ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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

A Synthesis of a Six-State Qualitative Study

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.

Based on a study commissioned by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Government of India in 2012. The principal investigators were Vimala Ramachandran and Taramani Naorem. The state reports were prepared by: A Padma and P Prasanthi of Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samatha Society; Gita Rani Bhattacharya of Assam Mahila Samata Society; Ajay Kumar Jha, Taramani Naorem and Ajay Kumar Singh of A N Sinha Institute of Social Sciences, Patna and Educational Consultants India, Delhi; Anjali Noronha and Kavita Suresh of Eklavya in Bhopal; and Shobhita Rajagopal and Radheshayam Sharma of the Institute for Development Studies, Jaipur.

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