ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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A Synthesis of a Six-State Qualitative Study

What It Means To Be a Dalit or Tribal Child in Our Schools

The findings of a qualitative study commissioned by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in six states - Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan - during 2011-12 to look at inclusion and exclusion in schools may not be original. But they make it possible for policymakers to officially acknowledge the prevalence of exclusionary practices in schools and the urgent need to address them. One of the overarching insights from this study is the need to view inclusion and exclusion from different vantage points: from the outside (who goes to what kind of school); from the inside (what happens inside the school); and in society (who is visible and who is not visible; for example, seasonal or new migrants are often invisible in data on out-of-school children). Equally significant is the influence of the larger society and social norms on what happens inside a school, the attitude and behaviour of teachers and the involvement or lack of involvement of parents and community leaders. Political and social assertion of the rights of dalits and adivasis also influences practices and attitudes.



 

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