Make Maths, English optional
Marks scored in English and mathematics should not be considered for a student's promotion in secondary school. Promote even if he or she fails in these subjects. This is what the National Commission for Minority Education Institutions (NCMEI) is planning to suggest to the Centre.
The reason for the proposal: it will help stem the number of school dropouts from educationally weaker sections.
The CBSE has already responded positively to the NCMEI's suggestion.
The NCMEI, which is planning to submit a proposal to the HRD Ministry to frame a national policy in this regard, says English and mathematics are the main reasons for students dropping out from government schools. And leading the dropouts are educationally weaker sections like Muslims, STs, SCs and OBCs (in that order), according to a survey by the elementary education department of the HRD Ministry.
Justice (retd) S.S. Siddique, chairperson of NCMEI, recently told HT: "We've noticed that Muslim students have a problem with maths and English and face difficulty clearing these exams. So, we want these subjects to be made optional. It will also improve the intake of students from weaker sections."
While upper-caste students form just 3.73 per cent of school dropouts, Muslims form 9.97 per cent and STs 9.54 per cent.
An NCMEI official said the survey showed a sudden jump in dropout rates from Class V when "clearing all exams becomes a condition for promotion".