Video | “Our values, farming, song and dances”: Tribal and indigenous peoples’ education must be rooted in the people’s own land, language and culture – Survival International

Factory Schools: crimes against children from Survival International on Vimeo.

Two million tribal and indigenous children are in Factory Schools today. Lives are destroyed and families are torn apart as the children are intentionally alienated from their community and stripped of their identity.

Please watch, share and then join our campaign to stop #FactorySchools and help put indigenous education under indigenous control.

All those children that are studying at KISS they are not able to learn our traditional way of farming. This is a very sad thing. The world depends on farming. They don’t know how to sow the seeds, nor the paddy. Nothing in our culture interests them anymore. The school leaves them half ignorant. They’re forgetting our values, farming, song and dances. Our vital traditions are being lost. They are bing ‘modernized’ […] They see us as inferior beings. – A tribal mother’s concerns, transcribed (accessed 28 March 2021)

Today around two million tribal children worldwide are being taught in Factory Schools, where they are stripped of their indigenous identity and indoctrinated to conform to the dominant society.

We’re on a mission to end Factory Schooling. Tribal and indigenous peoples’ education must be under their control; it must be rooted in the people’s own land, language and culture; and instil pride in themselves and their people.

Help us put indigenous education back under indigenous control. […]

Big corporations and extractive industries often sponsor Factory Schools. These companies want to profit from indigenous land, labor and resources, and Factory Schools are a cheap means to try to secure this in the long term.

Extractive industries in India and Mexico support schools which teach children to embrace mining, and to reject the connection their people have to their lands as “primitive.” States use schooling as a means of inculcating patriotism  […] 

Date visited: 30 June 2020

Adivasi communities traditionally depended on the forest for all their nutritional needs. They subsisted mainly on fruits, vegetables, tubers, fish, small game as well as the occasional crop they grew, predominantly coarse grains. However, as time passed and the nature of, as well as their access to, forests changed, their diet started becoming deficient. […]

This deficiency started manifesting in the form of rampant malnutrition, among adults and children alike, underweight babies as well as high maternal mortality [and] increased susceptibility to Tuberculosis among the Adivasis.

Blog post “Gardening their way to Good Health” by ACCORD – Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development >>

Learn from M S Swaminathan – a world renowned scientist – how biological diversity contributes to public health, people’s livelihood and environmental security in addition to food security: his call on fellow citizens to use and share resources in a more sustainable and equitable manner; outlining the long journey from the 1992 Earth Summit to a commitment to foster inherited knowledge through India’s Biodiversity Act and Genome Saviour Award; an award intended to reward those who are “primary conservers” – guardians of biological diversity!

More about the work of his foundation which “aims to accelerate use of modern science and technology for agricultural and rural development to improve lives and livelihoods of communities.” – | Regarding the issues of food security raised above, and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets, read an in-depth report that concludes that “the tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious” >>

Backgrounder & image © Economic Times >>
  • Ekalavya* Residential School Scheme (EMR): a network of boarding schools where tribal children are to be educated in accordance with rules and syllabi provided by the government; such schools are being designated as “Eklavya Model Residential School (EMR)” with the objective of empowering students “to be change agent, beginning in their school, in their homes, in their village and finally in a large context.” – Government Guidelines 2010 | Backup >>
  • Residential School and Ashram School
    In some regions there are similar “Residential Schools” and “Ashram Schools” for tribal children, as in Tripura where they are managed by a society called “Tripura Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TTWREIS)” – Tribal Welfare Department, Government of Tripura
  • Factory schools “exist to turn tribal and indigenous children – who have their own language and culture – into compliant workers-of-the-future. The world’s largest Factory School stated that it turns ‘Tax consumers into tax payers, liabilities into assets’.” –

    Up-to-date information about these and related issues: Safe custom search engine >>

* Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya): the name of a legendary archer prodigy “who, being a Nishada [Sanskrit Niṣāda, “tribal, hunter, mountaineer, degraded person, outcast”], had to give his thumb as a fee to the brahmin guru thus terminating his skill as an archer.” – Romila Thapar (“The epic of the Bharatas”) | Read the full paper here | Backup download link (pdf) >>

Note: “Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” amounts to genocide, which the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention defines as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” (Article II, d & e)

Learn more about Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools | Rights of Indigenous Peoples >>

Tip: click on any red marker for details on endangered languages in a particular region of India. This map is bound to be incomplete as recent surveys in-depth studies on this subject have revealed. 

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