Seeking to check the dropouts of tribal children at pre-primary level, Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights is working on a scheme to introduce their indigenous language and culture in anganwadies in settlements.
The proposed “theme-based curriculum” will give thrust to the traditional language and culture of tribal communities.
The main objective of the project is to make tribal children comfortable in the atmosphere of anganwadis and check their large-scale dropouts reported in many settlements, Meena C U, a KSCPCR member, said.
A team of the panel recently visited tribal colonies in Attappady in Palakkad, one of the major tribal settlements in the state and evaluated the situation at anganwadies, she said.
“A large number of tribal children have stopped coming to anganwadis as they feel alienated in the new atmosphere. But this trend can be changed if they experience their language and culture at the educational institutions,” she said.
In the proposed “theme-based-approach”, the indigenous language of tribals will be used at the anganwadis to interact with the students.
“Their folk songs, traditional toys and food will help tribal children get rid of the feeling of alianation and make them feel like home there. But, at the same time, the standard language will also be taught. Because then only children can pursue higher education,” she said.
The framework, prepared with the support of the state Social Justice and SC and ST Departments and various other agencies, is expected to be completed by January.
“We are planning to implement the scheme at Attappady on an experimental basis. If it is found successful, we will prepare a detailed report in this regard and submit to the
State government,” she said.