Education is a critical input in human resource development and is essential for the country’s economic growth. Though the major indicators of socio-economic development viz. , the growth rate of the economy, birth rate, death rate, infant mortality rate and literacy rate, are all interconnected. The literacy rate has been the major determinant of the rise or fall in all other indicators. Education is a tool of transmission of culture, accumulated knowledge and experience of a society. It is also the tool for economic betterment and societal change.
Within a developing country, the great divide seems to between the rich and the poor. The need for tribal development in India hardly needs any justification. Their primitive way of life, economic and social backwardness, low level of literacy, hackneyed system of production, sparse physical infrastructure in backward tribal areas and demographic quality of tribal areas coupled together make it imperative for a systematic process of development of tribal and tribal areas. The socio-economic development of Scheduled Tribes depends on learning and educational advancement.
Education is more than a mere asset for some tribal communities hence, investment in education is, in a way, crucial for their existence. Continued economic exploitation has brought them to a state of helplessness exemplified by migrant labor, debt bondage, etc. A medium of education will equip them to deal with middlemen, merchants and traders on a better footing. Their inability to cope with the many novel forces impinging nowadays on tribal villages and on an economy which had remained virtually unchanged for centuries is by no means due to any innate lack of intelligence.
Education is the most effective instrument for ensuring equality of opportunity. Keeping in view of this assumption, the government has been making several efforts towards their education by extending special educational facilities and reservation of seat in educational institutions as per the provisions of the constitution of India. But the development of education is one of the important problems in the case of tribal in India. Through this paper, an effort has been made to explore the factors affecting the education of tribal students.
The Development of Nation is not measured through the buildings it has built, the roads it has laid down, the bridges it has constructed and the like but by the human resources the nation has developed through well defined system of education. Education is the most crucial factor not only to equip the new generation with skills so essential for earning livelihood but also to create among them an awareness to social and environment realities, inculcates in them scientific temper independence of mind and spirit which are of paramount importance for them to become responsible citizen.
The classification of the economies into developed, developing and underdeveloped is done on the basis of several socio-economic parameters. Social infrastructure makes the country’s manpower more efficient, qualitative and productive. Education and training, health and Medicare, social security and insurance and various civic amenities are parts of social infrastructure. (Kumar, 1996). Education is a critical input in human resource development and is essential for the country’s economic growth.
Though the major indicators of socio-economic development viz., the growth rate of the economy, birth rate, death rate, infant mortality rate and literacy rate, are all interconnected. The literacy rate has been the major determinant of the rise or fall in all other indicators. Education is a tool of transmission of culture, accumulated knowledge and experience of a society. It is also the tool for economic betterment and societal change. Within a developing country, the great divide seems to between the rich and the poor. The need for tribal development in India hardly needs any justification.
Education also prevails in illiterate societies, where it is imparted orally and by mass behavior. A member of primitive society learns to earn his livelihood, to do good works, to obey spiritual beings and also superstitions etc from the elders of the society and bind by its laws and regulations. These are the education for them. We the modern people do mean “education as reading and writing”. This is also true. By modern education a person can able to increase his knowledge and expand his vision and avail the fruits or development (Sen, 2007).
Hence modern education can play the role of catalyst in bringing sea changes in the sphere of social, political, economic fields. One of the important reasons for failure of development activities in the society by various developmental agendas is the prevalence of acute illiteracy and ignorance, combined with superstitions among the rural masses (Malyadri, 1990). Hence to ward off economic backwardness, social deprivation spreading of education is regarded as one of the most effective and forward-looking instruments.
The admission of the disadvantaged groups to educational & training programmes is the part of wider concern of promoting the educational process throughout one’s life, the indispensable condition not only for a durable integration into the job market, but also for active citizenship (Sujatha,1999).
TRIBES IN INDIA India has the largest concentration of tribal people anywhere in the world except perhaps in Africa. According to Article 342 of the Constitution, the Scheduled Tribes are the tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within these tribes and tribal communities which have been declared as such by the President through a public notification.
A tribe is a group comprising families, alone, or generation having its own customs, occupying a specific geographic territory and being independence of or having little contact with the dominant national society of the country in which they live. Tribal of India resides in such a territory, which is marked by the presence of hills, forest, islands, mountains, seacoasts etc. They live in a special geographical territory. The tribal are the children of nature and their lifestyle is conditioned by the eco-system. India due to its diverse ecosystems has a wide variety of tribal population.
Tribe’s people constitute 8. 14% of the total population of the country, numbering 84. 51 million (2001 Census). There are 697 tribes notified by the Central Government under Article 342 of the Indian Constitution with certain tribes being notified in more than one State. More than half the Scheduled Tribe population is concentrated in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Jharkhand and Gujarat whereas in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Pondicherry and Chandigarh no community has been notified as a Scheduled Tribe.
Due to isolation, unawareness and exploitation tribes in India facing economic and social problems. For promoting the welfare of schedule tribes and for raising the level of administration of schedules and tribal areas to the state level, Article 275 of the constitution provides grants in aid from consolidated fund of India to states for implementation of developmental programmes. And the article lies down as a Directive Principle of State Policy that the State should promote, with special care, the education and economic interest of the weaker sections (Nidheesh, 2008).
The development of the tribal population in India has been a major concern of the government, voluntary agencies, NGOs, social reformers, social scientists etc. Since independence, particularly with the inception of five years plans, concern for tribal development has always been high on the government’s agenda. The credit for this goes to both the farmers of the constitution and to our first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who not only took a great deal of interest in tribal development, but also gave long term guidelines in this regard.
He strongly believed that no development activity in the tribal areas should take place at the cost of tribal heritage. No doubt, in keeping with these broad guidelines and the provisions of the Constitution, a number of special schemes and programmes, including the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) and Integrated Tribal Development Programme (ITDP) were launched to develop the tribal regions of the counter. (Vaid &. et. al 2011). Tribal population mainly contributes a major share of wide-spread poverty in the nation.
The level of the socio-economic development varies considerably between tribal and non-tribal population, between one tribe and another tribe and even among different subgroup of tribal groups. These disparities and diversities make tribal development and micro level planning of tribal at the grass root level imperative. More than ninety per cent of the ST population depends upon agriculture and allied activities in India (Kokate, C. N. and Solunke, R. S. , 2011). The trend in ST population since the census of 1961 to 2011 is illustrated in the table-1.
The information presented in the table reveals that population of ST has increased from 30. 1 million in 1961 to 84. 3 million in 2001. Over the years in 2001 the percentage of tribal population from general population was 8. 19% which indicate that the populations of ST have shown significant increase.
Table 1: Total population vis-a-vis scheduled tribe population of India ( in millions)
|Year||Total Population||ST Population||Percentage|
|1961||439. 2||30. 1||6. 85|
|1971||547. 9||38. 0||6. 93|
|1981||665. 3||51. 6||7. 75|
|1991||838. 6||67. 8||8.08|
|2001||1028. 6||84. 3||8. 19|
FORMAL EDUCATION IN INDIA Formal education is properly associated with schools. A more precise definition is supplied by Coombs (1973), “the hierarchically structured, chronologically graded educational system running from primary school through the university and including, in addition to general academic studies, a variety of specialized programs and institutions for full-time technical and professional training”.
Article 46 of the Constitution states that, “The State shall promote, with special care, the education and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of social exploitation”.
Besides, the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP), the UPA Government contains provision aimed at to provide for full equality of opportunity, particularly in education and employment for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, OBCs and religious minorities”. After independence, the Government of India has taken number of steps to strengthen the educational base of the persons belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Pursuant to the National Policy on Education-1986 and the Programme of Action (POA)-1992, the special provisions for SCs and STs have been incorporated in the existing schemes of the Departments of Elementary Education and Literacy and Secondary and Higher Education – relaxed norms for opening of primary/middle schools; a primary school within one km walking distance from habitations of population up to 200 instead of habitations of up to 300 population, abolition of tuition fee in all States in Government Schools at least up to the upper primary level.
In fact, most of the states have abolished tuition fees for SC/ST students up to the senior secondary level, incentives like free textbooks, uniforms, stationery, schools bags, etc. , for these students.
The Constitutional (86th Amendment) Bill, notified on 13 December 2002, provides for free and compulsory elementary education as a Fundamental Right, for all children in the age group of 6-14 years. Tilak reports that household expenditure on education is sizeable; households from poor socio-economic backgrounds (i.e. ScheduledCastes/Scheduled Tribes) often spend considerable amounts of their income on education.
This includes elementary education, which is supposed to be provided free by the government. Significant expenditure is made on books, uniforms and fees. Scheduled Tribes often spend much more on elementary education than others groups (i. e. non-Scheduled Caste/Tribe households), even in government schools. For instance, in Himachal Pradesh, Scheduled Tribe households reportedly spend Rs.
966 per child per year in government schools, while Scheduled Caste households spend Rs. 752 and ‘others’ spend Rs. 760 ( Tilak, 2002). On the other hand, it has been argued that the case of the states of Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have confirmed that the link between low enrolment in schools and household poverty is only a weak one, and therefore that universal basic education in India is an achievable goal, if implemented with genuine political will (Filmer and Pretchett, 1998, cited in Alexander, 2003).
The central government, in partnership with state governments, has initiated a number of programmes to fulfill the Constitutional obligation and national aspirations (National Portal Content Management Team, 2011): Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA):Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a historic stride towards achieving the long cherished goal of Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE) through a time bound integrated approach, in partnership with States. SSA, which promises to change the face of elementary education sector of the country, aims to provide useful and quality elementary education to all children in the 6-14 age groups.
District Primary Education Programme (DPEP): The thrust of the scheme is on disadvantaged groups like girls, SCs/STs, working children, urban deprived children, disabled children, etc. There are specific strategies for girls and SCs/STs; however, physical targets are fixed, in an integrated manner including coverage of these groups as well. According to a study by NIEPA, schools in DPEP districts had more than 60 per cent students belonging to SC/ST communities. Mahila Samakhya (MS): MS addresses traditional gender imbalances in educational access and achievement.
This involves enabling women (especially from socially and economically disadvantaged and marginalized groups) to address and deal with problems of isolation and lack of self-confidence, oppressive social customs and struggle for survival, all of which inhibit their empowerment. Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya: Under the scheme, 750 residential schools are being set up in difficult areas with boarding facilities at elementary level for girls belonging predominantly to the SC, ST, OBC and minorities. Mid-Day Meal scheme: Mid-Day Meal scheme is a successful incentive programme.
It covers all students of primary classes in all government, local body and government aided schools in the country with the aim to improve enrolment, attendance and retention while simultaneously impacting on the nutritional status of the children. Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL):
The Central Institute of Indian Languages Mysore has a scheme of development of Indian Languages through research, developing manpower and production of materials in modern Indian Languages including tribal languages. The Institute has worked in more than 90 tribal and border languages. Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs): 15 per cent and 7.
5 per cent seats are reserved for SCs and STs respectively in fresh admissions. No tuition fee is charged from scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students up to class XII. Navodaya Vidyalaya (NVs) :Reservation of seats in favour of children belonging to SCs and STs is provided in proportion to their population in the concerned district provided that no such reservation will be less than the national average of 22. 5 per cent (15 per cent for SCs and 7. 50 per cent for STs) . National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS): Concession in fee to SC/ST candidates The SC/ST students are given concession in admission fees to the extent of Rs.
450/- for Secondary Courses and Rs. 525/- for Senior Secondary Courses. Out of 43,000 scholarships at the secondary stage for talented children from rural areas 13,000 scholarships are awarded to SC/ST students subject to fulfillment of criteria laid down. National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) Educational development of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is an area of major concern of NIEPA. It carries out a number of studies relating to educational programmes and schemes for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
It has also been generating material relating to educational institutions and development of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students. University Grants Commission (UGC):UGC provides financial assistance to universities/deemed universities for the establishment of SC/ST cells in Universities to ensure effective implementation of reservation policy for SCs and STs.
LITERACY RATE The literacy rate of total population and ST population has been given in table-2. The data presented in the table shows that the achievements made in the literacy rates of Scheduled Tribes are also significant in 2001 as compared to those in the 1991 Census, i. e. 47. 10 % and 29. 60 % respectively.
Besides, the growth in female literacy amongst Scheduled Tribes is also growing. the literacy rate among ST females in 1961 was 3. 16 % which increased to 34. 76% in 2001. Moreover the gap between the literacy rate of total and ST population is also reducing during the various decades ( 27. 28% in 1981 to the 18. 27% in 2001).
The word Himachal means mountains of snow (Him-snow and Anchal-mountain). The compact region now known as Himachal Pradesh, was in fact earlier divided into 30 odd principalities called the Punjab Hill state, which gradually gain the status of full-fledged state of the Indian Union from 25th January, 1971. The state is located on the north west of the country. The attitude of the state ranges from 350 metres to 6975 metres above the main sea level. The state has an area of 55673sq. km. Himachal Pradesh is divided into 3 zones, 12 districts, 51 subdivisions, 72 blocks, 2922 Gram Panchayats having 16997 villages.
Himachal Pradesh after getting the status of full- fledged state started making concerted efforts to improve the economic conditions of the state. The state has made significant efforts in developing an educational and health infrastructure and transport and communication networks. These advances have made a positive impact on socioeconomic and demographic status of the state. The Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti districts, in their entirety, and Pangi and Bharmour (now tehsil Bharmour and sub-tehsil Holi) Sub-Divisions of Chamba district constitute the Scheduled areas in the State, fulfilling the minimum criterion of 50% S. T.population.
Tribes of Himachal Pradesh are scattered in different parts of this state and have occupied a considerable percentage of India. The tribal communities residing in different parts of Himachal Pradesh are sociable and by their own culture and tradition, they have marked their position in the Indian subcontinent. Dancing, musical melodies, festivals, fairs etc. bore evidence to it. They are by nature nomadic people and their customs and social structure make them identifiable from each other. The tribal population constitute the Kinners or Kinnaure, the Lahules, the Spitians, the Pangwalas, the Gaddis and the Gujjars.
Their permanent and semi-permanent dwelling places are in Kinnaur, Lahaul. Pangi and Gadderan (Chamba and Bharmaur). As far as the occupations are concerned, these tribes of Himachal Pradesh have taken up the occupations including rearing of cattle and also raising of wool. There are quite a handful of tribes of Himachal Pradesh who have adapted to occupations like cultivation and also horticulture. The tribal population of Himachal Pradesh from 1951 to 2011 has been given in table-3.
It is clear from table that Himachal Pradesh has a total population of 6,077900 as per the Census of India 2001 and the ST population stands as 4.02% of the total population. The population of Himachal has been increasing continuously over the years. However the growth rate of total population shows a decreasing trend over the last three decades. The schedule tribe population percentage to total population was just 0. 26% in 1951 which has increased to 4. 02% in the 2001.
Table 3 Total population vis-a-vis scheduled tribe population of H. P.
|Year||Total Population||Decennial Growth rate(Percentage)||Female per 000 male||
Population of Schedule Tribes (Percentage)
|1951||2385981||5. 42||912||0. 26|
|1961||2812463||17. 87||938||4. 35|
|1981||4280818||23. 71||973||4. 61|
|1991||5170877||20. 79||976||4. 22|
|2001||6077900||17. 54||968||44. 02|
Source: State Statistical Abstract of H. P. 2010-11, Department of Economics & Statistics, H. P. Shimla-9, Govt. Press, (-) indicates data not available. EDUCATION IN HIMACHAL PRADESH Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest literacy rates in India next to Kerala. Himachal Pradesh has a literacy rate of 83. 78 per cent and gender ratio at 974/1000, according to the 2011 Census figures. Hamirpur District is among the top districts in the country for literacy.
Education rates among women are quite encouraging in the state. In recent years, Himachal Pradesh has reversed a previous negative trend and achieved the lowest dropout rates both for both Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. This is due to active state intervention in the educational field, as primary education has remained a consistent priority of the state government, despite different political parties assuming power in the past years. This has provided the necessary conditions for Himachal Pradesh to achieve and sustain an impressive level of success in the primary education sector ( De et al, 2002).
The standard of education in the state has reached to a considerably high level as compared to other states in India (Educational Profile of Himachal Pradesh, 2007). The state has several reputed educational institutes for higher studies. The government is working constantly to prepare various plans and projects in order to strengthen the education system of the state. In meeting the constitutional obligation to make primary education compulsory, Himachal has now became the first state in India to make elementary education accessible to every child in the state (Dua, 2006).
The state has committed high level of investment in providing elementary education in sparsely inhibited areas such as Lahul- Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba where school size is 13 and 23 at the primary and upper primary levels respectively. With a view to bring all eligible children to the school system and also retain them in schools, a variety of incentives have been made available to them some of which are briefly as under (Annual Tribal Area Sub-Plan 2011-12):- Primacy Classes (I-V): a) Free textbooks are provided to all students studying in tribal areas. b) Free writing material is provided to the students in Tribal Area.
c) Free Uniform is provided to students in the Tribal area. Middle Classes (VI – VIII): a) Free Text Books are provided to all the ST Students studying in classes I to VIII. b) 15 Free Hostels have been established for ST Students where in addition to free boarding & lodging, Rs. 100/- p. a. is also given to them for the purchase of writing material. c) Education is free to all up to 8th Class, whereas the Girls Education free up to University level including profession courses within the State. Elementary Education: Directorate of Primary Education was set up in 1984 further renamed as Directorate of Elementary Education w. e.
f. 1-11-2005 with an objective to improve access, quality and help in achieving the ultimate goal of universalisation of elementary education. Hot Mid Day Meal: National programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education popularly known as Mid Day Meal Scheme is being implemented in Primary Schools of the State w. e. f. 15th August, 1995, with an objective of Universalisation of Primary Education, to increase enrollment, retention and attendance, simultaneously, redressing to the problem of under-nutrition among students in primary classes. Sarv-Shiksha Abhiyan: This programme was started in the State during the year 2001-02.
Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan launched by the Government of India for achieving the goal of Universal Elementary Education (UEE) in the country has also been adopted by the State Government. Its objective is to provide elementary education to all children up to the age of 6-14 years. Education of girls and children belonging to the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are identified for special focus. Secondary Education: The schemes are as a) Infrastructure Improvement. b) Incentives to attract and retain the students in the schools. c) Free Hostels at Sangla, Killar, Saach, Keylong, Tabo, Bharmour and Holi.
d) Various Scholarships. e) Free Text Books. f) Recurring exp. on Eklvya Model Residential School Nichar, Distt. Kinnaur g) Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Govt. of India has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsorred Scheme Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan to universalize access to improve quality of education at Secondary stage during 11th Five Year Plan 2007-12. Technical Education:To provide vocational training to the students of tribal areas of the State, five Industrial Training Institutes viz. Reckong Peo in Distt. Kinnaur, Bharmour & Pangi at Killar in Distt.
Chamba, Udaipur(Lahaul) and Rong- Tong(Spiti) in District Lahaul & Spiti are functioning in the state. In addition to above, one Industrial Training Institute for women at Reckong Peo in Distt. Kinnaur is also functioning. Himachal Pradesh has a literacy rate of 83. 78%, according to the 2011 Census figures. As shown in table 4, in 2011 the overall literacy rate was about 83. 78% with male literacy rate of 90. 83% and female literacy rate 76. 60%. It is clear from table 5, Literacy percentage among Scheduled tribes has increased from 47. 1% in 1991 to 65. 5%in 2001 the males literacy rate was 77.
Himachal Pradesh has one of the highest literacy rates in India next to Kerala. The standard of education in the state has reached to a considerably high level as compared to other states in India. In meeting the constitutional obligation to make primary education compulsory, Himachal has now became the first state in India to make elementary education accessible to every child in the state. Efforts made from the beginning of the planned era (1951) through various developmental plans, policies, special strategies and programmes, have registered a definite quantifiable improvement in the socio-economic status of the tribal.
In H. P. the parents and the community assign great importance to the education of their children, therefore enrollment of tribal students has been increased steadily as shown in table-8. Moreover systematic measures have been adopted by state government to enroll out of school children. The drop-out rate, which is another crucial indicator in the field of educational development, also shows that there has been a steady decline in respect of both general and ST categories in Himachal Pradesh as clear from table-9.
The dropout rate of schedule tribal students is only 2. 65%. Himachal Pradesh Government on the one hand is making efforts to improve the accessibility to the schooling facilities by relaxing norms and opening the schools in the remote areas at the same time planning to use the school building as academic resource centre for the benefits of children and retain these building to facilitate community based educational activities in the form of computer centre, library centre and even u.
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