Currently, these schools are monitored by revenue officials who, according to the survey, have failed to understand the basics of education among the Adi Dravidian indigenous community and consequently the effectiveness of these schools.
The study recommended the formation of village-level committees with the participation of the families of the students so that such schools could be monitored.
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A survey conducted by two NGOs, the Center for Child Rights and Development (CCRD) and the Resource Organization for Development and Transformative Studies (RUTS), found that in August, 11 Adi Dravidian tribal schools had the highest number of students. . NGOs have visited schools in Vellore, Ranipet and Tiruvannamalai districts.
According to a report presented by NGOs on Tuesday, about 70 per cent of students in these schools have stopped their education since the onset of the epidemic.
The primary problem for these students is the lack of smartphones with internet connection for online classes, as they do not have access to state-run Calvi TV telecasting educational programs.
School staff could not even find students from the indigenous community who had left the hostel after the epidemic began. NGOs say it is a sad state of affairs in tribal education.
NGOs also found that tribal schools, especially those in Melkavanur in Vellore district and Karai in Ranipet district, had poor infrastructure.
Surprisingly, the study found that the overall decline in the number of students studying in schools run by the Department of Indigenous Welfare affected primary schools while students in middle and high schools were admitted to classes.
NGOs have recommended to the Tamil Nadu government to increase the infrastructural facilities for better admission in these schools. It suggests renovating dilapidated buildings, increasing internet connectivity in schools, providing smart classroom facilities and increasing approved funding for school hostels.
There are about 1,155 schools run by the Adivasi Dravidian Indigenous Welfare Department, some of which have been in operation since the last century.
“We have presented the report and the Tamil Nadu government has been allowed to work on it. Schools need infrastructural improvements and internet connection is needed to impart quality education to students,” a senior CCRD official told IANS.
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