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Hijab ban to continue in Karnataka schools till SC verdict: Education Minister

In the split decision on the hijab ban in Karnataka's Pre-University Colleges (Class 11 and 12), Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia stated that the main concern for him when making the decision centred around the fact that a girl faces "a lot of difficulties" in her education and whether or not "are we making her life any better" by depriving her of that opportunity (via the hijab-ban order)?

Two key trends—the rising number of Muslim women in higher education and evidence that only a small segment chose to forego education over the government—confirm the significance of Justice Dhulia's remarks and the importance that the community places on the education of its girls as the controversy played out in the courts and on the campuses in Karnataka.

According to Khalid Khan of the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies' unit-level data analysis of the National Sample Survey rounds 64 and 75, the Gross Attendance Ratio (GAR) of Muslim women in higher education in Karnataka has steadily increased from 1.1% in 2007-08 to 15.8% in 2017-18. The similar increase in India ranged from 6.7% to 13.5%.In the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, where the problem initially surfaced in February, no Muslim girl student enrolled in PUC classes has yet to drop out or get a transfer certificate, with the exception of the five petitioners opposing the state government order.

At least 110 students have applied for transfer certificates (TC) at Mangalore University so far, of whom 10 have been confirmed to have enrolled elsewhere. They added that transfer certificates must be issued right away in order to prevent dropouts.Muslim girls can obtain a TC and apply for admission to colleges where the hijab is permitted, according to P Subrahmanya Yadapadithaya, vice chancellor of Mangalore University, who made the announcement in May as colleges affiliated with the university started enforcing the state government's no-hijab order on uniforms from February 5.

Yadapadithaya had stated, "I am willing to change the restrictions so that Muslim girl students' education is not hindered. There is a provision for transfer of admissions, so if the students are unwilling to abide by the restrictions and would rather transfer to other universities that permit hijab, we shall make the necessary procedures to provide transfer certificates without delay.


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