DHENKANAL: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought Action Taken Report (ATR) from the Education Secretary on violation of human rights of tribal children of Odisha studying in schools under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
The NHRC issued the order following a petition filed by human rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy who alleged that lack of multilingual teachers in primary schools in Dhenkanal district has affected the learning process.
This leads to learning disability among tribal children resulting in rise in drop-out rate. Tripathy filed the petition following a report published in this paper on July 20. Out of 44 schools in rural areas of the district, students of 19 schools suffer from learning disability for want of multilingual teachers. Most of the children in these schools speak ‘Juang’, ‘Munda’ and ‘Santhali’ dialects and do not understand Odia.
In Kashipur Project New UP School of Gondia block, 90 out of 164 students belong to Munda community and do not understand the courses imparted by teachers in Odia language. In a school at Ghamaria, almost all children are from ‘Munda’ community but are taught in Odia. Similar is the fate of students of Ichchabatipur Project UP School and other schools in Jambhu and Mathtentulia.
Adding to their woes is remote location of schools. Children of Sorat village have to take five-km road through a dense forest, inhabited by elephants, and cross three nullahs to go to Manidevi High School in Odapada block.
The students of Rathiapal Primary School in Odapada block and Kharmul Primary School in Hindol face similar problems. Radhakanta stated in his petition that such circumstances lead to gross violation of human rights.
He requested the apex human rights body to ensure that teachers trained in tribal languages are posted in the tribal areas.