The Muslim community in the country constitutes approximately 70% of the total minorities population, but runs less than 23% of minority educational institutions. If one compares these figures with those of the Christians, one will find that this community constitutes a little over 11.5% of the minorities population, but runs approximately 80% of schools in the country.
The above comparison is a result of a study commissioned by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, an agency of the Centre, which looks into rights of children, including their education. The study ‘Impact of Exemption Under Article 15(5) w.r.t. Article 21a of the Constitution of India on Education of Children of Minority Communities’, in which it made several recommendations, including bringing minority-run educational institutions under the Right to Education Act of 2009. As many as 23,487 schools run by minority communities were analysed as a part of the study.
At the moment, Article 30 of the Constitution of India empowers minority communities to run ‘establish and administer educational institutions’. Such institutions are exempted from the RTE Act.
The report delves further into the trends seen in schools which minority communities run, and points out that schools run by the Jain minority community have less than 20% of Jain students. Further, schools run by Budhhists, Parsis, and Christians have less than 30% of students from the same communities studying in them.
Compared to all of this, there is a silver lining of sorts for the Muslim community: the Muslims have fared much better as compared to the other minority communities in terms of enrollment of students. The percentage of students of schools from the same community is 75%.
Coming to Telangana, the report analysed 195 minority schools. The study points out that the Muslim community in this State comprises approximately 86.5% of the total minority population, but runs just over 5.13% of schools. The report reveals that ‘schools established by the Muslim community have the highest percentage of enrollment of students of the same community (100.00%), while schools established by the Christian community have the lowest percentage (19.39%).’ Schools of the Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions Society were not a part of the study, the report clarifies.
The report states in Andhra Pradesh the Muslim community comprises 86.42% of the minority population but comprises 9.72% of the minority schools. As a contrast, the Christian community comprises 12.08% of the minority population, but runs 76.28% of minority schools.
Meanwhile in Uttar Pradesh the percentage of Muslims as a percentage of the total minority population is 96.41% comprises 31.16% of the minority schools in the state; while, the Christian community comprises only 0.89% of the minority population of the state but comprises 28.55% of the minority schools. The study analysed 690 schools in this state.
This story first appeared on siasat.com