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Muslim girl students of Manipur to submit 'education charter' to centre
Thursday May 30, 2013 5:53 PM, Agencies

Girl students of the minority Muslim community in strife-torn Manipur prepared a charter of education for their welfare and will be presenting it to central leaders for redressal in next two days.

The recommendations were adopted during a seminar-cum-interaction programme on 'Education of Muslim girls: Opportunities and Challenges', organized by the All Manipur Muslim Girl Students' Union (AMMGWA) on May 18, 2013 in Imphal.

"We are prepared to submit the recommendations next week to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, minority affairs minister and other central leaders for redressal," said AMMGWA president Rukshar Chowdhury on Monday.

The same would also be placed to governor Gurbachan Singh, chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and other ministers, she said, even as the seminar identified poverty as one of the most important factors for the low literacy rate of Muslims in general and the community's women in particular.

The seminar recommended that the quality of education and school infrastructure should be improved and that the government should ensure that schools in Muslim-dominated areas comply with the norms and standards laid down in the RTE Act.

Special incentives in the form of scholarships or financial assistance for poor students may be provided and such facilities may be extended to students reading in private schools also, it added.

The seminar suggested setting up of special residential schools on the model of Navodaya Vidyalayas and at least one residential girls' college at suitable locations where girl students will have no fear in going to the school or college. It also asked for setting up Kendra Vidyalayas, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas and model schools in the large Muslim-inhabited areas.

Other recommendations were alternate admission policies in colleges and universities to allow Muslim girls easy access to higher education and reservation of seats in schools and higher institutions for Muslim students with separate reservation for girls.

Attended by hordes of scholars, officials and social activists, the seminar also recommended that an alternate system of higher education like distance education and community college should be instituted in strategic areas of the state.

It also asked for effective minority cells in the various departments of education, namely school education, higher education, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Rastriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan to look into the needs and problems of Muslim and other minority students. These cells should have advisory panels of academicians and intellectuals from minority communities to chalk out strategies for improving education of the Muslims and other minorities, it was recommended.

The seminar was attended by former Speaker of Manipur State Assembly Dr. Md. Maneruddin Sheikh, Social Worker Okram Henry, Social Activist Dr. Dhanabir Laishram, A.R. Khan, IAS (Retd.), State Nodal Officer of National Tobacco Control Programme Dr. Konsam Kamolini Devi, Assistant News Editor of Dordarshan, Imphal Ch. Birendra Singh and Social Worker Sitara Begum.

In the concluding speech, A.R. Khan said the Union will prepare a memorandum taking into account all these recommendations and suggestions. The memorandum will be soon submitted to the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who also looks after Department of MOBC & SC, and Education Minister M. Okendro Singh, among others, for implementation, Khan added.



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