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HomeEducationSystemic Discrimination of Dalits in Schools and the Death of Education

Systemic Discrimination of Dalits in Schools and the Death of Education

The decade after the Right to Education Act (RTE) put nearly all children under the Ministry of Education’s scanner, raising the gross enrollment level to over 100 percent in the lower grades. Subsequently, the focus shifted to the learning level of children.

For years we have blamed the children and the communities they come from for the low levels of learning, calling it a problem of the first generation of learners. Low family income, illiteracy, ignorance and child labor are listed as hurdles, but these are the realities of a majority of our people.

It is quite a disappointment that those who are committed to the education of the marginalized communities have reduced education to literacy.

Our think tanks only talk about fundamental literacy and numeracy rather than reviewing interpersonal interactions within the school, or the ways in which equality and inclusion are practiced in schools.

Our reports, data and funding are anchored in teaching children to read and write. It’s high time we stopped equating quality with these minimalist skills of reading and writing alone. Education is not just about A, B, C, D.

A director of a government primary school told the HRW survey team that the tribal students are a “big problem”, “their main purpose is to come and eat, not study”, and “Look how dirty they are.”

As can be seen at the school in Jalore, there is no doubt that other children of the boyhood community are not wanted and loved. They are discriminated against and unwanted because of the caste they belong to.

See also  डायट प्राचार्य ने चार विद्यालयों का किया निरीक्षण, शिक्षा की गुणवत्ता पर जोर - Diet Principal inspects four schools, emphasizes on quality of education

Whether it’s schools Kanjar villages in Bhopal district or schools in Madia Gond villages in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh run Saraswati Vidyalayas or the high-end elite schools with students in EWS (economically weaker sections) quota – the message going to these kids is clear that they don’t need to be part of school spaces.

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