Critically examine the impact of education on the tribal with suitable examples.

A tribe may be seen as a sub-group of the society. The members of a tribe live in a common territory and have a common dialect which is the prime means of communication. Each tribe has a uniform social organization and possesses cultural homogeneity. The tribal population is characterized by a heterogeneous cultural pattern with variegated economic conditions and activities depending largely on ecology.

There are also wide variations in psychological, cultural, social, economic and political background of various tribal groups. In a country like India there is a large number of tribes which because of historical and sociological reasons have stayed away from the mainstream.

The vulnerability of tribal populations to exploitation by minor government officials, as well as moneylenders, landlords and other agents of vested interests, can largely be traced to their illiteracy and general ignorance of the world outside the narrow confines of their traditional environment. Their inability to cope with the many novel forces impinging now-a-days on tribal villages and on an economy which had remained virtually unchanged for centuries is by no means due to any innate lack of intelligence.

Brought up in a system in which all communications are by word of mouth, and hence used to trusting verbal statements, they get confused by constant reference to documents and written rules, which increasingly determine all aspects of rural life. Unable to read even the receipt given by an official and obliged to put their thumb impressions on documents which they cannot understand, they are easy victims of any fraud or misrepresentation which more educated exploiters are likely to devise.

It is obvious, therefore, that a medium of literacy is indispensable as a first step towards enabling tribals to operate within the orbit of the advanced communities dominating the economic and political scene. The disadvantages under which illiterate tribals labor are multiplied in the case of those who do not even speak and understand the language.

Education for tribals who normally speak their own tongues is beset with difficulties, because the acquisition of literacy has to be combined with the learning of a language other than the mother tongue. Yet the average teacher available for tribal schools has had no training whatsoever in the technique of imparting to children what is to them a foreign language.


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