Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes Research and Training Institute (SCSTRTI), Bhubaneswar, 751003
Achievement of "Universal Primary Education" is the second goal under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by United Nations. As tribals comprise a significant proportion to the national population, i.e., 8.6 percent and 22.8 percent of the state population is tribal (Census, 2011), it is apparent that education of tribals plays a major role in achieving the MDG. In this context, the present study attempts to understand the causes of school dropout, non-enrolment of tribal students in the schools and identify the needs of the youths who have left the school in the middle or never been to school.
The focus of the study was more on identification of the needs of the youths of these categories and understand the reasons for leaving the school. The study also looked in to the effectiveness of current schemes / programmes of the Government. The schemes / programmes that are linked to promote education among the tribals in a systematic manner and current support mechanism to improve their economic status. The scope of the study was confined to the schools that are managed by ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Department, Government of Odisha. The study covered a total of 352 dropout youths, 152 out of school youths(16-24 years), 43 teachers and 78 other key informants to understand the needs of the dropouts and out of school children. The samples were drawn from 4 Educational Circles of Odisha covering 7 districts and 65 villages.
The major reasons of dropouts are both economic and non-economic in nature. Providing required financial support to the family (72.44percent) observed to be the major reason for leaving school by the tribal students.