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Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.
November 11 happens to be the birth anniversary of the first education minister of the country, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, which is celebrated as National Education Day, but the state government has declared it would not go in for any major programme on the occasion.
Suggesting that the refusal to celebrate the day suggests narrow, discriminatory and partisan attitude of the government, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC) convener Mujahid Nafees said, the Union Minority Ministry of Affairs data show that it refused to disburse the Maulana Azad National Fellowship Scheme scholarship to even a single student from 2015-16 to 2018-19.
Suggesting that the discrimination is also visible because of the poor condition of Gujarat's government schools, Nafees said, the proportion of drop out of Muslim girls in these schools in 2016-17 was 10.18% -- much higher than average. Citing a recent Primary Education Report, he added, about 48% of the state schools were not inspected upon in 2015-16, suggesting the government has refused to assess half the schools.
In his statement, Nafees said, government-run primary schools up to the eighth standard have on an average only 3.1 class rooms, which means there is no separate room for each class. Also, 2.56% percent of schools are run in single room, and there is just one teacher in 5.21% schools.
Further quoting official data, Nafees said,Only 68.17% schools have separate functioning toilets for girls. Also, only 67.94% of schools have play grounds. Worse, he added, the recently-released All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2018, Gujarat ranks 26th in the country in terms of pupil-teacher ratio.

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