Staff Reporter

The project is an attempt to reduce the vulnerabilities associated with education in the border areas of AP and Orissa

VISAKHAPATNAM: A project launched recently for raising the literacy-level among tribals living in abject poverty has come as a big relief.

Faced with malnutrition, lack of access to potable water and health care facilities due to scattered location of the hamlets in the hilly terrains, the tribals in the border end up as migratory labour with high dropout rate.

A study revealed that in Dumbriguda mandal in the district itself, for 5,000 schoolchildren, there are merely 129 primary schools, 13 upper primary schools and seven high schools.

Fourteen primary schools have no teachers. Some118 habitations are deprived of schools of their own.

The literacy-level is around 26 per cent. Most of the existing schools have no toilets and drinking water.

Under the National Education Group for Innovations and Research in Education (NEG-FIRE), a project has been launched to educate children from marginalised and downtrodden tribal communities in the border areas of Andhra and Orissa to deal with the education and other issues in five panchayats covering 26 villages.

Partner NGO

By partnering with local NGO Nature, an attempt is being made to reduce the vulnerabilities associated with education in the border areas. An official said under the project, they were trying to correct the anomalies applying certain key activities of forming an interstate network, generating a child and migrant database and forming children’s cabinets at the school and community-levels.

Under the project, an action plan is prepared to strengthen community-based organisations, existing tribal youth federations and orienting them on child rights, augmenting gram panchayats, convergence with the agencies concerned, orienting women’s groups on basic health issues, mainstreaming child and bonded child labourers to educational institutions.

The project also envisages campaigning against child marriages and strengthening anganwadi centres and health sub-centres primarily with a view to assure the continuing educational opportunities by making the system appropriate and prone to the studies of children in the border areas.