We are pleased to inform you that we are planning to organise a conference on tribal education in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh sometime in last week of April or any other date that is convenient to most of the participants.
The need for this conference has risen because of central and state governments promoting mega residential schools in tribal areas. For example, the Chhattisgarh state government has recently approved construction of 500 seater residential centres for tribal children in at least three places. It is, therefore, important to deliberate on the need of residential schools (Ashram Shalas) post Right to Education Act, 2009 which guarantees a neighbourhood primary school within one kilometre and middle school within three kilometres of every habitation.
There have also been certain experiments in providing primary education in local tribal languages. They however have fallen short in delivering the required result. It has however been observed that the learnings have been exponential where local teachers, with tribal languages as their mother tongue, have been in charge. Can imparting primary education by native teachers improve learning levels among children is a topic we wish to discuss.
Apart from the abovementioned themes, we are also interested in all the original research related to curriculum, pedagogy and unique field experiences that are relevant to the field practice of education in tribal areas. It would be helpful if you can drop a summary/synopsis of your work by April 10 so that we can take a final call about it.
From our side, we would like to share the outcome of the work we have been doing from past few years, especially Padhe Dantewada-Likhe Dantewada. This is a project to develop basic reading and writing skills among 23,000 children between 7 to 14 years age studying in government primary and middle schools.
A project to retain students between age group 14 to 18 from dropping out of schools has led us to strengthen agriculture education in the district and motivated us to develop a model which links education with various departments of government working in the field of agriculture. This not only ensures practical learning for students, but also makes students aware of the government schemes designed for them. We would like to present the model for your criticism.
In addition, it has been five years since Bachpan Banao began its work in Dantewada. We would like you to be part of the reflection process and help us plan for next five years.
We would therefore like to request you to confirm your availability and participation as soon as possible. We would be grateful if you bear the expense of your travel. However, we are willing to refund the cost by travel by train (3AC) and bus. Boarding and food arrangements would be on us.
You can reach Dantewada via Raipur which is well connected by train and flight. From Raipur sleeper buses are frequently available which would drop you to Dantewada in 10 hours. Alternatively, you can travel via Hyderabad from where Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses leave for Dantewada every evening and reaches Dantewada early next morning.
Looking forward to meet you soon…
Tata Institute of Social Sciences