Imphal: Noting that a well-educated community equipped with knowledge and skill is not only essential to support and advance economic growth but also essential for inclusive growth, Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Education Dr RK Ranjan urged all the concerned stakeholders to come forward with creative ideas which can enable us to increase the educational attainment of minorities across the country so that they are truly empowered, socially and economically and go ahead in making a better future for themselves, for the society, community and the country at large.
Speaking at a workshop on Minority Educational Institutions held at Ahmedabad on Saturday, Dr RK Ranjan stated that minorities in India have had to face adverse discrimination and therefore did not stand on equal footing with others and this led framers of the Constitution to accord special rights to the people from religious or linguistic minority through Article 29 and Article 30.
He stated that the idea of giving some special rights to the minority is not to hurt a privileged section of the population, but to give minorities a sense of security. Special rights for minorities were designed not to create inequality but to bring about equality and level the playing field, by ensuring preservation of the minority institutions and by guaranteeing autonomy in the matter of administration of these institutions, he added.
He pointed out that the minorities are lagging behind in literacy, enrolments and in successful completion of courses at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. A large number of their youth are dropouts from schools and colleges. School dropouts among minorities are mostly due to “Low per capita income, low socio-economic status, children engaged in household activities, lack of awareness about the importance of education, social problems like insecurity of girls, etc.” The Government of India is committed to address the problem of educational backwardness among minorities, he stated.
The Union Minister maintained that minority Institutions in India play a major role to fulfil the objectives of the state and minorities and these Institutions must assure and ensure quality education to minorities.
He stated that the National Education Policy 2020 has been introduced at the right time, to complement the process and vision of creating quality institutions, a culture of innovation, and a highly-skilled workforce. Built on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability, this Policy aims to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible, multidisciplinary, suited to 21st century needs and aimed at bringing out the unique capabilities of each student., he added.
On the occasion of National Teachers’ Day, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi announced a new initiative – PM SHRI Schools (PM Schools for Rising India). PM SHRI Schools will showcase all components of the National Education Policy 2020 and will act as exemplar schools and also offer mentorship to other schools in their vicinity. The aim of these schools will not only be qualitative teaching, learning and cognitive development, but also creating holistic and well-rounded individuals, he stated.