many core issues and factual data brought by government agencies, including the Ministry of Education, Govt. of India that the Indian Muslims are much at the bottom of socio-economic indices.
While releasing the book, Professor Amitabh Kundu, Professor Emeritus of L.J University, Ahmadabad, said that the book highlights household-level statistics for caste- and community-wise, as well as much more information about Indians, minorities, and, of course, Muslims in India. It is important to work for anyone doing future research on this topic and he added that through this book, an excellent database is prepared, which was undoubtedly the need of the hour.
Prof. Kundu believed that while dropout rates exist in all communities, they are highest in the Muslim community. Strangely, he noted, Muslim women are in the worst scenario.
There are questions and factors why Muslims are deprived compared to other communities. Why do Muslims drop out due to a downfall in enrollment is the cause of all issues?
He claimed that in addition to explaining various definitions of education, this book on the education sector effectively illustrated all such deprived settings. It provides a comparative analysis of this important topic as well as defines dropouts within the framework of a nationwide sample survey.
The Indian government’s definition of a dropout should be revised to include individuals who decide on their own to discontinue their education. In fact, it qualifies as a dropout. Individuals who deliberately stopped attending school because of personal reasons should also be regarded as dropouts. The government contends that eighth- and 10th that voluntarily leave school are not considered dropouts, but in my opinion, they are.
It affects the entire country of India, not just the Muslim community. So, he added, the book redefines the idea of an educational dropout.
The yearbook deals with the severe problem of Muslim suffering, which demands careful consideration. In contrast to other populations, where the average cost of elementary education is 2600 Indian Rupees per student, Muslims spend less than 500 Indian Rupees per student. Community thinkers need to examine this disparity since it is so large. For overall progress, India must concentrate on Muslim literacy and education, he said.
Prof Kundu also suggested that mainstream social scientists must gain detailed information from suitable sources—and IOS is doing that for future researchers.
The Yearbook 2022 as a data book brings to the fore the data calculated from NSSO 75th Round 25.2 (Education) by Religion, State, Social Groups, Gender, and by Income-expenditure quartiles. It also reveals a core issue of the investment in education by the Muslim community as compared to the rest of the communities of the same income level. Such gaps are bound to reflect and need intense attention and interest of community leaders for awareness of education in the Muslim community besides developing strategies to promote strategic investment procedures for the education sector.
In her address, Mrs. Rubina Tabassum underlined the book’s methodical approach to tackling the fundamental concerns of the different types of school options in India, the enrollment percentage of Muslims, and most significantly dropout rates at various educational levels. She noted that in addition to India’s many socioeconomic groupings, this book critically analyses several levels of schooling to demonstrate the differences in dropout rates among Muslims and other religious communities.
“This book is a dynamic analysis of income-expenditure quartile factors for assessing educational investments by every Muslim family at a certain income level. It equally does a comparative study of such elements in the light of other communities capable of investing in education at a similar income level to theirs”, she said.
As a development professional who focuses on the development and women’s education, Mrs. Rubina Tabassum stated that she had seen firsthand the many difficulties the community faced. Acknowledging all team members and those who helped her bring out the Yearbook, she said she has been working in the field of education for more than five years.
Along with discussing their status as a community and emphasizing important topics, the Yearbook also discusses the rich history of Muslim education in the years before independence. It is necessary to reflect on why the dropout rate in the country has not decreased even more than ten years after the passage of the Right to Education. The dropout rates of Muslim students as well as other students are the subject of the research. She emphasized that both should be critically examined.
She added that the analysis of religious data, socioeconomic groups, and gender among people aged 3 to 35 formed the basis for the book. The causes of school dropouts, the underrepresentation of Muslims in India, dropout rates across all societies, and how weaker Muslim communities lack access to education opportunities beyond their socioeconomic position were all carefully examined.
It provides a comparative community-level analysis in India and determines the dropout percentage for all religious communities in India, with a focus on Muslims. Strangely, Muslim women in India have worse conditions than women from other communities.
Professor (Dr.) Afshar Alam, Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard said the Muslim dropout rates in India are still high, which is a major worry. Regrettably, these occurrences are more serious in higher education. According to him, the Yearbook provided by IOS is unique in the context of information on the Muslim population, which in contemporary India may not take education very seriously.
The launch of this significant book is a commendable effort, according to Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, General Secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and it should be translated into Urdu, Hindi, and other Indian languages.
Dr. N. Raja Hussain, Registrar, B.S Abdur Rahman Crescent Institute of Science and Technology Chennai said it’s great to work. He cautioned that the rate of admissions is decreasing while the rate of dropouts is increasing. To control and lower dropout rates in the Muslim community, he continued, it is imperative that we comprehend the situation and take appropriate action.
Dr. John Dayal, a rights activist, claimed that there is no social difference and that minorities in the lower socioeconomic strata experience depression. All communities, especially lower-class Hindus, are intimidated because of the predicament. Children suffer because of victimization, he claimed.
Dr. PA Inamdar, chancellor of Azam Campus University in Pune, stated that although the rate of education among Muslims has improved significantly, the dropout rate is also very high among Muslims. Analyzing the dropout and taking preventative measures will be beneficial. Such basic concerns are typically ignored, but this is an extraordinary endeavor.
In his presidential remarks, Professor M. Afzal Wani, vice chairman of the IOS, stated that “out and dropouts as two terminologies must be interpreted from the perspective of Muslims and the masses. When it comes to dropouts, community behaviour does matter. Indeed, poverty contributes to dropout rates, but there are also many other factors at play, including the teaching profession and the entire educational system. The moment is opportune for the Muslim community to make use of various tools, such as Awqaafs and other programmes, in order to accomplish their goal of reducing dropout rates.
Professor Nasreen Mujib (AMU) Dr. Varghese Kunjappy (JNU), Dr. Furqan Qamar, Principal Dr. Tabassum Sheikh, Prof. Nasreen Mujeeb, Prof. Mohammad Mian, Prof. Shoaib Abdullah, and Ms. Naz Khair also put forth their views.