It may be obseved that as per the 2011 Census, the percentage of Muslim population in India was about 14.2 percent of  total population of India. In many states, this percentage is much higher than at the all-India level with the highest in the state of undivied Jammu and Kashmir dollowed by West Bengal etc. Generally it is believed that mulims are not at par with the other minority segment of population but unfortunaltley there was no data availavle on th status of Muslims at the school education in India aprt information about the same is available thorugh the Census of India operations once in a decade. Unfortunatly, no update is available is on the present status of education of Muslim population as 2021 Census is yeat to be operatinised.

Muslim Education in India 2023


The education system in India is diverse, with various religions, cultures, and languages, but it is not always equitable. Muslims, India’s most significant religious minority, have long struggled for educational opportunities. Muslim education in India has a long-rich history that dates back to the medieval period. Muslims were among the first to establish formal educational institutions in India, such as madrasas and schools of Islamic learning. One of the earliest madrasas in India was the Madrasa-e-Nizamia in Hyderabad, founded in 1876. It offered courses in Islamic law, theology, and other subjects, and it became a model for other madrasas throughout India.

During the British colonial period, Muslim education in India faced many challenges, including a lack of resources and limited access to formal education. However, Muslim leaders like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan played a significant role in promoting education among Muslims. In 1875, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan founded the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, which later became Aligarh Muslim University. The university aimed to provide modern education to Muslims and promote their social and economic advancement. Today, Aligarh Muslim University is one of India’s most prestigious educational institutions, offering various courses in various disciplines.

Status of Quality School Education among Muslims in India: Year Book 2023, Institute of Objective Studies

The Sachar Committee reported that the literacy rate among Muslims in India is lower than the national average. The report revealed that only 59 percent of Muslim children attend primary school, compared to 70 percent of the general population. The dropout rate is also higher among Muslim students. The report attributed these disparities to poverty, lack of access to education, and discrimination.

Muslims also face several challenges in pursuing higher education in India. The representation of Muslims in higher education is relatively low, with only 4.9 percent of students enrolled in universities. The under-representation of Muslims in higher education may be because of factors like lack of access to quality education and financial constraints.

Over a period of time, the Government of India has launched several initiatives to improve the education of Muslim children, both in the case of school and higher education. For example, the Maulana Azad Education Foundation provides scholarships to economically disadvantaged Muslim students. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan aims to provide free & compulsory education to all children, including those from marginalized communities. The Prime Minister’s 15-point program for the welfare of minorities aims to provide scholarships, coaching, and other facilities to minority students. However, these initiatives have not successfully bridged the education gap.

Challenges being Faced

The challenges Muslim education faces in India are complex and require a multi-faceted approach. Lack of access to quality education and poverty is the primary challenge that Muslim students in India face. More resources and support for minority education are required to address these challenges. Despite various government initiatives, the status of Muslim education in India remains a matter of concern. There is a need for more rigorous efforts to address the disparities and challenges faced by Muslim students. Improving the education of Muslims in India will benefit the community and contribute to the country’s overall development.

Without bringing Muslims at par with another segment of society, the objectives of education for all in India cannot be realized. Without bringing girls at par with boys, the dream of education for all in India cannot be chariest, which is also valid for Muslim education in India given that the education of Muslim girls in school education is an important area that has gained significant attention in the recent past. Historically, Muslim girls in India have faced various educational barriers, including poverty, social and cultural norms, and a lack of access to schools.

However, over the years, as mentioned above, the government of India has implemented various initiatives & policies to improve the education of Muslim girls in the country. For instance, the government has initiated Maulana Azad National Fellowship for Minority Students, the National Scheme for Incentives to Girls for Secondary Education, and the National Scholarship Scheme for Minority Students, all of which aim to encourage and support the education of Muslim girls. Additionally, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have also taken up the cause of promoting the education of Muslim girls in India. These NGOs run schools, provide scholarships, and assist Muslim girls who struggle to access education.

Despite these efforts, however, a few issues still need to be addressed to ensure that Muslim children in India have equal access to education. These challenges include poverty, lack of school infrastructure and resources, and social and cultural norms that discourage girls from pursuing education. In addition, Muslim girls still require more attention and effort to ensure that all girls have equal opportunities to access quality education and achieve their full potential.

In a nutshell, one can say that Muslim education in India has long played a pivotal role in promoting social and economic development among Muslims in India. However, the goal of Muslim education for all in general and school education for all, in particular, is a distant goal. It is believed that Muslim children are not on par with the rest of the population.

Muslim Enrolment at School Education in India (2008-09)

Report of the Standing Committee National Minority Comission (April 2009)

Sachar Committee Major Recommendations

Sachar Committee Report 2006

Schar Committee in Rajaya Sabha 2007

Status of Sachar Committee Recommendations 2019

Analysis of UDISEPlus & AISHE Data with regard to Muslim Education in India, Detailed Analysis

With the data available in the public domain from the UDISEPlus & AISHE, various indicators concerning Muslim education in India, such as the Gross Enrolment Ratio, Gender Parity Index, Share of Muslim to total school and higher education enrolment, the share of Mulsim girls to toal Mulsim girls enrolment, the share of Mulsim enrolment at different levels of education to total Muslim enrolment in Grades I to XII, Mulsim transition and retention rates, as well as Muslim flow rates, like average annual promotion, dropout and repetition rates etc., have been computed and analyzed both at the all-India and state level. Most of these indicators are calculated for the first time exclusively for Muslim children, revealing new aspects of Muslim education in India not known before.