Need Based Education

Why is this important

The rate of literacy intribal areas of Eastern India is around 30 percent and among the tribal women in remote areas, only about two percent are literate. This in itself is a violation of basic human rights. It also leads to exploitation and resource alienation, for example not having the correct signed land-right so it is clear agreements which means they are easily displaced (forcibly removed from their homeland).
Children dont go to school for many reasons, including the absence of adequate infrastructure and parents needing them to bring in a daily wage. Their parents take primary responsibility for not being able to send their children to school but they are also worried about the formal education system that weans away the children from their immediate environment.

What is Community Aid Alliance doing to resolve this situation

The Bridge Course Camp is a childrens program for those who have not been enrolled in school and those who have dropped out. The children are brought to the camp for 10 months of intensive education. The teachers stay in the camps with the children for the entire duration of the program and the training given to the children ensures that at the end of the program period they are adequately equipped to join the class corresponding to their age. After the camp finishes, the children join the local government schools.
Before the children are brought to the camps, the community is motivated to send the children to camp through discussions with parents and children. Para teachers (semi-trained teachers) are identified in each village to facilitate these discussions and create Child Rights Protection Committees that enrich their cultural linkage through story telling. The parateachers then encourage active participation by the parents in the committees. There are also programs which gives adults the basics of literacy:
The CRASH Literacy Course is a 10 Day intensive program designed specifically for marginalized tribal adults predominantly involved with farming with little or no prior exposure to literacy. The idea is to facilitate a process where they are able to read and understand basic signs on busses, shops, sign posts etc., as they already speak the language fluently. In addition numerals, weights and measurements and math is also taught to help in business transactions with non-tribal traders who are often exploitative.
The CRASH literacy course takes place normally in an external training location and the participants stay for the duration along with the Trainers. The course is facilitated by local indigenous women trainers who have been through a Trainers of Trainers (ToT) program .

Many tribal children particularly girls who complete High School education are encouraged to go for higher education focusing on professional education and job oriented vocational training. Most tribal children require financial support in the form of loans scholarships to meet tuition and hostel fees. Community Aid Alliance, in collaboration with partners, supporters and tribal community organizations, plans to institute scholarships program that will encourage many needy children (belonging to socially and economically disadvantaged communities) to join professional and vocational courses.

We completed the CRASH literacy program a year ago. Its been really helpful, it has helped us in the market where we have to negotiate for best prices for our crops as well as make sure we arent short-changed, to the simplest things like being able to sign our own names on documents and read fertilizer ingredients. Gameli Rama Chandar, Korra Lakshmana Rama, Korra Bhemaswarao, farmers of Kaguvalsa Village

The BRIDGE program targets children who have dropped out of school, often because theyve been taken to work by their parents and in ten months the children are back at a government school standard. Weve had a 100% success rate so far, since its opening in 2000, 1282 students have completed the program and this has also reduced child labour and child marriages. Prokash Khora, teacher, BRIDGE School, Orissa