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Social Justice

Educational Complexes for Tribal Students: Odisha

  • 08 Jun 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Government of Odisha has announced the establishment of three mega educational complexes exclusively for tribal students, where both academic and sporting skills will be harnessed.

Key Points

  • Establishment:
    • The complexes will be established in tribal-dominated districts such as Keonjhar, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj.
      • Santal and Bhuyan are two dominant tribal groups living in these districts.
    • Each complex will house 3,000 tribal students, which is a unique initiative in the field of tribal education.
    • These complexes will have state of the art facilities to improve educational and sporting skills of tribal students from Standard I to XII.
      • State-of-the-art (cutting edge or leading edge) refers to the highest level of general development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field achieved at a particular time.
  • Funding:
    • Funds required for mega complexes will be sourced from Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC), which was formed for focused development of mineral-rich districts. Incidentally, most mineral-rich districts are tribal-dominated.
  • Tribal Population in Odisha:
    • According to the 2011 Census, tribal people constitute 8.6% of the nation's total population i.e. over 104 million people.
      • A tribe has been defined as a group of indigenous people having a common name, language and territory tied by strong kinship bonds, having distinct customs, rituals and beliefs etc.
      • The President under Article 342 is empowered to declare communities as scheduled tribes, while Parliament by law can amend the list.
    • Odisha’s tribal population constitutes 9.17% of the country's tribal population.
    • In Odisha, the tribal population is 22.85% of the state’s total population.
      • In terms of percentage tribal population, it occupies the third position in India.
      • The First and Second are Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra respectively.
    • Similarly, of India’s total 75 particularly vulnerable tribal groups, 13 reside in Odisha.
    • With 62 tribal communities, Odisha has the most diverse tribes in India.
      • Keonjhar, where tribes such as Sounti, Ho, Juang, Kharwar, Mahali, Oraon Kolha and Kora reside is the most mined district of the State.
      • Keonjhar district contains more than 70% of the iron ore reserves of Odisha.

Educational Schemes for Tribals

  • Eklavya Model School: Residential School based on Navodaya Model to be opened in each tribal block by 2022.
  • Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship Scheme (RGNF): RGNF was introduced in the year 2005-2006 with the objective to encourage the students belonging to the ST community to pursue higher education.
  • Vocational Training Center in Tribal Areas: The aim of this scheme is to develop the skill of ST students depending on their qualification and present market trends.
  • National Overseas Scholarship Scheme: The National Overseas Scholarship Scheme provides financial assistance to 20 students selected for pursuing higher studies abroad for PhD and postdoctoral studies.
  • Pre and Post Matric Scholarship Schemes.

Way Forward

  • There is a need to give special focus to the education of tribal populations by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • Awareness Campaigns like street drama, camps counselling session to bring attitudinal change in parents.
  • Emphasis should be given to career or job oriented courses.
  • Teachers should be locally recruited who understand and respect tribal culture and practices and most importantly are acquainted with the local language.
  • The Kothari Commission stressed to pay special attention to the education of ST.
  • The XaXa Committee recommended a greater focus on removing gender disparity in education.

Source: TH

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