Tribal Education : Rani Kajal School, Madhya Pradesh
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Educating the minority groups is an essential part in the process of ensuring that the Right to Education is fulfilled. This is especially important in the case of Tribal groups, who are the oldest inhabitants of the country. Due to their unique culture and tradition, they often isolate themselves from the rest of the country. This has adversely affected national integration and also made them more susceptible to exploitation by the dominant groups.
The following is a case study of Rani Kajal Jeevan Shala, a school for the Bhil Tribes of Madhya Pradesh, India:
The Rani Kajal School was started through the initiative of the Bhil Tribes along the bank of the Narmada river. The medium of instruction in the formative years of the child is Bhilali, the native language. Later, only as the child becomes proficient in studying, are the standard Hindi textbooks, conforming to the syllabus of the Board of Education, introduced. The fee can be paid in both cash and kind. The local environment provides the material for scientific learning through observation and analysis. Local history as related by the elders is recorded for the history lessons. In addition to their studies, the children have to put in two hours of labour everyday on the three-acre farm of the school so as to ensure that they do not lose touch with their peasant farmer roots.
The students of this school have consistently topped in the board examinations of their block. For the first time, girls form the villages on the banks of Narmada have received education and one of them even went on to become a teacher. The school has three teachers who’re also part of the tribal group, one of whom is physically challenged.
Points To Consider –
· Since the child is taught in their native language initially, by tribal teachers, he/she does not feel alienated.
· The mode of payment is flexible, i.e the fee can be paid in cash and kind. This reduces the financial burden of the parents and also ensures that the school has a regular source of income.
· Method of imparting education is well integrated and in harmony with the prevailing social system and economy of the tribes.
· The two-hour labour on the farm also provides them vocational training.