Adivasi students to be taught in Santhali in Bengal

In an attempt to appease the tribal community of the state, the school education minister, Mr Partha De, today said Santhali-medium education will be imparted to tribal students up to the secondary level very soon.

 

This means tribal students will be able to study all subjects in Santhali at the secondary level and also appear for Madhyamik examinations in their mother tongue. Mr De said the decision has been taken following the demand of the Adivasi Socio-Cultural Association to provide opportunity to tribal students to study all the subjects in Alchiki script till class X.

 

This apart, the state higher education minister, Prof Sudarshan Raichaudhuri, today told the Assembly that a proposal for setting up a campus of Indira Gandhi Open Tribal University, situated in Madhya Pradesh, has been submitted to the ministry of human resources development.

 

Mr De said a roadmap will be drawn up for implementing the proposal in phases and the state board of secondary education asked to do the necessary preparations.

The school education department will come up with measures like providing additional coaching classes for students who decide to switchover from Santhali-medium schools to Bengali-medium schools before Madhyamik examinations.

 

Last year, the department started Santhali-medium schools at the primary level. Currently, there are around 1,300 Santhali-medium schools in the state. The minister stressed on the need for upgrading infrastructure ~ increasing classrooms, toilets and drinking water facilities ~ in schools.

 

This apart, efforts will be made so that there are an adequate number of teachers in Santhali-medium schools. Candidates who are recruited in these schools have to know the Alchiki script and the Santhali language.

 

The department has already conducted a training camp for teachers who are recruited in these schools. A teachers’ training guideline will be prepared by the department to conduct more such training sessions for teachers.

 

This follows the state government's recent decision to set up a university dedicated to the Santhali community ~ Sidhu Kanu Birsa University.

 

Statesman News Service / 6 July 2009

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