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School drop-out down to half among Muslim girls: Naqvi

Mumbai, Dec 29 (IANS) The drop-out among Muslim girls, which was as high as 70 per cent, has been reduced to 35-40 per cent due to awareness and educational empowerment programmes of the government, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here on Saturday.

The government is working on a mission to bring down the drop-out rate to zero in the coming years, he said, laying the foundation stone for Anjuman-e-Islam's educational complex expansion project at the Dr. MIJ Girls High School & Junior College, Bandra.

The minister said for the first time since Independence, the NDA government has expanded development programmes for minorities from existing 100 to 308 districts, for providing basic amenities to ensure educational empowerment of girls of minority communities.

The government has launched schools, colleges, polytechnics, girls hostels, skill development centres to ensure employment-oriented development of the minorities, especially the girls, Naqvi said.

On its part, the ministry is committed to '3E' strategy of Education, Employment and Empowerment and in past two years thousands of minority-run educational institutions, including madrasas, have entered the education mainstream by connecting them with '3Ts' - Teacher, Tiffin and Toilet', said Naqvi.

He said in the past four years of the NDA, more than 2.11 crore students of minority communities, including 60 per cent girls, have been provided scholarships.

"This year, a National Scholarship Portal Mobile App has been launched to ensure smooth and hassle-free scholarship system for poor and weaker section students. The scholarship amounts are given directly into the bank accounts," Naqvi pointed out.

Besides, he said 5.43 lakh youth and 1.50 lakh artisans have been provided employment opportunities through job-oriented schemes at various levels, indicating the government's efforts for educational empowerment of all weaker sections, including minorities, have shown results on the ground.

Present on the occasion were Anjuman-e-Islam Chairman Jahir Kazi, Maulana Azad Education Foundation Vice-Chairman Ashfaq Saifi and Secretary R. Rehman.

The 144-year-old Anjuman-e-Islam was founded by Dr. Badruddin Tyabji in 1874, who was the third President of Indian National Congress, and the first Indian Barrister to practise law at Bombay High Court, where he rose to become the first Acting Indian Chief Justice.

Starting with a solitary school then, today it has mushroomed into a mega-educational institution running around 90 schools, colleges, professional courses colleges and sports complexes in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra benefitting over 1.10 lakh students of all communities.

--IANS

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