Support for tribal girls’ education in the state of Odisha


Sustainable promotion of the education of girls from ethnic minorities. 


The tribal communities in the state of Odisha are among the least literate in India: 24% as against the national average of 65.38%; and just 11.12% for women. The education of the girl child has faced resistance to all efforts undertaken at the national level, particularly for primary education, with a drop-out rate of 67%. The cause: poverty, combined with the weight of traditions, which incite people to keep girls at home to look after their siblings, to make them work or to marry them off at a very young age, but also the poor quality of education, which is struggling to fulfil its role among these specific population groups.

The project

Language of instruction not understood, absenteeism of teachers, corporal punishment, contemptuous treatment of illiterate parents by educational staff… a survey conducted among 72 children and their families in isolated villages in the district of Nabarangpur where tribes account for 55 % of the population revealed a dual need: the need to help government schools provide an adapted response to these children and the need to build the community’s capacity to take school governance and surveillance in their hands in their district. Promoting girls’ education also requires sensitisation campaigns about its importance among the tribes and the opening up of general and vocational training programmes for out-of-school adolescents.


– Advocacy for primary education in the mother tongue, implementation of adapted pedagogical programmes and material. Teachers’ training.

– Development of peer-to-peer self-help groups among tribal children and others.

– Training of 200 adolescents, who are in turn responsible for sensitising families.

Project location / District of Nabarangpur, Odisha, India
Region / South Asia
Area / Girls and women's education
Duration / 2012 - 2016
The project covers / 50 villages
Project manager / Mihir Mohanty
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