'The education question' from the perspective of Adivasis: Conditions, policies and structures
Source:NIAS, Number 978-81-87663-57-7, Bangalore (2012)
This report has been submitted to UNICEF, New Delhi by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore. It is based on a review project undertaken as part of the Education Portfolio of the institute. Drawing on secondary data, insights and ideas from an all-India consultation meet at NIAS, four regional / zonal consultations, data from a project in Chamarajanagar district (Karnataka), and select reviews of educational programmes, this report presents a broad perspective of Adivasi education in India. While we recognise that the educational challenges faced by the tribal people of North-East India are significant and require immediate attention, they could not be represented adequately in this report. We hope an in-depth study of educational issues of the North- Eastern region can be taken up separately. We would like to clarify that while this report is an appraisal of the policies, administrative structures, institutions and programmes that are intended to cater to the educational needs of Adivasis, it is not meant to be a summative review of their educational status. Reversing the dominant ?deficit approach?, by which the lack of adequate educational attainment is typically ascribed to Adivasis themselves, this report situates itself within the context of the varied forms of displacement, disenfranchisement and violence, which mark the lives of most Adivasis. The challenge of the ?education question? among Adivasis is sought to be understood through an analysis of the policy orientations, structures and processes of educational administration, institutions and the constraints within which they operate and the myriad in-built forms of exclusion of the dominant education system. In addition, some attention is paid to the impact of mainstream education on the lives of Adivasis and the continued marginalisation of their knowledge, culture, languages and lives. Our review of the policies, administrative structures, institutions and their impact indicate that the Adivasis receive the lowest cost, poorest quality and indifferently administered education.