Hyderabad: Old city girls breaking the glass ceiling in education

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education

The emerging education pattern here is in sharp contrast to the scenario till a few years ago when girls particularly from slum areas in old city did not even complete primary school.

Hyderabad: Winds of change are sweeping through the once-walled city of Hyderabad in the field of education for girls. In what could be seen as a significant progress towards gender equity in higher education, Muslim girls have started to outnumber boys in most schools and colleges.

Interestingly, girl students are found to outnumber the boys three to one in some educational institutions in the old city.

The emerging education pattern here is in sharp contrast to the scenario till a few years ago when girls particularly from slum areas in old city did not even complete primary school.

In the last six years, close to six private junior colleges and three degree colleges exclusively for women have been functioning in old city. Every academic year, students are enrolling into these colleges without much effort from the managements. On the contrary, only one private junior college for boys has been opened in last five years.

According to Samiya Fatima, an educationist, 71 out of 90 girls have got admission in Deccan College of Medical Sciences through open counselling last year. “It is a clear indication that girls are moving ahead of boys in terms of higher education,” she says.

Muslim girls are not confining themselves to Urdu medium but they have started to work in multi-national companies in the city, she added.

MIM corporator and one of the directors of Owaisi School of Excellence, Ayesha Rubina too points out at the changing scenario in the old city. “Gone are days when Muslim girls were among the discriminated lot in old city. Girls particularly from poor backgrounds have bounced back,” she says.

Support from various NGOs has been pouring in for girls who are willing to opt for higher education. “Salar-e-Millat Education Trust this year has provided scholarship to 20 SCC topers from the old city, in which 18 girls were given Rs 20,000 for scoring more than 8.5 grade,” Ayesha Rubina says.

At the same time, many factors are attributed to the high drop out rates among boys at schools and colleges. Moulana Anwar Ahmed of Jamia Nizamia says, “due to poverty, parents are not sending boys for higher education. Instead, they are working at various places for livelihood”.

In another emerging aspect, more and more girls are preparing for IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT and others to seek admission in foreign universities for pursuing higher education.
One such student, Amreen Shaikh, a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal colony, says her cousin sister who is studying MS in the US even after her marriage.

“When she can go and study there, I too can do it,” she quips.

According to Amreen, many of her classmates have joined institutes offering spoken English and are travelling to Dilsukhnagar and Lakdikapul daily to attend the classes.

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