Religion should be kept out of education: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

he practice of relegating important issues like those faced just by minorities or majorities, will not help solve them, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Thursday.

“Problems in the country are minorities’ problems as well. If a problem related to education exists in many parts of the country, it will affect minorities as well. We cannot keep differentiating between minorities and majorities,” said the minister at the Mail Today Education and Skill Summit 2018.

The minister also defended his ‘shadi shagun’ scheme, saying the intent was to promote education of girls. Under the scheme, the government provides marriage funds for girls, if their parents allow them to study till they are graduate, using government scholarship.

The truth, he said, is that despite free education and scholarship, poor families still consider the expenditure on girls’ marriages as an additional expense.

He also spoke about the big divide between the northern and southern parts of the country because of minorities’ literacy rates. Naqvi talked about tapping into the madrassa system to improve education levels among minorities.

He said the government provided free training to madrassa teachers to impart mainstream education to students along with traditional learning. Meanwhile, over 100 candidates from the minority background cracked the Civil Services exam. As many as 72 per cent of them were the Muslim.

“It was the result of providing a discrimination-free atmosphere of development,” the minister added.

The government provided free coaching classes for UPSC, state services banking services and others as well for the minorities. The minister also spoke about his ‘Hunar Haat’ scheme to preserve the country’s rich legacy of handicrafts by showcasing the talents of artisans from the minority communities.