THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A widening gap in educational qualification between boys and girls is creating an imbalance in many communities, with the latter finding it difficult to get qualified grooms. It is starker in the Muslim community.
A Centre for Information and Guidance India (CIGI) study, conducted formally in three districts and informally in the rest, found many Muslim boys are inclined towards starting a business than spending years on academics.
Kozhikode Government Arts and Science College Statistics Department head Z A Ashraf, who piloted the CIGI study, told Express: “There’s a huge discrepancy. Even after getting good marks in Plus-Two, Muslim boys drop out of studies for the sake of making money, thus creating a problem.”
“Muslim girls get into premier institutions and there’re doctoral and post-doctoral scholars in science. And most of them will be overqualified for the prospective grooms.”
“Muslim girls are highly educated, but boys lag them. For every educated boy there’re seven highly qualified girls,” said Palayam Juma Masjid Imam Suhaib Moulavi.
A three-pronged issue that leads to an imbalance
A study has revealed that in the past 10 years, almost all OBC seats at AIIMS New Delhi were filled by Muslim girls. They are breaking barriers in the general quota as well and entering premium institutes of the country.
Asked whether it would affect the study prospects of girls from the community in the future, Ashraf said: “Yes. Such signs are visible and some Muslim families have started thinking of not giving higher education to their girls.”
Runa Laila (name changed), a doctor from Thalassery, got separated from her businessman-husband after finding they could not get along well.
Dr Fazal Gafoor, general secretary of Muslim Educational Society --- an education conglomerate which has around 1,00,000 students on its rolls --- said: “Muslim girls have overtaken boys in all spheres of education and now more of them are becoming professionals. The same parents who’re educating girls prefer their boys to look after family business.”
Gafoor added: “The issue is three-pronged --- highly-educated girls, under-qualified boys and girls who’re forced to cover their faces in their husbands’ places. These lead to imbalances resulting in either divorces or girls not getting grooms who’ve equal educational status.”
The Muslim community is now trying to lift the level of education among their boys.“In earlier days, there was reservation for boys in educational institutions. It has to be there to increase the number of boys joining higher education to eventually help narrow the gap,” said Suhaib Moulavi.