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Social Justice

Tribal Education

  • 19 Jul 2019
  • 3 min read

Tribals in Wayanad district of Kerala are close to achieving 100% literacy rate.

Scheduled Tribes

  • President under Article 342 is empowered to declare communities as scheduled tribes. While Parliament by law can amend the list.
  • According to Census 2011, tribes constitutes 8.6% of our total population and out of which only 58.96% are literate.

Challenges in Tribal Education

  • Education is one of the primary agents of transformation towards development.
  • Education is in fact, an input not only for economic development of tribes but also for inner strength of the tribal communities which helps them in meeting the new challenges of life.
    • Medium of Instruction: Language has been the biggest constraints in tribal education. All the curriculum and teachers module are designed in official/regional language which is alien for tribal student.
    • Economic Condition: The economic condition of tribal people is so poor that they do not desire to spare their children or their labour power and allow them to attend schools.
    • Teacher Absenteeism: In the remote tribal areas the teacher absenteeism is a regular phenomenon and this affects largely the quality of education.
    • Attitude of the Parents: As education does not yield any immediate economic return, the tribal parents prefer to engage their children in remunerative employment which supplements the family income.
    • Infrastructural Challenges: Most of the schools located in tribal areas have minimal infrastructural facilities. These schools are not equipped with teaching learning materials, study materials, even minimum sanitary provisions are not maintained.

Government Intervention

  • 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 ST community to pursue higher education
  • Pre and Post Matric Scholarship Schemes
  • 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.


  • Kothari Commission stressed to pay special attention to the education of ST.
  • XaXa Committee recommended greater focus on removing gender disparity in education.
  • Awareness Campaigns like street drama, Camps Counselling session to bring attitudinal change in Parents.
  • Emphasis should be given to career or job oriented course.
  • Teachers should be locally recruited who understand and respect tribal culture and practices and most importantly are acquainted with the local language.
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