Efforts to boost education among minorities seem to be bearing fruit with the enrolment of Muslims in 2012-13 in elementary schools exceeding the share of the community in the country's population.
HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju has said the enrolment of Muslim children in schools has gone up from 9.4 percent in 2006-07 to 14.2 percent in 2012-13 at the primary level and from 7.2 percent to 12.1 percent at the upper primary level during this period.
"No doubt, efforts of the government in the last 7-8 years are getting reflected in the school level enrolment. I am happy to share with you all that in 2012-13, the enrolment of Muslim students in elementary schools exceeded the share of Muslims in the country's population," he said.
Addressing the annual meeting of National Monitoring Committee for Minorities Education (NMCME), he said the government has approved setting up of 270 model schools in Minority Concentrated Blocks, areas with 20 percent or more minority population.
As many as 196 of the 378 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, which have been proposed for during 12th plan (2012-17), will be set up in Special Category Districts including Minority Concentrated Districts, Raju said.
To reach out to more and more Muslim children, he said madrasas have been provided funds under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan to cover children who are out of school.
"Free text books have been provided to 17.3 lakh students in Madarasas under SSA. 40,000 madrasa teachers have been provided in service training and 8,235 madaras given school grants under SSA in the current year," he said while outlining the government's steps to boost education among Muslims.
Under Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas, as against 1,979 madrasas covered in the year 2009-10, 9,905 of them were provided 23,146 teachers in 2012-13, he said.
Stressing the need for minorities to grow along with the general progress for sustained development, Raju said the challenge is to be sensitive to their needs and simultaneously work towards their general mainstreaming.