The Education question from the perspective of Adivasis: Conditions, policies and structures

Publication Type:

Project Reports


National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, Issue No. R7-12, Number 978-81-87663-57-7, Bangalore (2012)



The National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, through its Education Portfolio initiatives, seeks to link research with advocacy and policy analysis. This report resulting from NIAS' engagement with the Education Portfolio, is an attempt to provide a framework with which to approach and understand the 'education question' among Adivasis. The absence of a comprehensive all-India perspective paper/report on the issues related to education of Adivasis and urgent need to interrogate the impact of the dominant education system on the lives of marginalized and disadvantaged groups compelled us to undertake this project. In addition, our experiences and reflections after a five-year long (2002-2007) involvement with an action research project that sought to enhance elementary education, especially in the Ahramshalas in Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka highlighted for us not only the complexities and challenges that Adivasis face with the dominant education system (in its provisioning, administration, content and impact), but also indicated the need to initiate policy and programmatic changes at state and national levels. This report pays attention to the larger political-economic contexts in which most Adivasis liv; it identifies trends, reviews policies, flags key issues and suggests alternatives that can be taken forward.


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