Formal Schooling Not Helping Adivasi Children Get Life-Skills

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The Odisha Government efforts to promote “mainstreaming” of Adivasi children may not, after all, help them get life-skills through formal schooling.

In its opinion piece, The Wire spoke to some experts who voiced their worries about what the children were losing through formal education.

“Why do we want to fit everyone in our narrative of what is civilised? These are extremely sophisticated societies with highly evolved structures to train their younger generations in life skills. We need an alternate hegemony to appreciate other models of life,” the portal quoted co-author of the Forest Rights Act Pradeep Prabhu as saying.

According to the column, elders in Kondh communities have started sensing the rapid decline of skills among younger generations.

The Wire also spoke to Anthropologists Malvika Gupta and Felix Padel who have been working on indigenous issues in India. Voicing their concerns about the the mainstreaming of adivasis, they said: “In Kondh/Dongria culture – children are encouraged to share their dreams every morning, as a resource that derives straight from the deepest levels of awareness and inspiration […] childrens’ dreams form a vital daily input for the whole community in a way that is unimaginable in mainstream society.”

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