One million tribal children in India are “educated” in Factory Schools – schools that “reprogram” tribal and indigenous children to fit the dominant society.
In these schools they’re taught to feel ashamed of who they are and where they come from. Frightening numbers are subjected to neglect and abuse: almost 1,500 children have died in such schools in the state of Maharashtra alone.
Recently, at least 15 girls were repeatedly drugged and raped in a Factory School in Maharashtra. None of the senior figures at the school have been arrested.
In Canada an inquiry found that the residential schooling system for indigenous children there constituted cultural genocide.
But in India, more Factory Schools are being built today, including residential schools where children see their families just once a year.
Tribal and indigenous peoples’ education must be under their control. It must be rooted in the people’s own land, language and culture, and give children both a sound education and – vitally – pride in themselves and their people.
Please write to the Minister of Tribal Affairs to tell him so.