New Delhi, Dec 18: Contrary to the popular perception about Muslims' attraction for Madarsas, less than four per cent of the school going children of the community attend these religious institutions full time.
The fact has been brought out by the Sachar Committee, appointed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to report on the Social Economic and Educational Status of Muslims, to argue that modernised Madarsas were unlikely to satisfy the educational demand of the community.
The State will have to make provision for maints tream schools in areas where such schools are not available, it said.
''Madarsas should not be looked as an alternative to the regular school, but as a complement,'' the Report said.
The Committee has advised the Government against expanding its madarsa modernisation scheme, pointing out that it suffers from many deficiencies.
Though the modernisation process was a step in the right direction, it was robbed of its utility because of some deficiencies relating for example to choice of subjects, quality of teachers, accommodation of modern subjects in a time-table intensely packed with traditional subjects, the Scahar Committee said.
''The government will be well advised to review and revamp the scheme before embarking upon its expansion,'' it said.
It advised the government to work out a mechanism whereby Madarsas could be linked with a higher secondary school board so that students wanting to shift to a regular/mainstream education could do so after having passed from these institutions.
Besdies Madarsa degrees and certifiacte should be given equivalence to those of other institutions so that their students did not face any difficulty in obtaining admission.
The Committee has also recommended that degree holders from Madarsa should be eligible for appearing in competitive examinations.
''The idea is to facilitate a process whereby Madarsa graduate too have a choice and an incentive to participate in these employment streams. This should, however, remain within the existing framework of these competitive examination,'' it said.
The Report has also pointed out that Muslims have the largest percentage(27) of children in the age group of less than 10 years as compared to 23 per cent for the country as a whole. But the current enrolment in primary education is lowest and dropout rate highest among them.
These facts underline the urgency of opening more government schools in Muslims-dominatd areas, the Committee said.