From the Archive - India - Moslem Education

26th November 2010 at 00:00
21 July 1934 - Few Moslem boys proceed beyond primary schooling despite the efforts of local administrations

A few days ago the Home Department of the Government of India published resolution announcing new rules for the determination and improvement of the representation of Moslems and other minorities in the public service. The Lee Commission on the Public Services reported in 1924 in favour of a policy of redressing communal inequalities in the public services. It has been represented to Government that the policy has failed in the purpose of securing Moslems a due share of appointments, and that the community need a fixing of the percentage to be allotted to them. The resolution reserves in the services recruited on an all-India basis 25 per cent of all vacancies for Moslems (roughly their population quota) and 8 and a half per cent for other minority communities generally.

An outstanding cause of the disparity to which the minorities take exception has been the relative educational backwardness of the Moslem and most other minorities, which in the earlier years of British administration left the field largely to Hindus. Efforts to advance Moslem education have been made by the local Governments for many years past. In the year 1921-22 3.3 per cent of the Moslem population was at school, while ten years later the percentage of total pupils rose from 23.5 to 26.7.

The figures, however, are not so satisfactory as they seem. In his quinquennial review of education Sir George Anderson shows that the vast majority of Moslem boys do not proceed farther than the primary stage. The census literacy figures are also disappointing. The Census Commissioner, Punjab, has suggested as a reason that Moslems are mainly agriculturalists and therefore require the labour of their children at an early age before they have obtained literacy.

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