Study the Dimensional Problem of Tribal Students in India With Special Reference to Kerala State


Education, is a modern word, which is derived from the Latin word ‘educase’, means to nourish, to cause to grow (Patel: 1991 : viii). Education also prevails in illiterate societies, where it is imparted orally and by mass behavior. A member of primitive society learns to earn his livelihood, to do good works, to obey spiritual beings and also superstitions etc from the elders of the society and bind by its laws and regulations. These are the education for them. We the modern people do mean “education as reading and writing. This is also true. By modern education a person can able to increase his knowledge and expand his vision and avail the fruits or development. Hence modern education can play the role of “Catalyst” in bringing sea changes in the sphere of social, political, economic fields. One of the important reasons for failure of development activities in the society by various developmental agendas is the prevalence of acute illiteracy and ignorance, combined with superstitions among the rural masses. Hence to ward off economic backwardness, social deprivation spreading of education is regarded as one of the most effective and forward-looking instruments (Patel: 1991:26). Another reason of failure of education is superstition among the tribal. Superstitions like “reading would make their eyes drop out of their sockets” etc. is also responsible for not spreading of education, so no remarkable progress could be achieved within next 10 years (Behera : 1984:76). Accordingly O.J. Millman, a Baptist Missionary set up a school in 1914 at Gudripadi near G.Udayagiri (Boal : 1963: 61). As Government experienced, acute caste discrimination prevailing among the students as well as parents, the Govt. was forced to set up separate schools for ST and SC students. Lord Dalhousie, the then Viceroy of British India appointed Mr. Charles Wood who was the Chairman of Board of Controll on 19th July 1853 to review the progress of education in India and to suggest way-out for its improvement and to frame new laws and regulations. Accordingly, he had submitted his report in the year 1854, which was known as Woods’ Dispatch. As such post of Director of Public Instructions was created in Bombay, Bengal and in Madras presidency

exclusively to look after development of education. As suggested in Wood’s Dispatch, the medium of instruction should be in mother language. Another Commission was also set up for reformation and development of education in the year 1882, known as Hunter Commission. Lord Curzon organized an all India conference in the year 1901 at Simla to review the progress and to find out faults in education, which was the first conference in India in the history of education. The proceedings of the said conference were published in 1904, which was known as Curzon’s Proclamation. That proclamation was an important document where emphasis was given regarding Syllabus, appointment of teachers and monetary assistance to schools and the importance of the provincial Governments to promote mass education. Administrative reformation law by Montague Chelmsford was published in the year 1919, where complete responsibility was laid down for education on provincial Governments. Hence Education Act of Madras Presidency was framed in 1920. Accordingly financial assistance was provided with to schools regularly and special responsibility was also given to District Boards and Local Boards. Again Hartog Commission was set up in 1929 where emphasis was given to promote mass education and to eradicate wastage and stagnation problem Christian Missionaries also took an important role for development of education in backward classes of this district.  Missionaries also created awareness among the tribal towards education. Schools were also set up for ST and SC students by tribal Welfare department of Government after independence.  Secondly, ignorance and superstitions play a major set back for spread of education in the district. People of the remote area are superstitious and addicted to blind beliefs. So they do not understand the value of education. Thirdly, a vital reason for the drop out problem of tribal students is their prevailing cultural process and life style, which hardly creates conducive environment for spreading of education.

The poverty of tribal people doesn’t permit them to keep clean their home environment. They don’t get nutritious food. So tribal children often fall ill. The parents could not treat them timely due to economic scarcity. So they suffer for a long period. During suffering the child remains absent from school and after recovering from illness he loses his appetite for study. However there are few other reasons, which may also be responsible for drop-out

The tribal are the children of nature and their lifestyle is conditioned by the eco-system. India due to its diverse ecosystems has a wide variety of tribal population. Tribes people constitute 8.14% of the total population of the country, numbering 84.51 million (2001 Census). There are 697 tribes notified by the Central Government under Article 342 of the Indian Constitution with certain tribes being notified in more than one State. More than half the Scheduled Tribe population is concentrated in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Jharkhandand Gujarat whereas in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Pondicherry and Chandigarh no community has been notified as a Scheduled Tribe. Due to isolation, unawareness and exploitation tribes in India facing economic and social problems. They live generally in inhospitable terrain   where productivity of soil is low and their hamlets are found in forest areas along with the hill streams., India has the largest concentration of tribal population in the world .A tribe is a group comprising families, alone, or generation having its own customs, occupying a specific geographic territory and being independence of or having little contact with the dominant national society of the country in which they live.. Tribals of our country (India) resides in such a territory, which is marked by the presence of hills, forest, islands, mountains, seacoasts etc. They live in a special geographical territory. That is why, some scholars see tribe as a territorial group. Tribals have to face a number of problems due to their isolated residences situated in remote areas. But they are closely and emotionally related to their lands and forest. There are no communications facilities between the various isolated tribal group as well as between the tribal and the world at large. They accept all outsiders in their territory that create more problem than benefits to the tribal communities.  Due to exploitation from various stakeholders tribals are now facing a lot of problems .For promoting the welfare of schedule tribes and for rising the level of administration of schedules and tribal areas to the state level, Article 275 of the constitution provides grants in aid from consolidated fund of India to states for implementation of developmental programmes. And the article lies down as a Directive Principle of State Policy that the State should promote, with special care, the education and economic interest of the weaker sections.  The 10th Five Year Plan envisages a slightly different approach in Kerala. As far as Tribals development is concerned Tribals own neighborhood groups [Oorukoottams] are formed as basic units for the formulation and implementation of TSP and other Tribals Development Programmes. A new approach and strategies for the sustainable development of tribals in Kerala. In view of this the following suggestions are made. Top most priority should be given to elimination of poverty and reduction of unemployment among the tribals. Majority of the tribal population does not still enjoy the basic standards of Good life. Elimination of poverty requires macro as well as micro strategies. For this there have to be separate component plan for Scheduled Tribes and the disabled including family specific plans for improving quality of life as well as protecting and upgrading the land resources, value addition to the non-timber Forest Produce, high quality education, proper health, social security support etc. No conventional institutional options have to be tried out in the case of education, health, and economic development and so on where NGOâ??s with good track record could play a positive role. Preservation of tribal culture and fostering of their traditional knowledge have to be ensured hand in hand with their empowerment and all round socio-economic development. The Draft Comprehensive Master Plan prepared by the Government should be implemented in a time bound manner with greater emphasis on the primitive tribal groups with stress on Education; Land based Development, Implementation of Protective measures with added legal support etc. It is commitment of the State Government to distribute land to all landless tribals and to rehabilitate them in a phased manner and to help them to sustain their land. High priority should be given to the construction of Houses, electrification, Drinking Water, Sanitation facilities etc. The future tribal educational programmes would aim at primary and secondary educational facilities to all ST students through Institutions like MRS, centre of excellence, etc. Strengthening of pre-primary education with adequate nutritional care, merit up gradation programmes for equipping the ST students for appearing various Entrance Examinations and Civil Services Examinations, more emphasis on technical education including Information Technology, revision of mess charges on the tribal hostels etc., are major strategies proposed. The priority / thrust areas envisaged for the future Tribal Development are:

Provision of minimum needs to the poor STs aimed at systematic human resource development so as to enable the youths to seek employment., All landless tribals / marginal farmers among the tribals are to be provided with cultivable land depending on availability and implement sustainable development programmes.; Micro enterprises would be promoted among tribal women through Kudumbashree.; Tribal Sub-Plan programmes will be integrated with anti-poverty sub-plan. ;Socio-Economic development programme for the benefit of poorest of the poor to bring them above poverty line.; Ensuring of high quality education to tribal students.; Pre-primary education and residential education will be strengthened further;. The existing tuition scheme will be modified to cater to the needs of all tribal students; Programmes for assisting dropouts and improving enrolment will be formulated; All Houseless families will be given houses in a phased manner.;. The rate of Scholarships [Lump sum grant / stipend etc] will be revised frequently; The problems of tribal families living within forest areas will be solved in collaboration with forest department.; Health care facilities will be strengthened by improving existing Health Extension Programmes in tribal areas tie-up with Health Department;.  High priority for the completion of pre-metric hostels and improving of their infrastructure facilities and revision of mess charges etc.  Massive awareness and literacy programmes with involvement of NGOs will be organised in the tribal areas; Programmes aimed at improving the brilliance of talented ST students will be formulated and implemented.; Training programmes such as IT Training will be arranged for the tribal students and programmes for ensuring jobs for tribals in the IT sector will be formulated.; The participation of the tribals in the industrial sector, even in the small scale and traditional sector is virtually nil. To change this situation suitable strategies can be formulated, the socio-economic conditions of the communities like Adiya, Paniya, Primitive Tribes, Hill Pulayan, Malapandaram etc., are very pathetic. In view of this specific, exclusive programmes can be chalked out for the development of these communities.,The problems of the families living in tribal rehabilitation projects like Sugandhagiri, Pookot Dairy Project, Attapady Cooperative farming society etc., will be solved with the participation of these families., It is proposed to give Health Insurance coverage to all backward tribal families in a phased manner., Remoteness is one hurdle, which prevents the overall and comprehensive development of tribals. This eludes the tribals from the infrastructural needs such as road, drinking water, electrification, hospital facilities, educational facilities etc. A comprehensive plan can be formulated to solve these problems.

Plan State Schemes

Schemes for providing better educational facilities to bright ST students., Bharath /Kerala Darshan programme to ST Students, Post -metric hostels for Tribal Students., Training On Information Technology,  Post-Metric Scholarship, Vocational Training Institutes, Award of Research Fellowship in various aspects of Tribal Development, Up gradation of merits of ST students, Special Incentive to Brilliant Students, Repairs and Maintenance of Tribal Hostel., Construction of Hostels for Boys and Girls., Purchase of Land for construction of hostels., Running and construction of 18 Model Residential/Ashram Schools., Grants to High school going SSLC/Plus-2 failed students for studying in tutorial


A questionnaire was designed to capture data on various parameters. The data collected for this study by asking question from tribal students, tribal parents and authorities one who responsible for the development of tribal communities.

Sample selection: This study has its focus on students defined as tribal. All students under the â??below poverty line (BPL)â? family category fell into our focus population. It is not our intention to debate the methodology adopted by the state in defining the tribal.  As the idea of the study is to look at what are the problem faced by tribal students from various stakeholders. This is based on the presumption that the findings would be used

for developing educational status of tribal people. We wanted to base the study in some of the most backward districts in India, the choice of Wayanad was made purposively. The selection of wayanad was driven not only by its general backwardness, but also the geographical backgrounds. Wayanad district stand first in the case of adivasi population (about 36%) among other district in the state.
Design of questionnaire: For collecting data, a detailed questionnaire was designed, with a view to capture education of tribal students.. The base data were the various problems faced by the students regarding their education from within the family and outside the family. Although the questionnaire was not divided into different stages, each question collected specific information.

Objectives: The important objectives of our study are-

1 To understand the problem of tribes students through empirical analysis.

2 To study the problem of students with in the family and outside the family.

3   To provide suggestion to different stake holders for developing tribal education

The level of education is often viewed as an indicator of the the development of any country. Earlier, the welfare activities in the state for tribals mostly concentrated on educational programmes. Economic development of these communities leading to the creation of substantial assets and ownership of instruments of production through income generating training programmes received attention only from the sixth five-year plan period Traditionally  education has played a conservative role in relation the social process . A large portion of population has not allowed by the upper caste to recive education tribal are not exception to this, therefore the last five decade education became the monopoly of higher caste people. During the British period nothing much was done to improve Indian education system. The development of education during the post independence period has been conditioned by the natural goals and aspiration as enshrined in our constitution. Several committees and commission were formed to increase the educational status of nation. Large number of educational institution were opened in rural and tribal areas for spreading of education among the ST. Compared to the general educational level the status of tribal education is far below A number of schemes and incentives such as scholarship, free residential facilities, free books, and above all reservation of seats in educational institutions were introduced and implemented. These are the facilities provided by the government to ST but their problem still continuing. What is their problem? Is it social or economic or any others�

.. The main reason for the low level of education among tribes is the peculiar nature of their habitations. The social and economic conditions prevailing in the tribal settlements are not conducive for better education. Lack of sufficient educational institutions in tribal areas, poverty, inability to catch the children from pre-primary level, lack of nutritional and health care programmes, poor enrolment and drop out from high education etc., curtain the effective educational development among Scheduled Tribes. Moreover, the parents of the tribal children being generally illiterate cannot insist on their children attending classes regularly. In order to improve education among Scheduled Tribes, the primary efforts should be on eradication of poverty. The parents of the tribal children have to be provided with regular employment for earning income to meet their day-to-day requirements, which will help to send their children to school. Scheduled Tribe students have to be provided with boarding and lodging. Opening of more crèches/ Balwadies/ Nursery Schools, in tribal areas will not only promote early childhood education, but also lessen the burden of elder children in looking after the younger as and when the parents go for work. Lack of teachers in remote areas, general failure of tuition schemes, lack of skill development etc., are certain priority issues in the field of tribal education. A study made by the ST development department revealed that nearly 10% of the tribal habitats are very remote and lack even primary school facility with in a radius of 2 Kms. In fact the position has improved to some extent during the past 9 yearâ??s time. However the school facilities in primitive tribal areas are poor; 71.95% of the PTGs are lacking School facilities within 1 KM area. The state has started multi-learning centres and single teacher schools for improving primary & pre-primary education in remote tribal areas. But the functioning of the Anganwadies in these areas needs further strengthening and proper improvement. In the 10th plan, the tribal educational programmes would aim at primary and secondary educational facilities for all eligible ST students especially those living in remote areas [main objectives is improvement of enrolment rates and arresting of drop out rates] improved facilities for high quality education and research for talented ST  students; centres of Excellence etc., strengthening of pre-primary education with adequate nutritional care, merit up-gradation programmes for equipping the ST students for appearing various entrance examinations and civil services examinations; more emphasis on technical education including Information Technology, restructuring of the present tuition programmes for failed as well as regular ST students. A thorough rejuvenation of tribal hostels necessary by improving the Academic qualification for wardens and cooks etc. High priority will be given for the completion of pre-metric hostels. Scheduled Tribes form one of the most backward sections of our country. Though there has been a gradual increase in their literacy rates since independence, the present position is far from satisfactory. On an average, the difference between the literacy rate of the General category and that of STs has been around 20%. Though it is a fact that literacy rate among tribals has gone up yet the decadal rate of growth of literacy is very slow as compared to the literacy rate of the general population. The literacy rate has increased by 6.78% in the decade 1971-81 and

16.00% during 1981-91 for the general population but in the case of Scheduled Tribes, the literacy rate has risen by 5.05% and 13.25% only for the period 1971-81 and 1981-

91 respectively. The gap between literacy rates of general population and STs has increased from 20% in 1981 to 23% in 1991. The literacy position is more unsatisfactory

in case of ST females, which is only 18.19% as against 39.23% for non SC/ST women

i.e. 8 out of every 10 ST women are illiterate. The difference (about 17%) in drop out rate is almost at the same level for Primary Education for the years 1980-81 and 1988-89, while for Middle Education it is about 14%. For Secondary Education, the drop out has increased from 9% to 11% for Scheduled Tribes as compared to the general population. So the rate of dropouts still remains much higher than the General population. At the Higher Education level, the participation of STs amounts to only 3.9% as against their population percentage of 8.08%. The enrolment ratios of ST girls and boys have continued to show a progressive trend along with the rest of the population. The other revealing factor was the better pace of progress maintained by STs at primary level (43.0%) over SCs (29.7%), especially that of ST girls (49.0%) over SC girls (37.3%) during 1981 to 1996. Above all, the overall progress made by STs in terms of enrolment ratios at primary and middle levels between 1980-81 and 1995-96 has been impressive, and they could be much better than the general population. Like all other sectors of socio-economic life, educationally the tribal people are at different levels of development but on the whole formal education has made very little impact on tribal groups. In the light of the previous efforts it is not shocking because prior to 1950, the Government of India had not direct programme for the education of the tribals. With the adoption of the constitution, the promotion of education of Scheduled Tribes has become a special responsibility of the Central as well as the State Governments. The rate of education among the tribals is not very encouraging.

Factors affecting Tribal Education
Attitude of Other Students: Attitude of other student is one of the important factors for the promotion of tribal studentâ??s higher education ie, environment factor is one of the crucial factors for the development. The negative attitude we can reflected in  university and other higher educational centre mainly located in big cities.

Social Factors: More allocation of funds and opening of schools do not go far in providing education to the tribals. Formal education has not been necessary for the members of tribal societies to discharge their social obligations. Hence they should be prepared to accept education and it should be presented to them in such a way as to cut the barriers of superstition and prejudice. There is still a widespread feeling among the tribals that education makes their

boys defiant and insolent and alienates them from the rest of their society, while the girls

turn modern or go astray. Since some of their educated boys felt alienated and cut off their bonds with their families and villages after getting education and good employment. Some of the tribal groups vehemently oppose the spread of education in their midst. Besides, some of their superstitions and myths also play their part. Some tribal groups believe that their gods shall be angry if they send their children to schools run by â??outsidersâ??.

Economic Factors: Some economic factors too are responsible for lack of interest shown by the tribal people in getting education. Since most of the tribal people are living in poverty, it is not easy for most of them to send their children to schools.

Lack of Interest in Formal Education: In many states tribal children are taught through the same books which from the curriculum of non-tribal children of the urban and rural areas of the rest of the state. Obviously, the content of such books rarely appeals to the tribal children who come from different cultural backgrounds. Under the traditional tribal set up a child enters adulthood with confidence. He knows his environment thoroughly, knows how to construct his own house, cultivate his field, weave his cloth; in short he acquires all the skills to lead a reasonably comfortable life within the limitations of his culture. The simple skill of reading and writing acquired in an over formal school is no match for this. We cannot afford to push him back to his environment naked. Therefore, a curriculum should be framed in the welfare of tribal people. Certain tribal activities like agriculture, dancing, hunting, tribal games and archery must be allowed to find fullest expression in the extra-curricular activities of the school, thus providing some continuity of the traditional values and forms of organization. A scheme is to be worked out through which the school children will be able to link up the school and the teacher with their parents and the tribal activities. The school has to act as a centre of dispersal of simple technical know-how beyond the skills of reading and writing to become an effective agent of social change. This student-teacher-parent continuum should be able to generate a congenial atmosphere, so that the broad purpose of education, which is to enable an average citizen to comprehend the social, political, economic and other processes and forces around him, is fully served.

Suitable Teachers: Lack of suitable teachers is one of the major reasons for the slow growth of education in tribal areas. Most of the teachers employed for imparting education to the tribal children show little appreciation of tribal way of life and value system. They approach tribal people with a sense of superiority and treat them as â??savage and uncivilizedâ?? and hence fail to establish proper rapport with their students. The Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commissionâ??s report says that a teacher in the tribal areas must have a thorough knowledge of tribal life and culture. He must speak tribal language. Only so can he be in a position to act as a friend, philosopher and guide to the tribal people. Actually the gulf between teachers and taught can be best reduced by appointing teachers from the tribal community itself or a separate cadre of teachers for tribal areas, with some inducements, should be created to serve the educational needs of the tribal society.

Lack of Facilities: One of the major problems in tribal education is that of language. Most of the tribal languages and dialects are in the most rudimentary stage and there is hardly any written literature. Most of the states impart education to tribal and non-tribal children alike through the medium of the regional language, which makes the education uninteresting and also hurts tribal sentiments.

Nature of habitat: Most of the tribal villages are scattered. This entails long travels to attend schools. Unless the school situated very close to their villages and its site approved by the local people the result shall not be encouraging. School building also plays an important role in the growth of education among the tribal folk. Due to mismanagement, bungling and sometimes financial constraints, the building and sometimes-financial constraints, the building is seldom suitable to run an educational

Number of teachers: Most of the primary schools run in the tribal areas are â??Single teacher-managed whose presence in the school is more an exception than a ruleâ?. The enthusiasm of tribal people in the education of their children also depends considerably on the timing of school hours in different seasons. It should not clash with their important socio-economic activities.
To many observers of the situation, the problem of education in tribal areas is the problem of wastage. It is not that wastage and stagnation are peculiar to the tribal communities alone but the extent of wastage is much larger in their case. The problem of

Absenteeism is a serious one in tribal areas. One sees a large number of students on the rolls but the actual attendance is really low, and the number of students passing out at the final examination is even lower. The real problem is to create such economic conditions as could be conducive to the students developing sufficient interest in their studies. Education being the most effective instrument of empowering the Socially Disadvantaged Groups, all out efforts should be made to improve the educational status of these groups, especially that of the women and the Girl Child. In fact, the educational backwardness, prevalent amongst these people, necessitates an added thrust on their education, training and skill up gradation, as it will bring forth not only social empowerment but also economic empowerment.

Environment of family: Surrounding or environments is one of the importance factors influence for the development of a person generally and particularly in educational development. Most of the tribal parents are agricultures and labours; they have little knowledge relating to modern world and modern environment. Their environment narrows that created narrow mentality. And most of tribal fathers are addicts to alcoholic and other beverage items that creating some problem in mentally and economically end result students will fail exams.

Communication: Communication one of the key factor affecting the development of tribal education.  Due to isolation tribal facing problem for expressing modern and regional languages.  For understanding tribal language very difficult generally in the case of society and particularly in teachers. So the students facing problem for discussing their doubt with teachers. So their doubt continuing and automatically tribal students became the last in the class.

Cooperation from Stake Holders: Cooperation is essentials for promoting education in the case of tribal students. Their funds are flowing a number of persons hand and at last that amount will get students hands. The delay of funds creating problem, so the respective authorities need to be responsible for providing funds at right time at right hand.  And at last but not least the success of tribal education is completed only after getting the cooperation and help from their classmates.

Article 46 of the Indian constitution stress to promote the ST and SC people with special care in the educational and economic establishment. The spread of education among the ST during the last four decade has been quite uneven. Ignorant and illiteracy among tribals should be minimized and rooted out, by providing proper education and awareness programme. Government should make available adequate grants for education of tribal. To improve the educational and economic status of the tribal, opportunities for basic and adult education with training leading to better employment should be provided. Hostel facilities to tribal students should be surveyed and improved. Tribal welfare department may design and launch new programmes to generate employment opportunities for tribals. The Director of Employment and Training may provide effective career guidance service to the tribal students so as to help them to make a self assessment of these abilities, aptitudes and plan for the career… Ensuring of high quality education to tribal students. Pre-primary education and residential education will be strengthened further. The existing tuition scheme will be modified to cater to the needs of all tribal students. Programmes for assisting dropouts and improving enrolment will be formulated.All Houseless families will be given houses in a phased manner. The rate of Scholarships [Lump sum grant / stipend etc] will be revised frequently. High priority for the completion of pre-metric hostels and improving of their infrastructure facilities and revision of mess charges etc. Massive awareness and literacy programmes with involvement of NGOs will be organized in the tribal areas. Programmes aimed at improving the brilliance of talented ST students will be formulated and implemented. Training programmes such as IT Training will be arranged for the tribal students and programmes for ensuring jobs for tribals in the IT sector will be formulated. For applying schemes at right time, right place and right manner the government and respective authoritiesâ?? cooperation.  And at last but most for developing education in tribal communities the balanced relationship between other students and teachers is essentials

Education is the most effective instrument for ensuring equality of opportunity; keeping in view of this assumption the Government has been making several efforts to education by extending special educational facilities and reservation of seat in educational institutions. But the development of education is one of the important problems in the case of tribals. For solving that problem I like to express some suggestions.

1 Proper awareness campaign should be organized to create the awareness and the importance of education.

2 Educated tribal youth should be recruited as a teacher and posted in tribal areas.

3 The attitude of the tribal parents toward education should be improved through proper counseling and guidance.

4 Teacher buildup and maintain close relationship for the development of tribal students.

5 Vocational institutes should be implemented for the tribal students for creation of new avenues.

6 Administration of incentives need to be streamlined so that the students may avail all the facilities at proper time.

7 Higher level officials should check the functioning of schools frequently relating to the teaching methods, working hours, days of the school and attendance registers.

8 Establish separate residential school for each districts and extended up to PG level.

9 Residential facilities with all amenities should be provided to teachers and other staffs.

10 Merits scholarship, attendance scholarship, and more incentives in the form of grant allocated to uniform, books, learing materials, midday meals, supply of sports equipments.
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Nidheesh K B