Shubhajit Roy, Indian Express ,November 14, 2006
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 13: The Human Resource Development ministry, headed by Arjun Singh, has told the Prime Minister’s Office that Muslim students will be counted in the annual survey of children studying in schools across the country with special attention on Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Assam which constitute half of the total out-of-school Muslim children in the country.
The PMO had reportedly sought for a report on minority education after the PM emphasised the need to tackle the high level of illiteracy in minorities at a minority commission gathering on November 2.
“From 2006 onwards, the category minority (Muslim) is being included in the reporting of enrolment from each school in the country under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan’s database,” the HRD ministry has said.
Similarly, each state will collect habitation-wise information on out-of-school children for which Muslims will be included as a separate category.
This survey — under the acronym of DISE or District Information System for Education — is an annual exercise since the late ‘90s. According to a 2005 survey, about 12 lakh Muslim boys and 10 lakh Muslim girls — nearly 9.97% of 2.25 cr Muslim children —were estimated to be out of school.