Muslim educational dropout is higher than the national average

By Syed Ali Mujtaba

A Yearbook on the status of Muslim dropouts in educational institutions has recently been released in Delhi. It throws some startling revelations about Muslim dropouts, saying the rate of admission is decreasing among Muslims at the same time rate of dropouts is increasing among them.

The book entitled Status of Muslim Dropouts in Comparative Perspective says though the motivation for education among Muslims has improved significantly, the dropout rate is very high among them.

Muslim dropout rates stand at 23.1 percent in comparison to the national school dropout average rate of 18.96 percent.

The book raises the question, of why the dropout rate in the country has not decreased even after more than 10 years of the promulgation of the Right to Education.

The book highlights many core issues of the Muslim community based on the factual data gathered from government sources, including the Ministry of Education. It concludes that Muslims are at the bottom of the socio-economic indexes.

The book analyses the income-expenditure ratio to assess the educational investment by every Muslim family at a certain income level. One of the significant revelations made in the book is the comparison to Rupees 2600, the average cost of elementary education per student, Muslim spend less than Rupees 500 per student.

The book carefully examines the causes of Muslim dropouts, and their underrepresentation in higher education and jobs to conclude that the weaker Muslim community lacks access to education opportunities due to their socio-economic situation.

“Although poverty plays an important factor in the Muslim dropout rates, there are also many other factors at play,” says Ms Rubina Tabasum, the developmental professional who has prepared the book.

“High rate of school dropouts among Muslim students in India should be a major source of worry because it contributes to the socio-economic backwardness of the country,” she says.

The book redefines the idea of educational dropouts in the country. It is published by the Institute of objective studies (IOS). The special edition Yearbook is the second in a series—published by Genuine Publications & Media Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. The First Yearbook came in 2021.

These Yearbooks are data books documenting core issues of the Muslim community.  It is an excellent database that highlights the household-level of statistics of the Muslim community of India. It is important to work for those doing future research on this subject.

Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at


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