Kerala

University for tribes to be set up in three years

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The State government is gearing up to bring about a radical change in the education of the marginalised sections of society by setting up a university of international standards only for tribal children in three years.

The proposed project is aimed at providing quality education, with emphasis on vocational education, to the tribal children from the primary level to the postgraduate and research level. The institution will have a curriculum that will help preserve the unique culture and ethnic knowledge of the tribal people. The institution is modelled on the lines of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences at Bhubaneswar in Odisha, S. Harikishore, Wayanad Sub-Collector who is also the nodal officer of the project, told The Hindu after a visit to the Kalinga institute recently.

He said there were nearly 30,000 tribal students studying in various schools in the State. However, the existing infrastructure for tribal children, such as model residential schools and pre-matric hostels, could cater to only 4,000 to 5,000 children a year. Others opted for government schools for primary education. Hence, issues such as dropout rate of tribal children, malnutrition, and quality education were yet to be addressed properly. The proposed institution would help resolve the issues, he said.

Culture to be preserved

The project also aimed at conserving tribal culture, value, ethics, and tradition, he said.

The institution would come up on 100 acres of barren land of the Priyadarshini Tea Estate at Makkimala, near Mananthavady, at an initial cost of about Rs.30 crore. The governing body of the Priyadarshini Tea Estate had resolved to provide the land for the purpose, he said.

Mr. Harikishore said a master plan for the project would be prepared by the end of September, and the construction of the hostel and academic blocks would begin in October by utilising funds from the Central pool for the welfare of the tribal people.

School first

It would take two to three years to set up a university of international standards, Mr. Harikishore said. Hence, there were plans to begin with a residential school like the Navodaya schools to cater to 350 children, from class 1 to 7 a year, from next academic year. The other parameters for the functioning of the institution such as constitution of the governing body, recruitment of teachers, and tie-up with the Kalinga institute would be decided by the end of October. The school would start functioning in June 2013 in a rented building. Classes 8 to 12 would begin in 2014, he said.

A preliminary report in this regard had been submitted to Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Tribes and Youth Affairs P.K. Jayalakshmi and the Secretary of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Department, Mr. Harikishore said.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 11:29:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/university-for-tribes-to-be-set-up-in-three-years/article3796035.ece

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