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Press Release from Odisha Adivasi Mancha

“A language relevant education is a right of tribal children”  Bhubaneswar, 25th September 2012

“A language relevant education is a right of tribal children” says Odisha Adivasi Manch’s state Convener Shri Ido Mandal. Odisha Adivasi Manch (OAM) today called for a state level consultation on Mother Tongue based Multilingual Early Childhood Education in tribal areas of Odisha. Representatives from 22 tribal dominated districts participated in it.OAM which had been lobbying for Forest Rights and PESA in the past has taken up the issue of education of young tribal children as their foremost demand currently. “Tribal children are scared of schools and this fear is because children are not being interacted in their mother tongue in the Anganwadi centres ; a mother tongue based early childhood education will give our children a stronger foundation and curtail the high dropout rate in later stages of education . ” added district Convenor Ms. Bidulata  Huika from Rayagada.

While OAM member Ms. Veronica Dung Dung from Sundergarh stated “Blaming the current Anganwadi system is not the solution; we have to initiate the change by bringing in a mother tongue based pre-school education for our children”. OAM which had started its advocacy on ECE in mother tongue in ten districts is spreading its operation to twelve more tribal districts in Odisha. The consultation was a platform for OAM members to share their field based evidences on the current state of education in the Anganwadis and discuss on how to influence policy makers through the post card campaigns and sensitization workshops.

OAM has been demanding for inclusion of a separate chapter in the draft policy on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) by Government of India, a state policy on mother tongue based preschool in tribal areas, appointment of tribal angawandi workers and relaxation of eligibility criteria; proper infrastructure, culture appropriate curriculum and all mini anganwadis to get status of anganwadis.

For further details, please contact:

Sudhir Digal
Odisha Adivashi Mancha
Cell Phone: 9437091522
Preeti Prada
Cell Phone: 7873927555

The Odisha Adivasi Mancha, an apex level tribal people’s network representing tribals of 15 districts of Odisha.  It was initiated in the year 1994 at Paburia in Kondhamal.  At present the OAM is active in 78 blocks spread over 20 districts of Odisha.