Category Archives: Education and literacy

“The goal is to prepare some model students in our villages, so that others will be inspired to follow them.” – Santal educationist Boro Baski in “Long-term success of non-formal Adivasi school in West Bengal” (D+C Development and Cooperation, 2 July 2009)

“[A]bout 40 per cent of school absence in rural India is ­attributed to only one factor: malnutrition.” – Damayanti Datta in “Rage Of A Silent, Invisible Killer Called Malnutrition – Why Shining India Is In Grip Of An Epic Calamity” (Outlook Magazine, 26 August 2019)

“A sustainable improvement in the quality would happen only when there is an effort to improve quality along with inclusion. This cannot be achieved by creating a few centers of excellence.” – V. Santhakumar (Azim Premji University) in: “Only small, consistent steps can improve the quality of education in India” (Economics in Action, 11 October 2019)

“The concept of public education is based on the objective of inclusiveness. What are the consequences of this overnight switch to a digital mode when a large segment of population remains digitally excluded? […] The path we now follow focusses only on people who are digitally privileged. People without access to resources, data and devices have been left in the cold.” – K.S. Madhavan in “Kerala: Path we’ve taken favours privileged” (Times of India, 3 June 2020)

“A most important truth, which we are apt to forget, is that a teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame.” – Rabindranath Tagore quoted in Santiniketan (1961, p. 28)

“Recently, one of my tribal friends spoke warmly of Murmu’s genuine concern for higher education in Jharkhand. Yet, how can this be ensured for tribals without providing quality education for them at the primary and secondary levels? Many ST seats [i.e. reserved for students from ‘backward communities’ labelled ST for ‘Scheduled Tribes’] are not filled in professional colleges because the candidates are not found suitable.” – Santali poet, scholar and translator Ivy Imogene Hansdak in “Presidential elections: An Adivasi in high office” (Indian Express, 16 July 2022)

“Literacy rate among the [Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups] has gone up significantly over the past. From a single digit literacy rate, the figures have increased to 30 to 40 % in many of the PVTGs. However, as is the case with entire India, female literacy rate is still considerably lower compared to male counterpart.” – “The Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups of India — Privileges and Predicaments” (published by the Anthropological Survey of India AnSI), quoted by Shiv Sahay Singh in “Vulnerable tribes: lost in a classification trap” (The Hindu, 8 April 2017)

“The Big-brother attitude of educators must end. The approach to tribal education has to be a two-way transaction of give and take, based on an informed appreciation of traditional tribal values and wisdom.” – Uma Ram (Professor & Head Department of English, Kakatiya PG College, Chhattisgarh) in Issues in Tribal Education in Bastar, Chhattisgarh (Folklore Foundation, Lokaratna, Volume IV 2011)

“History is becoming a cataclysm. You’re given a question and you are given an answer. You stick with that question and you stick with that answer, don’t ask another question and don’t look for another answer. Which is why one is so worried about the New Education Policy.” – Romila Thapar (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) interviewed by Karan Thapar in “I Don’t Like Modi’s India, It Is Too Narrow and Limited” (The Wire, 12 August 2022)

“In North India it is still common to reprimand a child: study or else you’ll cut grass; the prospect of manual work invoked as a threat. Education was valued because it could widen the distance from the labouring multitudes.” – Author and diplomat Pavan K. Varma in Being Indian: Inside the Real India (2005), p.104

“Education has to liberate a person from narrow world view and the boundaries of caste, community, race and gender. Teachers have been entrusted with the responsibility of moulding the young minds to understand the world and make it better.” – Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India (National Award 2014 to Teachers)

“Janakiamma has not had formal education, but she is now the director of a farmer producer company in the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu. Started by the tribal people, for the tribal people, Aadhimalai Pazhangudiyinar Producer Company Ltd (APPCL), located in Kotagiri in Nilgiris, has seven directors from the indigenous communities at the helm of affairs. .” – Arathi Menon in “Aadhimalai, winner of UN Equator Prize from Nilgiris, offers a lesson in indigenous economics” (Mongabay Series: Eco Hope, 20 December 2021)

“There are many indices one can use to measure the shocking failures of education, even as it is conventionally understood, in India today. The stories of state-run schools that are in absolute shambles are legion, and have been documented by thousands of researchers, journalists, and social workers. More than seventy years after independence, the effective countrywide literacy rate is less than 50%; in some districts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, female literacy rates still hover at 10%. The best public universities have been gutted; all that is left is a shambolic display of awards of “excellence”, a word as shorn of content as any. In one instance the award has been to an institute of higher education that does not even exist.” – “The Undeveloped Heart: Gandhi on Education” by Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA), 15 October 2019

“Nearly one in every twelve humans is a young Indian for whom meaningful education is of critical importance. […] If knowledge is the core of education and if education lays the very foundation of a nation, the author [Ganesh Devy] argues that it is of critical importance that the plight of educational institutions and the need to generate knowledge appropriate to India are addressed without any delay.” – Book Review: The crisis within by Ganesh [G.N.] Devy (Privy Trifles for The Book Shelf, 24 June 2017)

“Due to the pandemic, the school has been closed. However, teaching has not really stopped. Teachers make short videos and send them to the students’ parents. Whenever the students watch the videos, they respond on the WhatsApp group.” – B Ramdas, co-founder of Viswa Bharati Vidyodaya Trust (VBVT) in “The story of YouTube channel Kaathadi and how it’s empowering tribal communities in TN” by Megha Kaveri featuring “Kaathadi”, an innovative YouTube channel accessible to all learners ( Education, 18 July 2020)

“At the core of any higher education policy lies the notion of a university [distinguished] from its medieval forerunners by envisaging for it an autonomous sphere in relation to the emerging nation-state. Universities are thus required to be ‘incubators of ideas and innovations’.” – Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University Kolkata (The Telegraph, 30 September 2020)

“[The] morungs of the Nagas, the dhumkuria of the Santals and the gotuls of the Gonds [are] equivalents to schooling systems in mainstream societies.” – Subhadra Mitra Channa in Anthropological Perspectives on Indian Tribes, quoted by Richard Kamei in “Uncivilising the Mind: How anthropology shaped the discourse on tribes in India” (Caravan Magazine, 1 March 2021)

“On a very small scale compared to the widely promoted homogenising mega-schools, [alternative schools] respect diversity and are sensitive to the socio-cultural and political context of the children. […] The notion of ‘mainstreaming’ needs to be challenged not just because Adivasi culture is being crushed, but also because Adivasi values and ways of life offer insights that the ‘mainstream’ needs.” – Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021)

“The educational establishment has entrenched interests within it for whom the improvement of Adivasi education is not a priority and who may even look down upon them as second-class citizens.” – Amman Madan, Rama Sastry and B Ramdas in “Social Movements and Educational Change: A Case Study of the Adivasi Munnetra Sangam” (The Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 54, Issue No. 5, 02 Feb, 2019, Social Movements and Educational Change)

India’s tribal cultural heritage – Haryana

Posted in Anthropology, Cultural heritage, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Languages and linguistic heritage, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Organizations, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Resources, Success story, Tips | Comments Off on India’s tribal cultural heritage – Haryana

Constructive action is our only future – Prof. Ganesh Devy on the “adivasiness of the tribals” in Gujarat

WHEN Gujarat was burning between 27 February and 4 March [2002], the tribal belt on the eastern border of Gujarat was quiet. The only exception was the two districts of Panchmahals for which Godhra is the main town. Elsewhere in … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Assimilation, Commentary, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Education and literacy, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rural poverty, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Constructive action is our only future – Prof. Ganesh Devy on the “adivasiness of the tribals” in Gujarat

eBook & eJournal | Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative: Conference report – New Delhi

Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through NarrativeReport for the ICSSR-sponsored Two-Day National Conference organised by The Department of English & Outreach Programme Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi on 27-28 February 2017 Read or download the full report (printfriendly PDF, … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, eBook eJournal ePaper, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Film, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Wayanad | Comments Off on eBook & eJournal | Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative: Conference report – New Delhi

eBook | The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Human Rights Day (10 December): “India must ratify the International Convention against Torture”

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, eBook eJournal ePaper, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Tagore and rural culture, Tribal culture worldwide, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on eBook | The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Human Rights Day (10 December): “India must ratify the International Convention against Torture”

eBook | “Indigenous cultures and knowledge systems at risk”: Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 – United Nations

Indigenous languages are connected to nature. With the ability, for instance, to recognise over a thousand plants and know the medicinal uses of each one, the level of nature knowledge is far beyond what most major world languages have. This … Continue reading

Posted in Biodiversity, eBook eJournal ePaper, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Languages and linguistic heritage, Multi-lingual education, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG), Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Success story, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity | Comments Off on eBook | “Indigenous cultures and knowledge systems at risk”: Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 – United Nations