Poverty is not Always to Blame
Poverty is not Always to Blame
A survey in Pune reveals that 28 per cent students dropped out of schools due to failure in 10th Board examination
Pune: A survey conducted by the local educational bodies reveals that poverty is not only or always the reason for drop-out of Muslim students in Urdu schools.
The Survey was jointly carried out by the Ghulam Azam Education Trust and Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education (MCE) Society and involved the field investigators from Poona College, Azad B.Ed. College and a voluntary organization Anjuman Rahbar. It identified 285 students of nine Urdu medium high schools in Pune who failed in the 10th Board examination held in March 2000.
The survey reveals that most of these students belonged to lower middle class and their monthly family income ranged between Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 8,000. This level of income does not exactly fall within definition of poverty. Among the failed students, boys were 14 per cent while girls were 86 per cent. (It did not state what was the boy:girl ratio among the candidates appearing for 10th Board exam). 60 per cent of the failed students reappeared for supplementary exam in October 2000 while another 12 per cent expressed their desire to reappear in the exams scheduled for March 2001. This puts the effective drop out rate at 28 per cent at the 10th standard. Of these, 28 per cent, 25 percentge point parents were totally insensitive towards further education of their sons or daughters. They refused to reply queries from the surveyors.
In 1989, 10,000 students were enrolled in Urdu primary schools of Sholapur district. Ten years later, in 1999, only 1,000 appeared for 10th Board exam from these schools. This means that 90 per cent Muslim students dropped out of education before 10th standard
Parents of 57 per cent students expressed keenness on continuing the education of their wards. 17 per cent parents had no plan for the career of their wards. Mothers of 86 per cent of these students were housewives. 52 per cent of these mothers were educated between 7th and 12th standards. There were no mothers who were educated beyond 12th standard. Only 48 per cent fathers were educated between 7th and 10th standard. Nine per cent were educated up to PUC. Eight per cent fathers and 15 per cent mothers were illiterate.
Three per cent of these failed students stated that they had joined some vocational course after failing in the 10th standard exam while two per cent had taken up private sector jobs.
According to Survey In-charge Mr. Raghib, majority of students failed in either mathematics or science papers or both.
The survey report further states that only 25 per cent students enrolled in the first standard of Puneís Municipal Urdu medium primary schools appear for the 10th standard Board examination. The survey discovered that Puneís 22 Municipal Urdu primary schools had enrolled 1,340 students in 1990. Ten years later, in 2000, Pune had 30 Municipal Urdu primary schools and three Municipal Urdu medium high schools and only 375 students sat for the 10th standard Board examination. The drop out rate at city level is therefore approximately 23 per cent. It is guessed that the municipal Urdu schools cater to the educational needs of the lower middle class income group among Muslims.
But the picture in Sholapur was a bit different. According to Mrs. Naseem Syed, Principal, S. S. A. Urdu High School and Junior College in the city, nearly 10,000 students had been enrolled in first standard in the Urdu schools of Sholapur District in 1989. But a survey conducted in 1999 reveals that only 1,000 students appeared for 10th standard from Urdu schools in the district. This effectively puts the rate of drop out among Muslims at the district level at 90 per cent.
Following the survey, the Ghulam Education Trust and the MCE Society have opened four centers free coaching of these students in Pune where 72 such students have enrolled themselves for preparation for exams in the coming year.
(This report is a translated version of Syed Sayeed Ahmedís report in Urdu Daily Inquilab from Mumbai. We have tried to stay faithful to the text of the report. Any shortcoming will be the responsibility of Islamic Voice)