Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Ms. Juvena Jalal

31 Campbell Street, School of Education Policy and Implementation,
Faculty of Education, Victoria University of Wellington,
Karori Campus, Wellington 6010,
New Zealand.

Adivasi Education and the Complexities of Post-Colonial India

India has the single largest indigenous (Adivasi) population in the world: 67.75 million, constituting 8 per cent of the country’s total population. adivasis are also the most economically, socially and educationally disadvantaged group in India. This paper aims to explore the policy shifts in adivasi education at the national and state level with special emphasis on the representation of adivasi languages, cultures and knowledge in curriculum.

The adivasis of India are tribal cultures in transition and like all other cultures are establishing a relationship between the forces of assimilation and those that create their distinct identity; Egalitarianism (with erosion) versus subordination of gender relation.; Community cultures and cultures of the elite within that community; Rights based approaches versus collective control. It is a very complex structure of power…how is schooling challenging this system? How are the centres of formal and non-formal learning acting as cultural transmitter for the dominant culture?

The existing school system in India is perhaps a true reflection of the heterogeneous and hierarchical nature of the society it serves. More than 60 years after independence the dream of a Common Schooling System seems further than ever before. This brings to focus the national curriculum, which despite the disparities of schooling is common to all. Does the hope for quality education for all children of India then rest upon the National Curriculum and its state level counterparts?