Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Pallam Raju has announced a Rs 600 crore scheme that aims at achieving higher literacy rates for the minority Muslim community. The Maulana Azad Taleem-e-Balighan scheme aims at imparting literacy to one crore population (in the age group of 15 years and above), basic education to 2.5 lakh adults and skill development programmes to cover around 3 lakh people.
That apart, 1,000 additional Adult Education Centres will be set up exclusively for women in Gram Panchayats exceeding 5,000 Muslim population. To start with, the scheme will be launched in 61 Muslim-concentrated Sakshar Bharat districts in 11 states. Sakshar Bharat is the Centre’s adult literacy programme.
The first classes under this scheme will start in September 2014. Speaking to reporters alongside the meeting of the National Monitoring Committee for Minorities in Education, he said enrolment of Muslim children has steadily been increasing.
“While it increased from 9.4% in 2006-07 to 14.25 in 2012-13 at the primary level, at the upper primary level, enrolment of Muslim children increased from 7.2% to 12.1%. We are working through a range of schemes to address education deficit among Muslims and how to mainstream them,” he said.
The minister said that on the issue of students affected in riot-hit Muzaffarnagar, the HRD ministry sought a report from Uttar Pradesh Education department, which submitted that all affected children have been re-admitted in schools. He added his ministry will conduct an independent verification. The HRD ministry is also working on a scheme on the lines of HUNAR for skill development among minority girls in the age group of 14-plus besides establishment of educational hubs by co-locating KGBVs, girls/women’s hostels, degree colleges in selected towns/districts, which are educationally backward and have substantial Muslim concentration.