NEW DELHI: Enrolment of Muslim children in primary and upper primary classes in 2009-10 improved significantly with Muslim girls -- as was the trend in the previous two years -- again doing better than boys across the country.

In fact, at the upper primary level (class VI-VIII) the percentage of Muslim girls -- 49.97% -- has been higher than the national average of 48.04%.

A report by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, after analyzing data from 1.28 million recognised schools imparting elementary education from 635 districts spread over 35 states and union territories, shows a total enrolment of 17.17 million (against 14.83 million in 2008-09) Muslim children in primary classes in 2009-10. This is 13.04% of the total 131.72 million enrolment in classes I to V. During 2009-10, an additional 2.34 million Muslim minority children were enrolled in primary classes across the country. In 2008-09, the share of Muslim enrolment was 11.03% and in 2007-08, it was 10.49%.

Like primary classes, the percentage of Muslim enrolment in upper primary classes also improved to 11.47% in 2009-10 from 9.13% in 2008-09 and 8.54% in 2007-08. Of the total 54.02 million enrolment in upper primary classes in the country in 2009-10, Muslim children totalled 6.20 million (against 4.87 million in 2008-09).

Girls, both at primary and upper primary level, have done exceptionally well. Of the total Muslim enrolment in primary classes, Muslim girls contribute 48.89% which is similar to the share of girls in overall primary enrolment (48.44%) at the all-India level. At the upper primary level, Muslim girls to total Muslim enrolment in upper primary classes is 49.97% which is above the national average of 48.04%.

Both at the primary and upper primary level Muslim enrolment has increased in Assam, Bihar, Delhi, J&K, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, UP, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.

NUEPA data for 2009-10 also reveals that there are certain pockets in the country which have a high percentage of Muslim enrolment. There are about 1,01,484 schools which have got more than 25% Muslim enrolment (to total enrolment in elementary classes) which is 7.91% of the total schools that impart elementary education in the country. Similarly, 72,053 (5.62%) schools have above 50% Muslim enrolment as compared to 54,355 schools (4.84%) having 75% and above and 43,809 schools (3.41%) even having a share of 90% and above Muslim enrolment to total enrolment in the country.

Because of the high percent share of Muslim population to total population in the state, 11 districts of J&K have above 90% Muslim enrolment in 2009-10 in primary classes which is also true for enrolment in upper primary classes. On the other hand, 34 districts have more than 50% Muslim enrolment in primary classes in 2009-10 compared to 30 such districts in case of upper primary enrolment. Twelve districts of J&K, one each in Bihar, Lakshadweep and Kerala, two in West Bengal and eight districts in Assam have more than 50% Muslim enrolment in primary classes.

28 July, 2010