To promote education among minorities, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has taken significant initiatives. The major ones are
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA),
Scheme of financial assistance for ‘Infrastructure Development for Private Aided/Unaided Minority Institutes’ (IDMI)
Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas’ (SPQEM).
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan aims at bridging of gender and social category gaps in elementary education. The Scheme has been extended to recognize volunteering Madarsas / Maktabs supported under SSA. It also includes those other volunteering Madarsas / Maktabs which may not be registered or recognized but supported under SSA interventions in coordination with State Project Directorates. The Scheme provides for opening of new schools, additional teachers as per enrolment, free textbooks including urdu text books, free uniform for girls, SC, ST and BPL children. Under SSA, 88 Muslim concentrated districts have been identified wherein for 2012-13, 18% of the total allocations under SSA were approved for these districts. For education of drop outs and never enrolled girls at upper primary level, over 3600 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) have been sanctioned out of which 544 are in Muslim concentration districts where more than ten thousand Muslim girls are enrolled. Overall there are 32,490 Muslim girls enrolled in KGBVs.
The Ministry has launched Saakshar Bharat Mission the new variant of the National Literacy Mission. The Scheme has special focus on women, belonging to minorities. It is proposed to cover one crore twenty lakh Muslims (1crore women + 20 lakh men) under the programme. Saakshar Bharat is being implemented in 410 districts where female literacy is less than 50%.
The objective of Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM) is to provide financial assistance and encourage traditional institutions like Madarsas and Maktabs to introduce Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Hindi and English in their curriculum so that children studying in these institutions gain academic proficiency for Classes I-XII. However, the process of modernization of traditional Maktabs is voluntary. SPQEM provides financial assistance for appointment of teachers to teach modern subjects, establishment of computers and science laboratories in Madarsas of Secondary and Higher Secondary level, as also strengthening of libraries and book banks at all levels.
The Scheme for Infrastructure Development of Private Aided/Unaided Minority Institutes (IDMI) would facilitate education of minorities by augmenting and strengthening school infrastructure in Minority Institutions (elementary/ secondary/senior secondary schools). The Scheme will encourage educational facilities for girls, children with special needs and those who are most deprived educationally amongst minorities.
The Scheme covers the entire country. However, preference is given to eligible minority institutions (private aided/unaided elementary/secondary/senior secondary schools) located in districts, blocks and towns having a minority population above 20%, based on available census data. The Scheme funds infrastructure development of private aided/unaided minority elementary/secondary/senior secondary schools to the extent of 75% and subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 lakhs per school for-
(i) Strengthening of educational infrastructure in the existing elementary /secondary/senior secondary school including additional classrooms, science/ computer lab rooms, library rooms, toilets, drinking water facilities etc.;
(ii) Hostel buildings for children in such category of schools, especially for girls; and
(iii) Any other educational infrastructure not covered in (i) or (ii) above, but which in view of the State/Central Grant- in- Aid Committee is justified for educational advancement of the minority institutions.