Objectives of the study:
To identify and study constraints relating to access, retention and performance among ST children at primary level in Karbi Anglong District.
To assess the constraints pertaining to teaching learning process, school curriculum, management etc relevant to children of ST population in Karbi Anglong District.
To find out the existing successful strategies under different school managements (local bodies, non government organizations, private) and compare them to the other practices for the promotion of school education of ST children in Karbi Anglong District.
The study aimed at answering the following questions-
School Related Questions
what are the existing physical infrastructural facilities available in the schools?
How are these physical infrastructural facilities related to students enrollment, retention, absenteeism and achievement if they are so?
Are these differential effects of these facilities on ST students and non ST students?
What is the role of communities in developing these facilities?
Questions Related to Teachers
How are recreational facilities related to enrollment and retention of students in schools?
How are teaching related factors like contextual teaching learning material, teaching methodology, evaluation etc related to quality of attainment among the learners specially ST Learner?
How does the selection or transfer of teachers affect teaching-learning process in schools?
Is there some discrimination in the transfer of tribal and non-tribal teachers?
How are incentive schemes contributory to the quality achievement among tribal students?
What is the role of community in helping the qualitative teaching learning process in the schools?
Questions Related to Relevance of Curriculum
Is the existing curriculum relevant to the promotion of school education of tribal children?
Has the prevailing medium of instruction in classroom in tribal areas affected the learning of tribal children?
Is the curriculum local specific and culture specific?
Questions Related to Perceptions and Strategies
What are the different constraints in education of the tribal children?
What is the level of awareness, perception and attitude of the ST parents towards educating their children?
What are existing strategies and incentive schemes that are followed in promoting education of ST children?
Sample of the study:
The present study was carried out in the District of Karbi Anglong, Assam. Nine villages each from three blocks of this district was selected for data collection. The villages were-
9 villages covered under urban area of Lumbajong Block
9 villages covered under semi-urban area of Bokajan Block.
9 villages covered under rural area of Amri Block.
Interview-cum-Observation Schedule for Village
Interview-cum-Observation Schedule for the Community
Interview-cum-Observation Schedule for the parents
Interview-cum-Observation Schedule for the Household
Interview-cum-Observation Schedule for the Dropout Children
Interview-cum-Observation Schedule for the School
Interview-cum-Observation Schedule for the Head Teacher
Method of the study:
Frequency count and Percentage analysis
Following were the gaps in education so far as Karbi Anglong district is concerned:
A prominent blemish on the face of the Kabri tribal society is the persistent problem of poverty. In all three blocks the reason for dropping out of the students has been financial constraints faced by the parents and guardians of the school going children.
Another problem which was observed was a complete lack of awareness of education on the part of parents.
There was an overarching argument present in the form of assimilation versus recognition of their indigenous culture. The school curriculum was not inclusive of the local culture and because of this the students as well as the teachers felt alienated from the curriculum. A curriculum which was more inclusive of the local tribal culture would have been a step forward in triggering more enrollments and ensuring the decrease of dropouts.
Language barrier, lack of transportation and electricity, unfavorable weather conditions, seasonal diseases and absence of teachers also attributed to the reasons for students failure and dropping out.
The wide gap between the development in the urban block and the semi-rural block and rural block was also a hindrance in education of children in rural areas.
The district is geographically placed in a region which is prone to isolation, neglect and inaction. The regional maladies is also a hindrance in education.
The teaching community of the Karbi Anglong district found that the present curriculum is not relevant for both boys and girls because there was hardly any reflection of their culture in it. This irrelevant curriculum is found uninteresting and failed to motivate the community towards education.
In the district, the maximum number of educational institutions teach the children in regional language of the state, Assamese but people are of the opinion that along with the regional language, the local language and English should be used as the medium of instruction.
Along with these gaps, the following constraints should be focused:
No proper dissemination of information among Kabris about the measures being under taken by various departments. Even many of them were not aware of the incentives available for them with regard to promotion of education.
Poor implementation of different schemes for promotion of education among them.
Delay in disbursement of money in terms of grants because of the large channel starting from the central government to state, district, block and individual level.
Sometimes the amount received by the individuals is used to meet the family requirements or needs in family in place of using it for education of their wards.
Local pressure of vested interest and political misuse of resources creates the hindrance for education.
The poor parents face hardships to keep their children in schools or even may not be in a position to send their wards to schools. Supervision and monitoring of utilization of funds is also poor.
Many of the students get enrolled or parents admit their wards to schools to get only scholarships. The children go to schools to fetch these scholarships on specific days and in other days do not attend the schools leading to irregularity of the students.
The geographic conditions acted as a menace for the region. Distances in hilly terrain are another problem which does not allow the children to reach the schools.
The climatic conditions pave away for seasonal diseases like Malaria.
Improper utilization of resources especially the incentives received under different schemes. They may be directed to other schemes. They may be directed to other schemes. The students and the parents are not serious about their education. Only a few are serious and other remains poor in studies.
There is no support system for the students for their studies at home nor is the help to do their homework as many of them would have been only first generation learners especially in the Amri district.
Remote areas remain out of reach for the tribals so far as the welfare schemes of the Government are available for the ST students.
There is a lack of physical activities in the schools.
There is a lack of medical facilities in the rural areas as well as the semi urban areas.
A sharp device exists between the urban and rural areas and there is a lack of development in the rural parts.
The analytical study of the factors affecting education among scheduled tribes of Assam in terms of constraints and strategies will help in identifying the problems faced by the tribal children or the teachers who teach them in imparting education o ST children. It will also help in assessing the training needs of teachers, training effects, effects of incentive schemes etc. Thus, the study has implications for teachers, teacher educations, policy framers, educational authorities and communities at large. It may also help curriculum planners in using contextual background of ST children for educating them.
Keyword(s): SCHEDULED TRIBE CHILDREN,