Tribal Students yet to get access to English Medium
Tribal students from West Godavari district, who appeared for the Class X public examination recently from different tribal welfare and the ITDA – managed Asram residential schools, are likely to become guinea pigs for the on-going experiment on introduction of English medium in Tribal Welfare Schools.
With no access to English medium education at the plus two level in any of the tribal welfare and social welfare residential junior colleges within the district, future appears to be bleak for all of them. Introduction of English medium in tribal welfare schools began with the first batch of 400 – odd students when they were in Class V some six years ago.
Hardly half a dozen tribal welfare residential colleges with English as the medium of instruction are located in the State – two in each region in the State
They are quite unlikely to accommodate a large number of students who are coming out of the tribal welfare schools with English medium background.
“Unless the government takes a policy decision to transform all the existing Telugu medium tribal welfare residential junior colleges into English medium right from the ensuing academic year, solution is not within the sight,” a header master of a tribal welfare school told The Hindu on condition of anonymity.
The Right To Education Act ( RTE ) envisages allotment of 25 per cent of seats in corporate colleges offering plus two courses for students with poor economic and social backgrounds with the condition of the government bearing the cost of education. “ But the quota meant for tribal students within the 25 per cent of reserved seats is quite negligible and that hardly 20 students from our schools in the district may get a chance to get into corporate colleges under the RTE provision”, the head Master said.
The State government has decided to introduce English medium in tribal welfare schools in 2008 from Class V to give the tribal students a competitive edge and enable them to cope with competition at the high education level.
According to information, 40 – 50 students are found to be not exposed to even the English alphabet at the entry level. With the feeling of alienation, around 5 – 10 students run away from school every year.
The poorly trained teachers in the English medium instruction contributed their part to the poor state of affairs.
SBI Sponsors free Students’ Home
State Bank of India is sponsoring a free students’ home for boys in Anaikatti. A release said that the Bank had given a grant of 10.98 lakh for providing education to rural and tribal children in the region.
The aim was to augment the infrastructure, which the AIM for Seva movement had created there in two homes for tribal boys and girls and a hospital.
The home formed part of an all India network of 100 homes in rural and tribal regions in 15 States, where AIM for Seva operated, enabling students to realise their dreams of a prosperous future through access to quality education and uninterrupted schooling.
The release also said that around 3,000 children lived in AIM for Seva homes to attend nearby schools.
Most of them topped their class. And in the last 10 years, over 12,000 rural and tribal children had their lives transformed by the organisation.
At the function held in Anaikatti, S. Kirthivasan, General Manager, SBI, Sandeep Seth, General Manager, SBI, R. Krishnaswamy, Regional Manager, SBI, S. Lakshminarasimhan, Director, Corporate Funding, AIM for Seva, Swami Sakchatkrtananda Saraswati and others participated.
Tribal Students take to English in a Big Way
A group of poor girl students hailing from the primitive Gond tribe in Adilabad district is determined to learn English language even if it means paying a private tuition fee of 100 per month, which they can ill afford.
If anything, the students’ dedication for realising their objective is a pointer towards the direction where the thrust in tribal education should lie under present circumstances.
It is certainly an occasion for pity if tribal students even from higher classes find it difficult to introduce themselves properly despite their exposure.
“I am lost when required to fill a scholarship form in English,” points out Korenga Anjana, a second – year degree student as she talks of her difficulties arising due to lack of proficiency in the language.
“Learning computer operation has become a hard task because I do not know the operative language. I am afraid this drawback is going to cost me dearly when I face job interviews in future,” observes Pendur Anusaya, a first – year B.Com ( Computers ) student, voicing the general apprehension among students of her kind.
The group of learners consists of 11 Intermediate and Degree students who are inmates of the Giri Pragati tribal girls hostel on Tantholi road.
By sheer coincidence, the girls met Atram Tulasiram, also a Gond and now staying at Kala Ashram next door, who agreed to teach them basic English.
“Not many students from our tribe can boast of possessing even rudimentary knowledge of English. Tribal schools do not have subject teachers in English which is the root cause of the problem,” explains the tutor, who happened to learn English grammar while he was employed with a computer firm in Hyderabad until some time ago.
Mesram Manohar, the District Educational Officer ( DEO ), Agency, says the government has sanctioned 74 posts of School Assistants ( English ) for tribal schools.
However, these posts meant for upper primary and high schools may not do justice to the 30,000 tribal students at primary level who start learning the language third standard onwards.
To address the problem that starts at the lowest level of education in tribal schools, the government can subject primary teachers to orientation in English language and teaching.