The objectives of the study were: 1. To study the meaningful experiences and perceptions of education functionaries, teachers, community leaders and tribal parents about DPEP intervention and school functioning. 2. To ascertain the availability and utilization of infrastructure facilities in DPEP schools working for tribal population. 3. To study the effectiveness of DPEP intervention in terns of universal enrolment, attendance, achievement and retention of tribal children. 4. To study the motivation of tribal children in schooling process under DPEP intervention. 5. To study the effect of DPEP intervention on teachers’ competencies in relation to quality improvement in teaching-learning activities and school management. 6. To study the nature of community participation in school management under DPEP intervention. 7. To develop futures scenario of educational expansion among tribal children.
The population of the study covered three tribal districts of Orissa viz.,Rayagada, Gajapati and Kalahandi. Purposive sampling procedures have been adopted inselecting the sample. The sample for the study comprised of 18 tribal concentrated villages from three tribal districts of Orissa, 18 primary schools operating therein, 57 education functionaries, 34 teachers, 180 parents, 36 community leaders and 100 children. About 25 experts and education functionaries were involved in development of futures scenario of educational expansion among tribal children.
Interview Guides, Participant observation and record surveys were employed for data collection.
The study has been conducted applying three approaches viz., case study, cross sectional survey and longitudinal trend and cohort studies in integrated form.
Data were analyzed qualitatively using content analysis, growth rate and trend and cohort analysis techniques.
The study included following findings; 1. The DPEP has been successfully providing new primary schools as well as infrastructure developments of existing school along with provision of free text books, appointment of teachers and hostel facility for girls. 2. The community participation has been found to be encouraging through organization of enrollment campaigns, participation of village education committee members in school management. 3. In-service teacher training programme has been a key feature for the empowerment of teachers. However teacher absentism and their lack of acquaintance with tribal culture and language were found as major barriers of schooling. 4. The status of enrollment of tribal children has been found as high as 75 to 82 per cent with marginal (23.28 per cent) retention in residential sevashram primary school. There has been improvement in children’s achievement at class III and V stages during DPEP operation than prior DPEP operation. The sevashram school was found better than the achievement, attendance and retention of children of other types of schools. 5. DPEP has brought significant impact on motivation of children in majority of cases (59 per cent). This has also been reflected in terms of parents’ interest in their children’s education, children’s self-study cleanliness, discipline and work oriented experiences of children. 6. Village development, residential facility and easy accessibility are positively associated with school participation of tribal children as well as participation of teachers and the community in school management. 7. In spite of teachers’ significant efforts in making classroom activities continuous and active, there remains predominance of textbook method and rote memory oriented learning practices. In rare cases the activity based classroom transaction has been practiced. 8. The futures scenario of education of tribal children is associated with sincere interventions in educational programmes at local level, provision of infrastructural and educational technology support with proper networking facilities and encouraging participation of tribal community members in school management.. 9. As a whole DPEP intervention in tribal villages has brought positive effect in terms of criteria of enhancement of enrolment of target group learners (girls’ enrolment growth rate having higher than that of boys); better retention of boys and girls in residential sevashram schools in comparison to other schools; increasing rate of achievement in comparison to that of pre DPEP operation; higher rate of involvement of community in school management and appointment of teachers in the schools. However, major constraints remain with regard to irrelevant school curriculum, teacher absenteeism, monotonous teaching learning processes and negligible monitoring and supervision of school practices by appropriate authorities of tribal districts.
Keyword(s): scheduled caste, DPEP Intervention, Tribal Education