The Maharashtra government is planning to draft an all new and separate education policy for minorities in the state. In an attempt to draft the policy, the government has formed a core team of 10 members which will be headed by Education Minister Vinod Tawde. As per the state government, the new policy for minorities is vital because minority institutions are excluded from the Right to Education Act. Therefore it is very much necessary to formulate clear administrative as well as educational policies for students as well as teachers in minority institutions.
Presently, the state government gives grants to minority students as well as minority educational institutions in the form of free uniforms, free books scholarships and basic infrastructure. Hence, the need of the hour is to study in detail the ways of having a separate education policy for minorities for presently, there is no such clear policy. The government had been contemplating setting up a study group of educationist to find a way of doing this.
Also, the government has claimed that because of the present set up, there is administrative confusion on how minority institutions should be treated. The new policy thus drafted by the government would help in curbing the confusion that has been prevailing regarding such institutions. The committee has been given two months’ time to come up with its findings and submit a report to the state government.
The panel will study the existing and proposed schemes to better the minority education scenario. Another controversy is the fact that many of the schools with minority status had less than 50% minority students.
One of the main issues regarding minority education in the state is the refusal by schools to reserve 25% seats in their entry-level classes for children from the poor background as demanded by the RTE Act. Many schools had gone to court regarding the same and court had ruled in favour of the schools in those cases.