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The gala time seems to be over. For, the government that was very quick in announcing the monetary scholarships for the Muslim students does not show the same swiftness in granting the permission for new schools and colleges for the Muslim pockets. The result is that the momentum that was visible in the previous year is slowly declining.


Ever since the release of the Sachar Committee Report in 2006 that revealed with analytical figures the worsening socio-economic condition of the Muslim minorities in India, the government on more than one occasion expressed its desire to work for the upliftment of the community. Emphasizing that the root cause of the backwardness among the Indian Muslims is their poor financial condition resulting in school dropouts, the government announced monetary scholarships for the Muslim students. At the same time, after the Sachar Committee Report the community leaders too revamped their priorities and campaigned towards creating awareness for education among the Muslim masses. As a result the benches in schools and colleges that had never met their occupants were now having more than the double of their capacity. Soon the existing schools and colleges proved insufficient to accommodate the huge influx of the aspiring learners.


Details of Urdu Medium High Schools and Junior Colleges in Mahrashtra with Students' strength


High Schools

Passed Students Junior Colleges Passed Students
Amravati 220 10226 63 5135
Aurangabad 143 6447 35 4352
Kolhapur 57 2057 12 1148
Latur 67 3023 19 2160
Mumbai 184 14165 37 6361
Nagpur 46 2652 15 1560
Nashik 149 8447 31 3976
Pune 70 3941 17 3218


927 50958 229


Provided by Iqra Education Society

“To accommodate these students, we applied for the girls-only Jr. College and additional classrooms. But our application is pending with the concerned department since last more than two years. Every time we approached the concerned department they retorted with ‘no decision has been taken yet’. After the long wait when they finally released the names of the approved colleges, our college was not there in the list”, informs Dr. Manzoor Hasan Ayyubi, Chairman Citizen Welfare Education Society, Malegaon.


"The department is not even ready to consider our request for Night Junior College", Dr. Ayyubi says. Night Schools suit best the working class in rural areas. Though Malegaon has a couple of Night High Schools with a good student strength, it does not have any Night Junior College in the town.


The Education Department in its list released in 2008 had given the permission for fifty new Junior Colleges in Nashik district. Out of these fifty colleges, there are only two for the Urdu medium students.


The condition in other Muslim pockets in Maharashtra also remains the same. “In fact the existing Junior Colleges for the Urdu medium students in Maharashtra can accommodate just half the students who clear the SSC exams from Urdu medium schools every year”, says Karim Salar, Chairman Iqra Education Society, Jalgaon.


Karim Salar was instrumental in establishing new schools in North Maharashtra that helped to a considerable extent in controlling the school dropouts in the rural areas. His mission however now faces an imminent threat. “The road to higher education goes through Junior Colleges. When the students do not have enough number of colleges, how can they dream for higher education?” Karim Salar asks.


Mharashtra state in eight divisions at present has a total of 927 Urdu Medium High Schools. An average of 50,000 students clear SSC exams every year from these schools. Whereas the 229 Jr. Colleges the state has for the Muslim students when combined with additional divisions can accommodate a maximum of 25000 students. “That too if we maintain a strength of 80 students in one classroom, a figure experts not normally recommend”, says Karim Salar.


The insufficient number of Jr. Colleges for Muslim students is proving to be a major blow especially for the girl students. For, hardly any of them would opt for Jr. Colleges if they don’t have one in their vicinity. “This is the reason we are continuously demanding from the government to grant the permission for new colleges in the existing schools. But the government is giving the permissions neither for the colleges in existing schools nor for the new in the vicinity”, says Karim Salar adding, “The dropout rate in these areas are therefore escalating with every passing day.”


Interestingly when a delegation of the Federation of All Maharashtra Minority Education Organization (FAMME) led by its president Mrs. Fauzia Khan, who is also a member in the state legislative council, met State Education Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil he too was shocked when the statistics were presented to him. “We should have at least 500 Jr. Colleges for the Muslim students in the state if we want to control the dropouts”, the Minister had reportedly said in the meeting.


Vikhe Patil even ordered to the concerned officials, Mrs. Khan informs, to look into the applications that are seeking approval for the new colleges. However the officials are yet to take any appropriate action on the Minister’s order.


Meanwhile the sources in the Education Department informs that the infighting among the societies that run the educational institutions is also one of the reason why the Department is reluctant to give the permissions for new colleges. “The moment one society applies for a new college, the very next moment follows complaint against it”, he says.


However, Karim Salar counters the allegations by stating, “The power for approval lies with them. They are using such complaints, if at all they exist, to cover up their unwillingness to grant us the permissions.”


Amid the allegations and counter allegations, however, it is the students who are suffering the most. If the government is really interested in the revival of the Muslim community as it claims and if the schemes announced by it are not a mere poll gimmick, it should wake up to its responsibility sooner than later.






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