Over the years importance of education
is accepted both individually and socially. India in its strides towards global
leadership has been making all-out efforts to attain 100% literacy for all.
According to 1998-99 statistics, 49% of females and 26% of males aged six and
above are illiterate. Gujarat has attained 67.7% of male literacy and 53.6%
female literacy – and ranks 13TH and 18TH respectively in
In India 81.5% of household population
aging 6-17 years in urban areas has been attending schools, as compared to 69%
household population in rural areas. In Gujarat, 78.3% of household population
aging 6-17 years in urban areas has been attending schools, as compared to 63.2%
in rural areas.
According to 1998-99 national survey
report, the main reasons for children not attending schools in urban household
population, in the age group of 6-17 years are “cost of education” and “not
interested in studies”.
There are religion-wise
differences in enrollment and educational attainment. According to National
Family Health Survey, conducted in relation to Standard of Living Index (SLI) in
1992-93. In Gujarat, the enrolled percentage of children and the highest grade
completed by them in the age group of 12-17 years are given below:
Percentage of Children
If we look at the children’s
performance in terms of Standard of Living Index (SLI), 28.8 percent in low SLI
group, 57.2% in medium SLI and 84.0% in high SLI group of Hindu children
achieved grade 7 and above, whereas the corresponding figures for Muslim
children are 31.4%, 12.5% and 5.3% for respective SLI groups. Non-enrollment
data for Muslim children were not available.
On the whole statistics of
literacy indicates more unfavorable trends for Muslim community. Under the
circumstances, along with the efforts of Education Commission, National Literacy
Mission and National Educational Policy, efforts of Muslim NGOs will certainly
be deeply appreciable. Initiatives taken by TEAM in this direction were to study
the reasons for drop-outs in Muslim schools at Vadodara. In the context of
present study, “Drop-outs” are those who leave study before passing the SSC
examination. The study gains importance from the fact that drop-out has many
adverse consequences in the society. And this has been fully brought out by the
General Accounting Office, USA (1987) which are listed below:
As the pool of drop-outs continues to grow, employment
opportunities for them are more limited, because today’s economy requires the
labor force with increased literacy, more education,
skills and life long learning.
2. The rate of engagement in high-risk behaviors such as premature
sexual activity, early pregnancy, delinquency, crime, violence, alcohol and drug
abuse, and suicide has been found to be significantly higher among drop-outs.
Drop-outs are more likely than other citizens to draw on welfare
and other social programs through out their lives.
4. Income differences between drop-outs and other citizens can be
expected to widen as the economy evolves.
5. A growth of unskilled laborers in low-wage jobs will increase the
trend toward developing a large underclass which “some analysts argue…threatens
the continuing existence of a democratic way of life”).
As summarized by the General Accounting Office, the social costs
of the drop-out problem include an underskilled labor force, lower productivity,
lost stakes, and increased public assistance and crime.
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY:
Objectives of the
To study and find
out the reasons of the drop-out among Muslim students of Vadodara.
To devise suitable short-term and
long-term intervention programs based on above findings to reduce drop-out rate.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS:
The principal reasons of drop-outs
amongst Muslim students emerging from the survey are as follows:
Poverty – a combination of inability to afford costs of going to
school, inability to ask for help from other family and community members and
feeling unable to overcome material obstacles.
Family – household structure, support and stability which could be
affected by such stresses as illness, death, tension and violence.
School – barriers include school fees, dress and uniform policies
for all children, lack of space in local school, corporal punishment and
Individual – problems identified by the children specific to
themselves such as hearing, seeing, cognitive, health, pregnancy or lack of
Community violence – the community has suffered extreme political
violence in the early 1990s and during its re-establishing efforts schooling was
However some other important reasons
have also emerged, which are:
Education not considered necessary.
Not interested in studies.
Children as helping hand.
Less value of girl education.
Poor academic achievement.
The timings of drop-outs is quite
interesting and follows a distinct pattern as given below:-
Generally before exams.
Generally after results.
In or after 10TH or 12TH standards.
Just after engagement or marriage.
Most of the factors related to drop-out
are not school controllable, and solutions to the complex problem of drop-outs
can not be achieved by the schools alone. It is national problem and which must
be addressed by the society as a whole. It requires resources that go beyond the
school, and solutions require a team approach – the combined efforts of
students, parents, teachers, administrators, community-based-organizations,
business bodies as well as the state and local government bodies.
To counteract the causes of the
drop-outs some intervention programs at school level, parents level, teachers,
administrators and community levels are evolved and presented here.
It has been observed that there is
less motivation for personal and societal growth as such in the Muslim
community. Because of the multiple factors affecting at a time (mentioned above)
in varying degrees for each individual, there seems to have set “learned
helplessness” which is justified through following reasons:
Blaming schools and personnel involved.
Blaming employment opportunities.
Blaming economic conditions.
Blaming quality of education.
Rationalization of “unimportance” of education.
Religious rationalization. i.e. “this life is just a passing
stage, in this life and the amount of difficulties that we face would beget us a
better life after death” – An illusion.
People’s adaptation with
conditions of life seems to have helped them “find” satisfaction, containment
with the present conditions. Such projected satisfaction brings about a kind of
passivity and absence of struggle for betterment of life “here and now”.
Community Awareness Program: – To sensitize Muslim community about
importance and value of education at all levels and at all times.
Community Education Program: – To educate elders/non-school going
members of the society to create learning atmosphere.
Community Support Program: – To prepare a blueprint for supporting
community members at all levels for achieving highest literacy.
Teacher Resource Program: – To cultivate best breed of teachers in
Student Resource Program: – To encourage & motivate students to
take up higher studies and teach them to dream for the highest achievables.
Guidance Program: – To show the right path to the right child at
Madresa Education Program: – To inculcate the values of Islamic
teachings in all, to make them useful citizens and to make use of infrastructure
of Madressa for scientific & technical education as well.
Network Organization Program: – To organize and pool up the
efforts of all NGOs who are working in different ways for upliftment of
Research Program: – To continue to do research on Muslim
community’s behaviour to understand the deep-rooted problems and to find its
On the whole the
intervention program has following objectives:
To intervene in education area with short-term and long-term
objectives at all the four levels. i.e. individual, group, organizational and
To develop an identity of TEAM as Research, Networking and
Rather than focusing on only drop-outs, it shall also focus on:
Increasing educational enrollment.
Create commitment for life-long education.
the intervention has been planned, keeping in mind 3 generations of beneficiary
population. Such an approach shall ensure self-sustainable intervention around
next 30 to 40 years.