The objectives of the study were: (1) To assess the extent of present formal educational level of the traditional marine fish workers. (2) To list the factors those contribute to their educational backwardness. (3) To compare the level of backwardness among the three fishing communities Hindu, Muslim and Christian. (4) To identify and evaluate the availability and utilization of governmental and non-governmental educational programs for the fish workers. (5) To suggest remedial measures for the educational upliftment of the traditional marine fish workers.
The hypotheses of the study were: (1) Socio-economic constraint experienced by the traditional marine fish workers is positively correlated to their educational backwardness. (2) Religious affiliation of the traditional marine fish workers is related to their educational backwardness. (3) Level of political organization is related to educational backwardness. (4) Cultural factors in the life of the traditional marine fish workers are related to their educational backwardness. (5) School variables are related to the educational backwardness of the marine fish workers. (6) Family variables are related to the educational backwardness of the marine fish workers. (7) Individuals behavioral factors in the life of the marine fish workers are related to their educational backwardness. (8) Use of the traditional modes of technology of fishing is related to the educational backwardness of the traditional marine fish workers.
Sample comprised of 439 fish workers selected randomly from Trivendrum, Quilon and Alleppey.
Interview, participate observation and group discussions were held to data collection.The major source of primary data has been the interviews with the heads
of households in the presence of one of the student members. The second
category of data was collected from the leaders/activist involved with
the fisher folk.
The study was descriptive type.The data were analyzed qualitatively.
The findings of the study were: (1) Awareness of formal educational facilities is generally high for the sample population. 28.2% have very good awareness; 46% have good and 14.6% have poor awareness. Religion-wise comparison shows Mulsims in Trivandruma and Allepey, and Hindu is Quilon and Alleppey have poor awareness of technical and professional educational facilities. Awareness of primary educational facilities is almost unanimously high. Quilon district leads with 93.5% aware of the facilities. Awareness of the high school educational facilities is also high (88.8%). District and religion wise data also correspond. Data on awareness of college educational facilities show that 60.5% of the respondents have good level & district wise data was homogeneous. Religion wise comparison shows that Muslims are the weakest in this area. (2) Regarding non-formal educational facilities, 70.8% of respondents have acceptable level of awareness and 22.8% have poor awareness. District wise comparison shows, Alleppey to be the poorest (56.6%), religion wise data shows that 40.5% Hindu in Quilon and 50.8% in Alleppey have poor level as compared to others. (3) The fisher folk, considering their nature of work and time constrains, use NFE centers more. But the data shows that of the respondents (52.1%) never use the facility. (4) The data showed that the use of library is low. Only 10.3% use it always and another 14.8% use it frequently. District wise comparison shows that in Quilon (27.5%) never use it, while corresponding data for Trivandrum and Alleppey are 76% and 30.7% respectively. Religion wise comparison shows that 77.6% Christian in Trivendrum never use the library. In Quilon, 29.8% and 30.6% in Alleppey do not use it. Hindus belonging to Quilon and Alleppey have generally higher usage. (5) In case of religious centers, 43.7% never use religion educational centers. 19.6% use it always and 19.1% use it regularly. District wise comparison shows that Trivandrum is comparatively a better user as 28.3% use always, whereas Alleppey is the poorest user where 56.7% never us it. Religion wise comparison reveals that Hindu fish workers have the minimal use of religious centers for educational purpose and 90.09% never use it, whereas 33.96% Muslim and 24.27% Christian respondents show a much better use of religious education centers. (6) The use of physical education centers is seen to be minimal. It is only a minority of 2.7% who use it always, 5.5% use it frequently and 5.2% use it once in a while. District wise and religion wise comparison show similar results with a slight advantage for Christians. (7) Use of other educational facilities than mentioned above seems to be almost nil. District wise and religion wise show similarly high percentage of non-usage. (8) The respondents show very low level of awareness regarding the NFE facilities for the below 15 year age group. While 17.9% are aware, and 43.7% are not aware at all. District wise and religion wise comparison show similar results, namely, poor awareness level. (9) Below 15 years age group, only 3.4% are aware of reading room facilities. District wise comparison shows similar pattern, religions wise comparison shows similar poverty of awareness with the Muslim respondents showing a higher level of non-awareness i.e. 64.4%. (10) Below 15year age group, 25.5% are very well aware of religious education centers, while 27.1% are not at all aware. District wise comparison shows a higher level of awareness among the respondents in Trivendrum (35.6%). Religion wise comparison shows that Muslim respondents have the highest levels of awareness (69.8%). (11) Under 15 age group, 1.8% has appreciable level of awareness and 54.7% have no awareness about all physical educational facilities. District wise comparison shows similarly, poor awareness level in all the three districts. Too religion wise comparison shows that there is very low level of awareness in all the religions but with the Muslim community, it is the lowest in the category. (12) Below 15 age group data reveal that awareness of NFE facilities, perhaps, the poorest, only 0.5% has sufficient awareness and 55.5% do not have any awareness at all. District wise comparison and religion wise data are similar with the lowest awareness being among the Hindu and Muslim respondents. (13) With regarding educational grants and scholarships, 74.9% respondents avail lump sum grant. District wise and religion wise comparison of data also shows high usage of lump sum grant by the respondents. 60.6% use it for educational purpose, while 8.3% use it for non-educational purposes. The respondents have faced various difficulties in getting the grant released. (14) With regard non-enrollment the data show that majority (72.4%) has attributed financial constraints as the main reason for non-enrolment. District wise comparison also shows high percentage of this reason. It is 41.7% from Trivendrum, 89.01% from Quilon and 96.7% from Alleppey. Religion wise comparison shows that 59.01% Christians, 94.5% Hindus and 94.3% Muslims attribute financial problems as the reason for non-enrolment. (15) Reasons for dropping out are identified as follows: Financial- 21.9%; difficulty of subject 11.4%, failure in class 9.3%, work schedule 3.4%, ill health of parents 1.4%, ill health of children 1.6%, problem of teachers and non-cooperation from teachers 2%, other reasons 2%. District wise and religion wise comparison shows the similar result. Trivendrum district 36% and Muslim respondents 49% showed remarkable difference. (16) Only 44.6% feel that their children receive the special consideration from teachers, with reference to persuasion of teachers and inviting parents to schools, the responses show favorable condition to learning. (17) Only 4.1% families have a favorable environment for learning. In 38.2% cases, the home environment is unhealthy and do not fit for promoting learning. Books are the only major learning aids supplied. For 22.1% house holds alcoholism of the head of the household is a major hurdle in learning. (18) 29.6% respondents are found to be culturally isolated from the main society. 55.6% are just minimally in touch with the wider society. Only 14.8% are in sufficient cultural contact with the main society. 80.9% of the respondents consider education to be important but exposure to mass media is pitiably low. (19) 32.3% respondents are not able to mobilize the educational expenses of their children. Chi-square analysis showed association between socio-economic status and educational backwardness. (20) Lack of sufficient political organization and political strength has left the fish workers behind in educational achievements. (21) Among fish workers only 41.7% felt the helpful presence of NGOs. Maximum number of NGOs are seen in the Christian sector.
Keyword(s): Enquiry, Causative Factors, Educational Backwardness, Marine Fish workers, Kerala