Access to (higher) education and employment: Papers presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

Parallel Session 5: Indigenous Communities Negotiating with Modernity
Chaired by: Prof. Sonajharia Minz, School of Computer & Systems Sciences, JNU, New Delhi, India.
Paper Presenters: Vijay Baraik (IGNOU, New Delhi), Dhaneshwar Bhoi & Neelima Rashmi Lakra (TISS, Mumbai), Bidyut Suman Ekka (TISS, Mumbai), Gomati Bodra Hembrom (JMI, New Delhi).
Vijay Baraik presented a paper titled “Tribal Education and Employment Situation in Jharkhand.” In the context of the glaring contradiction of rich resourcefulness on the one hand and dire poverty and backwardness on the other hand, which is the reality of Jharkhand, this paper analysed the situation of tribal education and employment in the State, based on secondary data from government and non-government sources.
Dhaneshwar Bhoi and Neelima Rashmi Lakra presented a paper titled “Scheduled Tribes Access to Higher Education and Employability Question.” This paper analysed the accessibility of tribal students to higher education and its impact on their employability at a national level. This paper also studied the socio-economic and educational background of the tribal students, the environmental condition in their families and neighbourhoods, and the facilities and support system available to them to continue education in comparison to non-tribal students and the corresponding ratio of their employability.
Bidyut Suman Ekka presented a paper titled “Education as a means of Entrepreneurial Exploration: A Multiple Case Study Approach among the tribes of Odisha.” This paper delved into the rural tribal people’s advantage of the formal and informal education in exploring entrepreneurial ventures. The study focused on detailed analysis of four tribal individuals engaged in entrepreneurial activities, and discussed the knowledge acquired through formal and informal education, its usability in accessing credit under Government programmes, and applying that knowledge in technical and managerial aspects of their business practices.
Gomati Bodra Hembrom presented a paper titled “Adivasi Script Movement: Identity, Education and Cultural Revitalisation.” This paper was a sociological analysis of the script movement among the Adivasis in Orissa and Jharkhand. It also examined how the script movement has been vital to the institutions of education, identity question and cultural revitalization.
(Student Rapporteur: Ms. Kanu Priya)

Source: Report for the ICSSR-sponsored Two-Day National Conference Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative organised by The Department of English & Outreach Programme Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi, 27-28 February 2017)

Abstract 38: Tribal Education and Employment Situation in Jharkhand

VIJAY BARAIK

School of Sciences, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi

KEYWORDS: POVERTY, ILLITERACY, EMPLOYMENT, TRIBAL, URBAN

Jharkhand is a region of vast physical and cultural diversity along with wide disparity. The region possesses contradiction in development with coexistence of glaring paradoxical situations. Roughly 40 per cent of the mineral resources of the country are in the state and some of the minerals of the country are found only in Jharkhand. Yet the poverty level is one of the highest among all states in the country. More than 70 per cent main workers engaged in primary activities and large unemployed population exist despite the presence of well known Asia’s first iron and steel industry, world’s one of the few heavy engineering establishments of that time, India’s automobile giant-Tata Motors, and many other industries with mining activities in the state. Large numbers of villages remain illiterate amid most modern educational establishments in the state. Vast potential of manpower and human resources are available but end up wasted due to lack of opportunity. Large areas and numbers of villages are inaccessible or services and facilities are still inaccessible for those villages still confining as cul-de-sac forcing people to live in isolation and many decades behind the normal and modern urban population. Very poor living conditions of the PTGs are hard realities. The state is characterized with indigenous people and realized due to their longstanding demand for separate state, but aspirations remain a distant hope. There is a lack of forward and backward bearings (infrastructure without outcome, education without jobs, local resources without employment generation, etc.). Amid this situation, employment in the state for educated tribal youth is a distant dream and thus employability of education has weakened among them. Stranded tribal youth in considerable number including sizeable educated ones are opting for out migration in search of employment and livelihood despite adverse and often harsh movement/out-migration and working conditions outside the state.

In the above background, this paper examines the situation of tribal education and employment in Jharkhand.  It also attempts to look into the attainments and challenges in this direction. The study is primarily based on secondary data from the Census of India, National Sample Survey, NCERT, DISE, NUIPA and other government and non-government sources.

BIONOTE: Dr. Vijay Kumar Baraik is currently working as Associate Professor of Geography in the School of Sciences, IGNOU, New Delhi. His area of interest is regional development and planning. He has published books, research papers and popular articles on the issues of development and disparity, development and deprivation, health and education among the Tribes in Jharkhand. He may be contacted at the email ID: vijaybaraik@ignou.ac.in.

Abstract 8: Scheduled Tribes, Access to Higher Education and Employability Question

DHANESHWAR BHOI & NEELIMA RASHMI LAKRA

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

KEYWORDS: EDUCATION, ACCESSIBILITY, EMPLOYABILITY, VULNERABLE GROUPS

Education in India has not been widely attained by all communities even after 68 years of independence. The accessibility of the Indian education system has been limited to some few selected social groups. Some of these groups are vulnerable and are still far behind the mainstream society and development. Among those groups, the Scheduled Tribes are one of the most vulnerable groups. In education, the term ‘access’ typically refers to the ways in which educational institutions and policies ensure – or at least strive to ensure – that students have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. Increasing access generally requires schools to provide additional services or remove any actual or potential barriers that might prevent some students from equitable participation in certain courses or academic programs. Factors such as ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, perceived intellectual ability, past academic performance, special-education status, language ability, and family income or educational-attainment levels – in addition to factors such as relative community affluence, geographical location, or school facilities – may contribute to certain students having less “access” to educational opportunities (opportunity gap) than other students. This would lead to achievement gap in their academic as well as co-curricular growth. Chitnis’ (1981) study on educational status of vulnerable groups [Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST)] had concluded that it was a “long way to go… to attain education for disadvantages groups”. Even after six decades of Independence, tribal education is far from expectation and with low employability in national and state level services. 

This paper would like to explore the accessibility of higher education, be it at the higher secondary level, which is the entry point for any technical education and/or at university education level, which directly impacts the employability of Scheduled Tribes at the national level. It also aims to analyse the socio-economic and educational background of the tribal students, the environmental condition in the family and neighbourhood, and the facilities and support system available to continue education in comparison to non-tribal students and the ratio of employability, for the same comparison. The conclusion follows that access to higher education and employability in the present education system, over the past 40 years is highly unsatisfactory in terms of job representation and still has A long way to go.

BIONOTES: Dhaneshwar Bhoi has completed his PhD at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and is currently working at the National University of Educational Planning and Administration, New Delhi He may be contacted at the email ID: dhaneshwar.bhoi@gmail.com

Neelima Rashmi Lakra is currently pursuing her PhD at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She may be contacted at the email ID: neelimalakra@gmail.com

Abstract 6: Education as a means of Entrepreneurial Exploration: A Multiple Case Study Approach among the Tribes of Odisha

BIDYUT SUMAN EKKA

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

KEYWORDS: FORMAL EDUCATION, VOCATIONAL TRAINING, TRIBES, GLOBALIZATION, CREDIT ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Education has been debated as a tool to achieve holistic sustainable development of a society. When it comes to marginalised sections of the society its implication becomes more essential.  Indian tribes are also the marginalised section of the Indian society.  Traditionally they had been living in a sustainable ecosystem with their own socio-economic and cultural set up. The tribal lifestyle and ecosystem have been thoroughly disturbed since the time of the impingement of outsiders during the colonial period and mainly after independence. In the name of development and globalisation the exploitation has increased. A lot of programmes and policies have been implemented for the development of the tribals. Education being an essential means of development has also been promoted among the tribes.  Various studies show high school dropout cases among the tribals, but there are tribals who have been able to have secondary, higher secondary and higher education paving way for many employment and livelihood opportunities. Many tribals have even been able to access vocational training programme. Education has also helped them in gaining access to various credit facilities to start with various employment opportunities.

This paper is intending to explore the rural tribals usability of the formal and informal education in exploring entrepreneurial ventures. The study has been done in north-western part of India. A multiple case study approach has been used to understand in depth about the journey of the selected rural tribal entrepreneurs. In this 4 in-depth cases have been explored of tribal individuals having entrepreneurial activities. The study discusses about the formal and informal education and its knowledge that has been used in accessing credit under the Government programmes and applying the knowledge in technical and managerial aspect of their business practices.

BIONOTE: Bidyut Suman Ekka is currently pursuing her PhD at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She may be contacted at the email ID: paulinasuman@gmail.com

Source: Book of Abstracts for the ICSSR-sponsored Two-Day National Conference Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative organised by The Department of English & Outreach Programme Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi, 27-28 February 2017)

Courtesy Dr. Ivy Hansdak, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia University New Delhi (email 4 October 2017)

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