Tribals still lag behind in education, says expert

Even though education is a fundamental right, it has remained elusive for tribal communities, said director of Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute T T Basavanagowda, here, on Friday.

Speaking at the inaugural function of a workshop on ‘Tribal Education in India’, organised by the institute, he said, despite the implementation of various welfare schemes, education levels of these communities has declined. A total of 50 tribal communities have been identified in the State and the population of forest-dwelling communities, such as Yerava, Soliga, Jenu Kuruba, etc is close to 20 lakh in the State, he said.

“Basic facilities such as roads, drainage, transportation and schools have not reached these communities. For instance, the condition of Yerava and Jenu Kuruba tribals in Kodagu district is pathetic. Children belonging to Yerava community discontinue education, once they complete seventh or tenth standard. Such children require exposure to computer science and English,” he said.

Assistant Executive Engineer at Jog sub-station and writer Kumuda B Susheelappa, who belongs to Hakki Pikki community, said, Hakki Pikki tribals require guidance on educating children. “Since they are nomads, they have not been included in the Census,” she said.
Every tribal community has its unique rituals and practices, but the tribals have been affected by globalisation, which has resulted in erosion of their culture, she said.

Separate syllabus

Retired professor of Sociology C G Hussain said, the State government should think of formulating a separate syllabus for tribal children, which include their lifestyle, culture and history.

He said, the officials concerned were not paying enough attention for the development of tribal schools, whose activities have been hampered by a shortage of teachers and lack of basic facilities.
DH News Service

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