Education Among Scheduled Tribes

There are many challenges that are specific to education among scheduled tribes. These challenges include the recruitment of local teachers, infrastructural challenges, and bilingual education. Some of these challenges are discussed in this article. Read on to learn more about education among scheduled tribes. Then, consider ways to overcome these challenges.

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Bi-lingual education

The primary obstacle in providing bilingual education among scheduled tribes is the lack of trained teachers. Even though most language instructors are hired from the tribal community, there are many who do not have the skills and experience to teach all subjects. Consequently, the schools have to rely on teachers from other social groups to teach subjects in both languages. The transition to higher grades is also a challenge.

As a result, indigenous students often face the challenge of adapting to the mainstream curriculum. Whether they are learning English, Spanish, or a third language, they have trouble fitting in with the mainstream. This can lead to cultural and linguistic discrimination. Further, immersion in the mainstream curriculum may result in a loss of tribal language and culture.

The state government of Odisha recently adopted a bilingual primary education program for tribal children. This initiative was part of the state’s response to the needs of these groups. It uses the National Policy of Education 1986 and the Programme of Action 1992 as a guide. The goal is to teach children from tribal communities in their mother tongues from the early primary stages and then transition them to regional languages in the secondary years. The program has resulted in a significant decrease in school dropout rates.

The schooling environment in residential schools is not ideal for tribal children. Some teachers are not from the tribal community. They have to be selected by village leaders. These programs often have limited resources and poor quality of life. Nonetheless, tribal children respond positively to the programs. This is especially true of children who are enrolled in bilingual programs.

In the 2006-07 academic year, 154 schools were established for 10 tribal languages. Today, more than 2300 government schools offer tribal languages to students. About 3400 teachers of these languages are employed in these schools. Textbooks and teacher training are provided in these languages. This program has resulted in the state adopting 21 tribal languages. This means about 1,43,000 students are now receiving their education in their mother tongue.

Despite the success of the initiative, Adivasi children still face a significant language barrier in education. The rate of school dropout among the Adivasi community is 31 percent. This is a large proportion of children enrolled in government schools. The state council of education in Pune has a series of twelve educational books in the Adivasi language. The books are distributed throughout the state.

Education Among Scheduled Tribes

Residential schooling

There are several factors that contribute to the underdevelopment of education among scheduled tribes. Most of these factors are related to socio-economic conditions. Thus, it is important to establish a policy that can address these issues. Education is an important tool to improve the status of a scheduled tribe. The education sector should prioritize functional literacy to prevent school dropouts and improve academic proficiency among ST students. In addition, educational institutions should create adequate infrastructure facilities to address overcrowding problems in hostels.

One of the most significant challenges for residential schools is limited resources. This limits the quality of life and causes compromises. Moreover, residential schools are often affected by prejudices of the non-tribal population. These prejudices often arise because of prevailing values in mainstream society. For instance, the patriarchal culture of mainstream society may view tribal gender relationships as problematic.

One of the key challenges facing tribal residential schools is the lack of proper monitoring of these institutions. It is very difficult to track the performance of these institutions. It is necessary to establish a system that provides adequate supervision to ensure the quality of education. One of the best ways to do this is to improve the nutrition and food of the residential school.

Education is a vital aspect of social and economic development among scheduled tribes. Nevertheless, education for tribal communities remains marginal in India. However, government has made strides by including tribal welfare in its planning sessions. In Geddasal, Tamil Nadu, a government tribal residential school was set up.

In a bid to provide quality education, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has introduced the Eklavya Model Residential Schools. These schools are designed to cater for tribal children in remote and semi-rural areas. These schools aim to offer a holistic education and preserve the traditional culture. They are being set up in areas where at least 50% of the tribal population lives.

Recruitment of local teachers

In April 2000, the government released a judgment that gave 100 percent reservation in teacher recruitment in agency areas to local tribals. However, many tribals felt that this quota was too low and have been campaigning for more teachers from these communities. In response, the government has commenced a recruitment drive among qualified tribals.

A variety of methods have been used to address this issue, including diversifying the recruitment efforts to reach a more diverse pool of candidates. One approach has involved reaching out to leaders of the local educator preparation programs and networking with diverse leadership groups. Another method involves offering early notice incentives and offering equity and antibias training to recruit local teachers from a diverse group.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Jharkhand government cannot use the recruitment of local teachers as an excuse to recruit non-tribals. Although basic education can be taught in tribal languages, the language of instruction is forbidden above Class 5. This decision was a result of a batch of appeals filed by Jharkhand.

A task force formed by Governor Roy Cooper has been convened to determine the most effective ways to promote recruitment among local teachers from these communities. The group includes teachers, parents of students, education advocacy groups, and local and state government officials. Their final report is expected in January 2021. There are also plans to expand recruitment among people of color.

A diverse teaching force is key to improving public schools. Teachers of color provide important role models, cultural translators, and advocates for their students. Furthermore, they foster students’ social, emotional, and academic growth. As school leaders, we must strive to create and sustain school systems that are racially affirming.

While recruitment among scheduled tribes is not a difficult task, it is not always easy. The challenges associated with the recruitment process are significant, and tribal educators should be prepared to work with these challenges.

Infrastructural challenges

The biggest challenge in tribal education is a lack of funding and human resources. Another challenge is inadequate teacher capacity and sensitization. Fortunately, a Trust initiative is helping overcome these barriers. The project has now reached over 200 residential schools in 6 districts of Maharashtra and four districts of Odisha and is planning an expansion of the program based on the results of the pilot.

The study revealed structural and individual constraints that impact the ability of girls and women from these communities to access education in the digital age. For example, economic conditions do not support meaningful digital education and the tribal girls often have to balance household duties and domestic disruptions. Additionally, cultural practices create additional disadvantages for girls.

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