Odisha has high number of tribal people, as much as 22.8% of 4 crore population in Odisha consists of people belonging to Scheduled Tribes. Various primary schools in tribal areas have been facing the issue of high dropouts. Medium of teaching is considered to be the reason behind high drop outs from the schools. The tribal community of Odisha were finding Odia language tough to understand. Students don’t have any other option except for dropping out of the schools because of the fact that, most school books were in Odia language and very tough for them to study.
Southern parts of Odisha with tribal community has the lowest literacy rate in the entire country. To check the drop outs, a set of seven story books in tribal languages were launched in some primary schools in Kuvi, Gadaba, Paraja languages. Pictorial representation and Odia language translation were available in the books to help the teachers to talk easily with the students.
South Orissa Voluntary Association (SOVA) in combination with Delhi based New Education Group – Foundation for Innovation and Research in Education (NEG-FIRE) had prepared these books. Word books in tribal languages with Odia translation were introduced before in 34 primary schools in this block. This was confirmed by Mr Sanjay Patnaik, Secretary of SOVA.
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According to Mr. Trinath Rao, District Welfare Officer, multi-lingual method of teaching in atleast three residential schools for SC and ST students were launched. Plans to introduce in other schools having 70% to 90% monolingual tribal students is also in the process. He was also of the opinion that apart from checking drop rates, these measures would also encourage multi lingual teaching methods in tribal schools in India.
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