Purnea, July 31: The district administration has started work on launching a scheme meant to educate members of the minority community, especially women, on International Literacy Day next month.
Maulana Azad Taleem-e-Balighan, a Centre-sponsored scheme exclusively for the minority community, was launched by the UPA government earlier this year.
The scheme would now take off in Purnea, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi and West Champaran on September 8.
The district public education committee of Purnea has started the groundwork to launch the programme that would entail basic education and skill development for the community.
People aged 15 and above would be educated for six months under the central programme. It would cover 85 per cent women.
In Purnea, around 350km northeast of Patna, the scheme would be started in the six blocks of Baisa, Baisi, Amour, Dagarua, Jalalgarh and Kasba. The education committee has started consultations with the maulvis at panchayat level to identify candidates for the programme.
At present, the literacy rate of minority community in Purnea is 23.7 per cent, while that of the women is less than 8 per cent. At such a juncture, this literacy scheme would be a boon for the women.
Kasba resident Madina Khatun (16) said: “Since the scheme is women-centric and exclusively meant for the minority community, we would feel free to attend classes at the nearest centre. If there are vocational or skill development courses, we would be more interested.”
Teachers at the madarsas and volunteers would impart training to the identified candidates.
Secretary, public education committee, Purnea, Mohan Jha told The Telegraph: “There are 251 panchayats in Purnea and we are likely to cover 150 of them. We have started the groundwork to launch the scheme on International Literacy Day, September 8.”
He added: “We would teach the candidates in the madarsas till we develop a public education centre. We have to set up public education centres at panchayats where 30 per cent of the total population are Muslims. We would also provide them skill development training.”
Once the candidates clear the basic education level, they would be considered equivalent to Class III pass. Then their skills would be enhanced.