Published: 03rd July 2021
Social workers launch daily tuition classes for tribal children in TN
Many of the students in the hamlet have dropped out due to the lockdown while some have even forgotten the names of teachers and their schools
It has been around a year since Class II student Selvi went to school. One of the 40 odd students from the Irular tribal hamlet at Tiruvallur’s Kadambathur, her education ground to a halt in 2020 due to the lockdown. Poverty and the remoteness of their hamlet meant they had no way to continue their education.
It is to these children and their parents that a group of social welfare activists, with the help of an NGO, brought hope by launching daily tuition classes at the hamlet. On the first day itself, about 30 students attended the class. Most of the classes are being taken by S Prabhakaran, a teacher from KENC Government High School in Manavala Nagar, a village close to the Irular hamlet. “We are trying to find a permanent staff from the community to teach the children. We have now identified a woman from the village, who has completed Class XII, to teach the children the basics,” he said. “It is a challenge to make the children attend the classes regularly, and we are working on it. Otherwise, the children will go back to doing jobs such as fishing or working lands,” he said. Most students are from primary classes. “Many students dropped out due to the lockdown. Some have even forgotten the names of teachers and their schools as it has been over a year since they went to school,” said Prabhakaran. Through the NGO, Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC), social-welfare activists sourced stationery for the children.
R Tamilarasu, Tiruvallur district Secretary of State Tribal Association, said: “Once the children receive the basics, we will work to admit them to nearby schools. We will also arrange autorickshaws if needed,” he said. Tamilarasu said tuition would be taken every day and encouraged parents to send their children to the classes. Vanessa Peter of IRCDUC said housing is one of the main concerns for the tribals. “We are installing solar panels for electricity supply to the people there. Things like housing, education, and other basic amenities have to be addressed for the community members,” said Vanessa.