Yearbook on status of Muslim dropouts released
In a programme graced with the presence of intelligentsia through the hybrid mode onsite and online Pan-India participation, the second in line Yearbook from the Institute of Objective Studies (IOS) entitled Status of Muslim Dropouts in Comparative Perspective was launched amid intellectual discussions. By Asif Anwar Alig
The special edition Yearbook is the second in a series—published by Genuine Publications & Media Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. The 1stYearbook came in 2021—after a decision was taken to bring such a series in 2020. These Yearbooks are data books documenting core issues of the Minority communities.
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It is a seminal book and a towering contribution by the IOS, highlighting community and national issues. The Nobel laureates – Theodore William Schultz and Gary Stanley Becker propagated the Theory of Human Capital to prove the effectiveness of investing in education.
Education has a more significant role in contributing to the communities’ prosperity in the long run. A community lagging in education is equally an economically weaker stratum of society.
This book highlights core issues and factual data brought by government agencies, including the Government of India, about India’s national school dropout rate in 2017-18 at 18.96 per cent and pitiably school dropout rate of Muslim students at 23.1 per cent for the same period. Indian Muslims are, therefore, much at the bottom of socio-economic indices.
Authored by Development Professional Rubina Tabassum, the Yearbook 2022 as a data book brings to the fore the data calculated from NSSO 75thRound 25.2 (Education) by Religion, State, Social Groups, Gender and by Income-Expenditure quartiles. It further reveals a core issue of the investment in education by the Muslim community as compared to other communities of similar income levels.
The gaps are bound to reflect and need intense attention and interest of community leaders for awareness of education in the Muslim community besides developing strategies to promote planned investment procedures for schooling.
Rubina Tabassum said the book systematically deals with the core issues of school categories in India—the enrollment percentage of Muslims and, most importantly, the dropouts at different education levels. The book critically analyses multiple levels of education to show the difference in dropouts among Muslims, rest religious communities, and numerous social groups.
The book is a dynamic analysis of income-expenditure quartile factors for assessing educational investments by Muslim families at a certain income level. It does a comparative study of many such elements in the light of the rest communities capable of investing in education at a similar income level.
The Yearbook raises the essential question of why and where Muslim dropouts are on the educational ladder. Another crucial factor that found room in it was prudent documentation of a few instances when government policies in India were hardly pro-Muslim education. Therefore, that provoked a collective thought—whether it was a dropout or a push-out.
Several dignitaries appreciated the book’s arrival as the need of the hour. Professor M. Afzal Wani, Vice Chairman, IOS, presided over the function. In his presidential remarks, he said that “out and dropouts as two terminologies must be understood in the context of Muslim masses. The behaviour of a community does matter in the cases of dropouts.
He further said that it is high time we understand this crucial issue and go for a concrete solution even if there is one dropout. It could be a case of dropping out and not dropout. That scenario must be understood. The need is to focus on developing a systematic pattern after assessment rather than counting what happens with the community.
Poverty is undoubtedly one reason, but several other aspects, like teaching and overall education systems, enforce dropout cases. The Right to Education Act 2009 is an essential provision in Section 16. It talks of the responsibilities of teachers in educational institutions. “Poverty of the teachers’ intellect is more to be assessed than the poverty level of the masses if assessing educational conditions. Even a labourer can educate his child with strong willpower.”
Ironically, such a crucial issue is ignored while doing ground studies to eradicate such situations for a firm solution. The need is to study things from multiple perspectives. Dropouts liquidate generations, pushing them to the back foot, unlike Corona, which killed individuals.
The Muslim community must use their resources, including Awqaafs et al., to achieve their target of preventing dropouts. The initiative is significant for community leaders to awaken to enshrine respect for human values through education. With enlightenment, dropouts can be stopped anywhere worldwide. The need is to have a global vision and phenomenon.
In acknowledging the IOS team and all those supporting her in bringing out the Yearbook, Rubina Tabassum said that as a Development Professional, she focused on the development and women’s education and witnessed how the Muslim community faced numerous challenges.
The Yearbook talks about the rich history of Muslim education in the pre-independent era besides their status as a thriving community. It is time for introspection that even after more than one decade post the Right to Education Act came, the dropout rate in India has remained the same. The question is about the dropout rates of general students and the dropout rate of Muslim students. Both must be studied critically.
This book is based on analyzing religious, social groups and gender data among the 3 – 35 age group she mentions. The determinants of school dropouts, underrepresentation of Muslims in India, dropout data of all societies and how weaker sections of the Muslim community lack educational avenues to their socio-economic status are all evaluated factors.
The Yearbook calculates the dropout percentage for all communities in India and does a comparative community-level analysis with a particular focus on Muslims. Ironically, Muslim females face more deprivation compared to their counterparts in other communities.
Professor (Dr.) Afsar Alam, Vice-chancellor Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi, mentioned why Muslim dropouts are still high in India. Unfortunately, in higher studies, such cases are more severe. The Yearbook by IOS is exclusive data on the Muslim community that perhaps hardly takes education seriously in India today.
While releasing the book, Professor Amitabh Kundu, Professor Emeritus of L.J University, Ahmedabad, mentioned that it brings household-level information caste-wise, community-wise and much more data about Indians, minorities and, of course, about Muslims. He further said it is valuable work for future researchers researching this area.
He mentioned his deep-rooted association with Dr Manzoor Alam, Chairman of IOS. “Dr Manzoor Alam is a great person and visionary with whom I worked earlier, and through this book, an excellent database is prepared, which was undoubtedly the need of the hour,” he said.
Mainstream social scientists should gain detailed information from suitable sources—and IOS is doing that for future researchers. There are questions and factors why Muslims are deprived compared to other communities. Why do Muslims dropout due to a downfall in enrollment, causing all issues? Dropout is in all other communities, but the case is worst in the Muslim community. Ironically, Muslim women are facing a more dangerous situation.
All such deprivation-related issues have been effectively mentioned in this book on the education sector besides describing various definitions of education. It defines dropouts in the context of a national sample survey and does a comparative study of this vital subject.
The Indian government defines a dropout as “if someone leaves education by deciding one’s own, should not be considered a dropout” must be redefined. It should be regarded as a dropout. Those voluntarily discontinuing education due to personal circumstances must also be considered dropouts. It is an essential general concern for India and not only the Muslims. The book, therefore, redefines the concept of educational dropout.
Muslim deprivation is a serious matter that this book addresses. The per capita expenditure of Muslim children in primary education is less than ₹500, unlike other communities, which is₹2600. It is a big gap! Muslim community thinkers must look at it. India must focus on Muslim literacy and education for overall growth.
Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, General Secretary of All India Muslim Personal Law Board, highlighted that IOS is a think tank of Indian Muslims. The publication of this important book is an appreciable attempt. In the new education revolution of India, even graduates will not be considered educated now. Higher education is required for everybody to prosper.
Earlier, even lesser educated people would have secured jobs. Muslims were taught education first but are deprived from education today. It is a cause for concern. IOS deserves applause for such exemplary work of bringing out a book that must be translated into Urdu, Hindi or other languages.
Dr N. Raja Hussain, Registrar, B.S Abdur Rahman Crescent Institute of Science & Technology Chennai, spoke that IOS fulfils the needs of all the deprived people of India by bringing its intellectual resources. Releasing this Yearbook on the status of Muslim dropouts is exceptional work. The rate of admissions is decreasing while the rate of dropouts increasing. It is time to understand the scenario to take remedial action and control and reduce dropouts in the Muslim community.
Likewise, an eminent Human Rights Activist from Delhi, Dr John Dayal, mentioned that this book is seminal as it urges introspection, especially for minorities. There is no social difference, and there is depression for people of the lower strata from the minorities. The condition is that all communities are terrorized, including Hindus in the lower strata. People are victimized, and children suffer due to that.
Professor Shoeb Abdullah from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, considered this book a detailed work of research for which IOS deserves applause. All good researchers are torchbearers for future researchers. This book will undoubtedly play a similar role in detailed research and analysis. Muslims must connect with their community members for education.
Dr Tabassum Sheikh, G.M Momin Women’s College, Bhiwandi, Mumbai, considered the Yearbook a stimulating work as the need of the hour. She said that women need to showcase that commitment to education due to the many hindrances they face on multiple stages. There needs to be more guidance. It’s time to know the community’s needs and address them diligently.
Professor Nasreen Mujib from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, mentioned the reasons for constant dropouts in the Muslim community due to many factors, including financial issues. It is a big challenge for the community and those in the education sector. She also mentioned that the whole learning scenario must be changed for the quality of education.
Dr Varghese Kunjappy from JNU, New Delhi, spoke about the dropouts in the religion-wise, social group-wise, economic strata-wise and gender-wise categories as critical factors; thus, there remains a minority in the minority, which is the focus of the book.
Naaz Khair from Noida applauded that IOS did this brilliant work with the publication of the Yearbook. Sachar Committee Report brought extensive educational data about Muslims in India. This book systematically analyses education and Muslim education, which IOS has brought to the fore.
The programme concluded with a Question-Answer session. Professor Haseena Hashia highlighted the various roles of IOS since its inception in 1986 and expansions throughout the country over the decades.
The author is Editor-in-Chief, CEO Emeritus & Co-Founder at seocontentindia.in