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II. 6.2.4 Problems of the tribal Communities — low literacy  and  poor educational facilities

Tribal society is far behind in education and in raising their social and economic status and thus integrating them in the so-called men dominated world of today. The large majority of population in tribal areas is backward due to the co-relation and least adoption of educational technology.

  • The vulnerablity of tribal populations to exploitation can be largely traced to their illiteracy. They have not been able to take advantage of new economic opportunites.
  • Literacy rate among the tribes has increased but it is far below the general level. Some states like Mizoram and Nagaland have high literacy rates due to the work of missionaries but many states have a very low literacy.
Tribal communities continue to lag behind the general population in education. The reasons for this can be categorized as external, internal, and socio-economic and psychological.
  1. The external constraints are related to problems and difficulties at levels of policy, planning, implementation, and administration.
  2. Internal constraints refer to problems associated with the school system, content,curriculum,mediumof instruction,pedagogy, academic supervision,monitoring, and teacher-related problems.
  3. The third set of problems relates to social, economic, and cultural background of tribal’s and psychological problems of first-generation learners

Causes and Suggestions:

  1. Inadequate Educational institutions:
  • The supporting services like scholarships, book banks are insignificant and do not attract the children. The schools do not blend well into the tribal environment.
  • Non-formal and vocational education centres have been successful and hence should provide academic education along with vocational training.
  1. The Medium of instruction:
  • Though there are provisions in the constitution which guarantee the instruction of pupils in their mother tongue, many state governments do not provide for the required facilities. As initial instructions are given in a foreign language, they understand and assimilate very little.
  1. Content and Method of Education:
  • It should be objectively evaluated taking into consideration the unique historical and social background of the tribal youth. Presently, the general contents have been extended which in many cases are not relevant.
  • The content and method should help in creating interest among the youth for better life. As the tribes have inherent talent for sports, it should be included as a part of curriculum.
  1. Absenteeism of teachers:
  • There is no proper supervision to check the absence of teachers. As a result, many children also drop out of school due to unavailibility of teachers.
  • Thus the teachers should be selected from the tribes themselves or the non-tribal teachers who know the tribal language should be selected.A system of effective supervision is essential.
  1. Education Policy:
  • There is no clear education policy for the tribal areas. This lack of administrative policy affects the education of tribes.
  • there is need of national policy for tribal education

     6. Poverty:

  • Many cannot afford for the education of their children. This results in children working at a very young age to support the family.
  • some states have abolished tuition fees and also provide free education in the schools run by local bodies. Such methods should be adopted to fight the problem of poverty.
  • there is provisions of scholarship for higher education

    7. Women education

Factors affecting Tribal Education


  1. Attitude of Other Students: Attitude of other student i.e., environment factor is one of the crucial factors for the development.
  2. Social Factors: More allocation of funds and opening of schools do not go far in providing education to the tribal’s. 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 itshould be presented to them in sucha wayas to cut the barriers of superstition and prejudice. There is still a widespread feeling among the tribal’s 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 playtheir part. Some tribal groupsbelieve that their gods shallbe angry if they send their children to schools run by ‘outsiders’.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 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.
  5. 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 educationto the tribal children show little appreciation of tribal way of life and value system. The Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commission’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. 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.
  6. Lack of Facilities: One of the major problems in tribal education is that of language. 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.
  7. Nature of habitat: Most of the tribal villages are scattered. School building also plays an important role in the growth of education among the tribal folk.
  8. Number of teachers: Most of the primary schools run in the tribal areas are “Single teacher-managed whose presence in the school is more an exception than a rule”.
  9. 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.
  10. The problem of Absenteeism is a serious one in tribal areas. The real problem is to create such economic conditions as could be conducive to the students developing sufficient interest in their studies. Education will bring forth not only social empowerment but also economic empowerment.
  11. Environment of family: Surrounding or environments is one of the importance factors,  they have little knowledge relating to modern world and modern environment.
  12. 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.
  13. Cooperation from Stake Holders: Cooperation is essentials for promoting education in the case  of tribal students.
Schemes for Promotion of Education
There are several centrally sponsored schemes for this purpose:
i) Free Education: The ST children are exempted from payment of any tuition fee for Entire education right up to the university level.
ii) Free textbooks etc. : At the elementary stage, they are entitled for free text books and Learning materials.
iii) Free Mid-day meals: Under the new schemes, all children in primary schools are
Covered under free midday meal programme,
iv) Free Uniforms: There is a scheme of providing two sets of free uniforms to the children Belonging to ST in elementary schools
V) Stipends: The ST children are entitled to stipends at varying scales at different stages Of education.


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 following suggestions can be tried-

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.

3The 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.

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

7Higher 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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