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Counting the Peoples Voice

MLE the Intrinsic Means of Inclusive Education

Prepared by:
Md. Ayub Ali and Dr. Shourav Sikder

Chapter-I: Introduction and Background ................................................................ 6
1.1 Introduction and Background: .........................................................................................................................6 1.2 An Overview of Education and Indigenous People in Bangladesh................................................................8 1.3 Contextual Analysis and Linguistics perspective of Indigenous education ................................................ 10 1.4 NEP Perspective of Pre-Primary Education and Multilingual Education ................................................. 16 1.5 Multilingual Education an Inclusive Education Approach .......................................................................... 17 1.6 A short brief on Indigenous People and Education in Bangladesh 19

1.7 A Glimpse of Objective, Rationale and Methodology.................................................................................. 22

Chapter- II: Non-Government Organizations Efforts in MLE in Bangladesh ...... 25

2.1 Oxfam in Action to Promote Education of Indigenous Children ................................................................ 25 2.2 Multilingual Education A Development Integration Approach ................................................................. 29

Chapter-III: Multilingual Education Approach, Operational, Management and Implementation Process ....................................................................................... 33
3.1 PPS -thematically a Child Centred Development Approach ....................................................................... 33

ChapterIV: Programme Coverage and Achievements ........................................ 41

4.1 Coverage of Multilingual Education .............................................................................................................. 41 4.2 Achievements in Education Promotion .......................................................................................................... 44 4.3 Transformation into Visionary Endeavour ................................................................................................... 49 3.4 Personal behavior changes .............................................................................................................................. 54

Chapter-V: Challenge, Lessons Learnt, Way forward & Conclusion ................... 57

5.1 Challenges of Approach: ................................................................................................................................. 57 5.2 Lessons learnt................................................................................................................................................... 59 5.3. Way forward ................................................................................................................................................... 60

6. Conclusion ..................................................................................................... 63 Bibliography ........................................................................................................ 65

Education is an intrinsic means of empowerment of the people. It is one of the Constitutional Rights of the citizens of Bangladesh. The indigenous people living in the country are not beyond the jurisdiction of the constitutional rights. There are more than 45 indigenous communities have been living in Bangladesh. They have their own languages in oral form and traditional cultural. Despite the education as constitutional mandate, the diversity of communities as well as their mother tongues has made difficult for the government of Bangladesh to ensure education of indigenous children. Some communities have no alphabet/script, which is one of the barriers to educate them in their respective mother tongues. The literacy rates of most indigenous people are poor for less availability of educational facilities in respective areas and poor accessibility to education. The language barrier is considered as caused for poor literacy of them. From the programme perspective, the multilingual education system achieved a tremendous success in terms of developing an education system for indigenous children. To capture those successes, an assessment method designed to investigate in sample areas of whole programme. The assessment deployed both quantitative and qualitative methods. Out of 21 implementing partner organizations, seven of them were randomly selected and all pre-primary schools of respective partners were selected for the survey. A quantitative data collection checklist was developed and participatory exercises were conducted in all the sample partner areas. The indigenous people are used to communicate in their respective mother tongues and dont know the Bangla language, which is the language/mode of instruction to deliver lessons in mainstreamed education. It put in difficulties of indigenous children to grasp instruction and communicate with teachers and fellow students. It also makes children disinterested to education that resulting high dropout rate from school. Taking these issues in mind, Oxfam initiated to promote multilingual education at pre-primary level by using its own developed curriculum in Bangla alphabets. It was piloted with six preprimary schools in Noagaon and Chapinowabganj in 1999 and gradually expanded from 2004. However, in 2010, the number of pre-primary schools and language center reached to 186 and 8 respectively. The programme covered 11 districts and curriculum developed in six indigenous languages. The programme designed and implemented in participatory and demand driven approach respectively that actually created ownership of people and also scope of community participation in education management at pre-primary level. However, initially resistance arises from school teachers of indigenous communities, community leaders, and local influential, but visible positive results of actions instigated them to understand, realize and pushed them to come forward to support multilingual education system. In last one decade, there about 16,000 indigenous children enrolled in Oxfam run preprimary schools and almost 60% of them are graduated and mainstreamed in primary education. They are continuing education at different level of education. The multilingual

education programme has contributed to change education scenario in indigenous community concentrated villages in different part of the country. Dewarnpur and Rodoil village of of Mohadevpur Upazila, Rajabari of Nachole Upazila, Ischachara of Kulaura Upazila, Kishorigul of Sylhet Sadar Upazila are few example of them. In those village there is no schooling age children are out of schools. The contribution of multilingual education in short run is invisible, but in long run it has become visible in some villages and schools. The PPS graduated students who are continuing education are making difference through results in schools level examination. The teachers of different primary and secondary schools confidently made the differences between PPS graduated students and Non-PPS students of same communities. A significant proportion of PPS graduated students are not only doing better results in examination, but also confident to communicate with teachers and fellow students, they are well manner and behave modest way. It was out of imagination to indigenous children prior to establishment in the area. School attendance of pre-primary student is more than 95 percent and dropout of children from this level is totally absent. The motivation of parents and teachers initiatives has created interest of children to education. The mothers involvement in follow up and supervision of schools and customary organizations leaders involvement in school management and participation of community people in action of Indigenous Peoples Capacity Building Programme also contributed in such achievements. Alongside, education method is child friendly, abacas and games materials are provided to schools, which drawn attention and make children interest to school. The enrollment rate in pre-primary schools is high. The most parents are involved in wage labor and both mother and father used to work in agricultural field. So, parents prefer to send small kids to school instead of keeping them in home. It resulted a significant number of under aged children continues education in pre-primary schools. Some under aged children being graduated from PPS cannot be enrolled in primary schools because the government set minimum 6 years age children is eligible to enroll in primary school. Some under aged PPS graduated children could not enrolled in primary school due to this age barrier. As a result, they compelled to continue education in PPS one more year. It reducing the proportion of mainstreaming children against the graduated students. Now the currently running education programme is not confined within the children education, but it has turned into the means for uniting the community people for their own development. The people are ignited to and motivated for changing their livelihood pattern. The actions of IPCDP are building capacity of them and they are utilizing learned knowledge into practices to claim rights as indigenous people. It is contributing to promote education of their children and considering education of children as an investment, which was absent in them. The success of multilingual education has drawn attention of national and international communities, several studies conducted by BIDS, Save the Children, Word Bank and Oxfam and they praised the success of multilingual education initiated by Oxfam. Though the education programme focused to mainstream indigenous childrens education but gradually it has turned into development integration process. Centering PPS, several

community level development activities like sanitation coverage, establishment of community food bank, nutritious food supply for PPS students etc. are implemented by the community initiatives. It can be termed as integration of development actions with pre-primary school. It is integrating the development with education. The learning of the programme has been incorporated in various documents of government. PEDP II included into its programme. It has been explicitly spelled out in the National Education Policy 2010 that government will ensure promote multilingual education for the indigenous children in phase by phase. As part of it, the government has introduced pre-primary education within the structure of primary schools. Despite lack of infrastructural facilities and inadequate supports from the government pre-primary education are going on but multilingual education materials has not yet been developed by the government. The programme is focused to pre-primary school education and mainstreaming of children in education. Taking the livelihood status of indigenous people in mind, the linkage with vocational education for less meritorious students can be established for the immediate results generation for respective households. Oxfam is a right based organization implementing programme with its own priority areas. The education programme is less focused and priority of its programme in Bangladesh. The education is the constitutional rights of children of Bangladesh, so there is a scope to thinks about incorporation of education especially for indigenous children in its policy as priority issue. At the same time, Oxfams strategy changes in every five years and focus of actions shifted with strategic changes. The changes put strategically less priority issues and projects in challenges. The strategic shifting diverts the interest of seeking funding for less priority projects. As a result, discontinuation of funding for programme like education may jeopardize the whole achievements of long durational intervention. However, inclusion of education programme with priority in strategy documents may contribute to education especially for indigenous children.



Educationan intrinsic means, an inevitable motivating factors and a way of empowerment of children. Education is the right of every citizen by virtue of constitutional provision and laws of the state, and ratification of international treaties and convention. The ratification of treaties and conventions like ILO convention 107 on Indigenous and Tribal Populations-in 1972, UN CRC1989, Human Rights Declaration-1996, International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) 1965, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966, which was forced from 1976, Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court1999, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)-1976, Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)-1994, Child Right Charter-1989, etc., have entitled to get rights by every citizens of the country. Alongside, international laws and charters related to children, rights and education have affirmed education as right of children especially for children of indigenous communities. It is generally perceived that the indigenous communities are concentrated to three Hill Tracts Districts of Bangladesh. Other than the CHT districts, there are more than 34 indigenous communities have been living in plainland districts of Eastern, Northeastern and Northern part of Bangladesh. The scenario of education status of indigenous people in plainland districts is more or less indifferent from Hill Tracts Districts because of having no mother tongue based educational opportunities for them. Making availability of education facilities and ensure accessibility to education is the responsibility of the state. The indigenous children are deprived of education because of existing educational system of Bangladesh. Oxfams efforts in this regard are to make available of education facilities at pre-primary level and ensure access to those facilities. The priority of education is the first, and multilingual education for indigenous children whose mother tongues are other than Bangla is the means of inclusion of them to achieve the set goalEducation for All by 2015. The government of Bangladesh is committed itself to achieve education goal. The commitment to meet the EFA goals has stressed that all children have access to a completely free and compulsory primary education of good quality meaning thatschools should accommodate all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other conditions. This should include disabled and gifted children, street and working children, children from remote or nomadic populations, children from linguistic, ethnic or cultural minorities and children from other disadvantaged or marginalized areas or groups. The Salamanca statement and Framework for Action 1994, restated in the EFA, Dakar Framework for Action 2000 that clarified EFA means all children, not just the majority, but questions existed whether EFA actually included Indigenous children of Bangladesh. However, in general sense, EFA includes all children of Bangladesh irrespective of sex, social position and ethnic traits. The policy and rules entrenched EFA but implementation and its process are in progress in line with education policy of Bangladesh. In achieving EFA to meet the MDG-2 is challenge in Bangladesh owing to its education system. The children of indigenous communities are included in all but the education system did not

contain mother tongue based education for them who have mother tongue other than Bangla. However, multilingual education (MLE) for the children of indigenous communities was felt inevitable and MLE had introduced by non-government organizations before a decade back. Oxfam has piloted MLE during 1999 to 2002 at the pre-primary school level with six preprimary schools in Noagoan and Chapinowabganj districts of Bangladesh and gradually extended the programme from 2002 to 2010 in 12 districts. It has developed curriculum in six indigenous languages by using Bangla alphabet as those language do not have alphabet. The MLE has shown remarkable achievements on creating knowledge and awareness on needs of education, realizing value of education, increasing enrollment, reducing dropout rate and in promoting and continuing education among indigenous people. The efforts were made by Nongovernment organization to introduce and promote MLE to ensure education for all and learned lessons in this regard. The Ministry of Education has taken those learning into cognizance in preparing National Education Policy-2010. The policy document included mother tongue based education for the children of indigenous communities, implementation strategy, process of actions and expected outcomes into the NEP. It was realized that pre-primary education system inevitable for inclusive education especially for indigenous and hard to reach children. The ministry has already introduced pre-primary education at the primary schools since year of 2011, to make the children used to and acquainted with regular schooling system and discipline of formal school prior to enrollment in primary schools. The multilingual education for indigenous children is also embedded in the education policy documents and it is under the process of implementation. A committee is formed to develop MLE curriculum at pre-primary level and it is in progress under the supervision of a committee formed by the Education Ministry of Bangladesh. The Ministry of Education conducted an assessment on needs of indigenous children to promote education. In line with that the National Plan of Action (NPA-II); it has clarified the education poor, indigenous and disabled childrens education challenges and potentials. At the same time, it proposed use of modern equipments for the indigenous children to bring substantial outcomes. Out of 4 major areas of National Plan of Actions (ECCE, FPE, NFE FE), one is Early Childhood Care Education-Dakar framework for action emphasized to develop and extension of ECCE within the marginalized and vulnerable children. Another one is formal primary education ensured access to free and quality primary education for all, specially girls and vulnerable as well as indigenous communities. The Non-formal Education is planned to address the dropout children for bringing them into mainstream education system. The NEP-2010 is a comprehensive document to attain the goal set in Dakar framework and national plan of action of Bangladesh and finally the MDG-2. The responsive and proactive initiatives and subsequent actions of government and non-government organizations are in pace for inclusive education in Bangladesh. PRSP supported the MLE issue for achieving the goal of education. It stated seven point medium term strategic agenda for Bangladesh on poverty reduction. The quality education for all is one of those important issues. It emphasized on participations of indigenous children and parents in education related actions and recommended to preserve languages of indigenous people and incorporate their culture in national education curriculum as well as education in mother tongues.

The challenges are identified through needs assessment and donors, education specialist, NGOs and government have identified important issues of easy access to go to school and quality education of indigenous children. The second Primary Education Development Plan (PEDP-II) conducted primary education situational analysis, strategies and action plan for mainstreaming indigenous children. The identified problems are grouped into four main areas: lack of access, poor quality, cultural inappropriateness and lack of the local control and involvement (Oxfam: 2006). The key factor is the language barrier. These learning are accommodated in National Education Policy and substantial initiatives have been taken to implement the education policy in phase by phase. The first stage of ensuring inclusive education, textbooks in mother tongue that have mother tongue other than Bangla is rolling on. The National Curriculum & Textbook Board of Bangladesh (NCTB) follows a common Textbook for primary education and all of these Textbooks are written in Bangla alphabet. Naturally Textbooks are easy communicative and effective for the majority Bengali children but not for the indigenous children. Owing to Bangla medium of instruction of education, a significant number of indigenous children suffered from rapid dropout, particularly for lack of command over Bangla and English. Bangla is the main medium of instruction in primary education curriculum, which is little known to the indigenous children and thus it acts as a serious impediment for education of indigenous children. However, mother tongue based education would greatly contribute to inclusive education which is already proven fact that made by non-government organizations. The government of Bangladesh is responsible to ensure education by creating scope and opportunities for the citizen of Bangladesh. Since last two decades the government of Bangladesh, under the national policy of education has taken a number of initiatives to raise the rate of education and it brings success to the nation. However, in reality, inclusive education that set in policies and rules by the government yet remained beyond the expectation. Achievements rely on progression of actions, but break off with change of government over the period of time. However, through crossing several hurdles, a realistic education policy is developed and it is under the process of implementation. The policy perspective and traits are supportive to education of indigenous children but it needs long way to go.



Education is a key to vertical social mobility that eventually contributes to overall individual, family, community, and national wellbeing. Recognizing this fact, the World Conference on Education for All (WCEF, 1990) emphasized on equal opportunity for all in receiving a minimum level of education and the need for creating provision for life-oriented education for all in each country. The Government of Bangladesh realized the need of education and considered it as priority issue and implement inclusive education programme to address those needs. The fulfillment of those needs is recognized as constitutional rights of every citizen of Bangladesh. It has been categorically stated in Article 28(1) of the Constitution of Bangladesh as the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth (GOB: 1998). It is general perspective of education that in principle, the education system prevails while the specific sections especially indigenous peoples issue was remained as common issues as of Bengali people. The issue of education in mother tongue with special

attention to indigenous people was merely left-out till 2010. However, mother tongue based education included in systematic institutional structure by taking into cognizance in the National Education Policy-2010. As education is constitutional rights of every citizen so congruent with the Constitution the Governments formal educational institutions and non-formal initiatives of NGOs are trying to achieve the desired Education for All, with particular emphasis on Primary Education, within the shortest possible time. Primary education is being implemented in the country through a diverse structure with Government Primary Schools, Registered Non-Government Primary Schools, and NGOs ran schools. Besides, Non-Formal Primary Education (NFPE) programme (BRAC and other NGOs) is helping the government to reach under privileged children of poor and marginalized sections living in hard-to-reach, disaster prone and poverty stricken areas of the country. Unfortunately, the story of overall growth in the system and coverage of Primary Education as a whole is not just one of success. The indigenous communities in plainland area are minority, but due to their scattered settlement pattern which is unlikely to Chittagong Hill Tracts. The indigenous peoples settlement (small villages and/or Paras) are like a pocket within majority Bengali Muslim community. In terms of cultural practice, food habit, living and livelihood patterns, purity and pollution notion, etc., of major mainstream community make difference between mainstream and indigenous communities. Though both communities are living side by side but differences persisted as long lasting issues and monitory indigenous people are the victim in terms of social, economic and education context. Traditionally indigenous peoples are introvert in nature and they rarely try to have access to service available including education. Article-28 (3) stated as No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to any place of public entertainment or resort, or admission to any educational institution. Despite these recognized constitutional rights, some teachers of mainstream communities used to regret indigenous children in enrolling them in educational institutions, labeling them polluted, less proficient and unskilled in Bangla language. Having no option for education in their respective mother tongue, regret from mainstream teachers, that deprives them from their rights. However, initiatives of several non-government organizations, the situation is gradually improving. Even, before couple of years, negligence and discrimination done by mainstream people in terms of social, culture and economic perspective was hideous but people of both the communities are coming forward to erase discrimination and social injustice of indigenous people. However, such change in situation over the period of time been possible as consequences of various actions e.g., awareness campaign, community based organization formation and keep them functional by NGO initiatives. Those initiatives increased access to information and participation of parents of school going children in various events with government officials and relevant stakeholders. Article-15 of the Constitution of Bangladesh has the Provision of basic necessities. It shall be a fundamental responsibility of the State to attain, through planned economic growth, a constant increase of productive forces and a steady improvement in the material and cultural standard of living of the people, with a view to securing to its citizens. Article 15 (a) stated as, it shall be the responsibility of state that the provision of the basic necessities of life, including food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care. However, till development of National Education Policy9

2010, there was no such initiative to provide education to the indigenous people of Bangladesh in their mother tongue from the government. NEP-2010 included the issues of education in mother tongue, but that yet to be implemented. However, the policy document has taken the issue into cognizance which is stepping toward establishment of education as right.



EDUCATION Contextual Analysis: There are more than 45 different indigenous groups have been living in

Bangladesh. The status of basic rights of them is neglected due to traditional social system and state mechanism. The existing education system of Bangladesh is unaccommodating of indigenous children that perpetuate high dropout, poor attendance and discontinuation of education. About 60% dropout in primary education cycle caused for language of education curriculum and instruction in Bangla. Alongside, lack of accessibility of education-both physically and culturally, inadequate quality teachers, language barrier, high dropout rate, inconsistency of education system with local cultural and livelihood practice, high poverty rate and absence of local control over and participation in education are key challenges. The most indigenous communities have no written form of language except some advanced groups like; Chakma and Marma. Due to lack of alphabet of mother tongue, multilingual education using Bangla alphabets is considered as feasible option of inclusive education for the indigenous people. In Bangladesh, the most indigenous children are in disadvantaged condition in terms of education because the mainstream education system and curriculum did not recognize their language or culture adequately. However, various national and international organizations initiated several actions to promote education and from those actions and programmes, challenging issues are identified and adopted in latest education policy documents. Those are in the process of implementation by the respective Ministry of government. Majority of indigenous children must enter in school and be taught in a language they do not know or understand. They sit in classroom across the country, struggling but not understanding anything the teacher instructing them. Virtually it is responsible for inattentiveness; lose of interest to education and finally childrens dropout from school. In the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) the dropout rate for Indigenous children is much higher than the estimated national rate with more than 60 percent of children dropping out especially in the early years (ADB: 2001). The dropout rate of indigenous children of plainland areas is higher than children of CHT. The challenges in accessing and completing a quality education in Bangladesh identified through a situation analysis. Those challenges are categorized into four main areas: lack of access, poor quality, cultural inappropriateness and lack of local control and involvement including parents. These are overwhelmingly interrelated to each others. The context is a bit different in planland areas because enrollment of children is poor and dropout rate is much higher than the other areas. The challenges detailed out in the following sections. Lack of access: Lack of access to educational facilities along with social, cultural and perceptual factors hindered enrolment of indigenous children in formal educational institutions. Some remote pocket areas remained out of catchments of primary and secondary educational facilities

that retain children away from schooling. The areas where households and children of indigenous people are few, then teachers are reluctant to enroll indigenous children in school by showing various reasons. Those reasons are; adaptation problem owing to poor knowledge in mainstream language, lack of adjustment capacity with fellow students, difference in manner and less competent in interaction with teachers. In such cases, cultural and perceptual factors of teachers from mainstream community limit indigenous childrens access to education facilities. To address those issues, comprehensive development approach consisting activities like awareness campaign, knowledge and skill development, increasing access to information, participation of community people and customary organization leaders and mother of children in education management was designed. Alongside, multilingual education is considered as immediate panacea as well as means for uniting people and accordingly initiated multilingual education at the pre-primary level specially to overcome the language barrier. Furthermore, in MLE in preprimary school, social and economic factors are also challenge to implement the programme with a long terms vision. Now question is to what extent and how the MLE contributed to reach the goal of inclusive education in Bangladesh that needs critical analysis. Quality of Education: The quality of education remained under question mark due to lack of trained and adequate teachers, physical facilities, supportive education curriculum, and follow and monitoring mechanism. The existing education system, more specifically schools are unsuccessful to recognize specific learning needs of indigenous children. Insufficient numbers of primary teachers from Indigenous communities, having no specific recruitment policy and appropriate supports for them are challenge of quality education. Transfer and posting of teachers do not take into account of the ethnicity of teachers and host communities. There is a general perception that schools in hard to reach areas receive less government support poor repair and insufficient monitoring supports. As a result, the quality of education remained subsided in those areas. The government recruitment, transfer and posting policy should address the issues for improvement of quality education of indigenous children. However, nongovernment organizations introduced multilingual education adequately ensured educational materials and physical facilities, recruited teachers from respective communities, incorporated mothers and customary organization leaders in education management, involved government officials and local primary school teachers in teacher recruitment, catchment areas selection, training of PPS teachers and in overall process to oversee the pre-primary schools education system. It is expected that it would contribute to improve the quality of pre-primary school education in indigenous people concentrated areas that is exposed in huge numbers of children in mainstream education. However, PPSs may ensure enrollment and attendance of children but quality education at the primary level for indigenous children remained inconspicuous issue. Cultural inappropriateness: The cultural traits of indigenous communities rarely been accommodated in education curriculum and whatever been included some of those are not/inadequately reflected. The existing curriculums are developed based on mainstreamed culture and those are inappropriate for indigenous children. Inappropriately reflected cultural issues in the realm of education system make children disinterest to take lesson. Language of instruction by teachers is not the mother tongue of indigenous children that is barrier for understanding of the children whose mother tongue is other than Bangla. As curriculums do not reflect local culture, values, and language and the education system did not recognize the strength in diversity for future development at local and national level, so education remained

subsided from the mind of children. Such inappropriate issues are identified and addressed in National Education Policy-2010 and is under the process of implementation. The concerned authorities learned challenges from ongoing multilingual education being operated by nongovernment organizations and incorporated into national policy. It is remarkable achievements and contribution of non-government organizations in making appropriate of inappropriate issues in government structural framework of education system in Bangladesh. The issues of Parents teachers meeting for sharing status of childrens education are also made effective through various initiatives. Parents of indigenous children are getting opportunities to share issues and concerns with teachers and also getting scope to interact with parents of mainstream communities which is steeping towards the barrier of indigenous people. Lack of local control over education management system: The local control and supports over the education system is inevitable for quality education. The government primary educations system has inbuilt parents-teachers associations for sharing potential and challenges of students, keep informed to parents about the status of childrens progress in lessons. Despite existence of system, it is hard to maintain system full functional for various reasons, like high teachers students ratio, inadequate numbers of teachers against requirement, inadequate supports and services, etc. To give appropriate feedback to parents need huge time and efforts as the teacher student ratio is high. The school management committees persist but in most cases dysfunctional and/or less active. As a result, community peoples control over and participation in education management is remained beyond the expectation. In Indigenous concentrated areas, the situation is the worst in comparison to other parts of the country. It was observed that parents are less involved in schools related activities, limited effect on language and cultural development, and parents see less value in education of children and the education is not linked to their culture and language. In PPS operation process and strategies, initiative were to increase involvement of parents in school through SMC and Mother Forum formation. PPS management is made link with customary organizations management and actions were widen. Such initiatives ensured more involvement of parents in PPS management and control, encouraged parents and make them sensitive towards childrens education and helped realizing value of education for their children. The community ownership and control over the management contributed to ensure and maintain quality education and keep Pre-Primary School operational with community ownership and contribution when supports from donors were inadequate and/or absent. In Bangladesh context, language barrier is the crucial factor in education of indigenous children. Alongside, poor access, discrimination by teachers from enrolling for poor Bangla language skills, cultural acceptance by mainstream teachers and fellow students to indigenous children, inflexibly of the school calendar, which do not reflect the local conditions identified as challenges. High poverty rate, lack of alternative livelihood option for households crisis management are also reasons for backwardness of indigenous children education. However, lack of schools in indigenous community concentrated areas especially in remote and hilly areas are reason for such backwardness. The lack of facilities like primary and secondary school are challenges of inclusive education in those areas. Despite huge barriers, inclusion of special initiative of multilingual education, residential facilities in hard to reach areas, recruitment of teachers from respective communities for indigenous children in the Education Policy has shown a ray of lights from a tunnel for education of indigenous children. These actions will be

implemented in phase by phase and full implementation of the policy would contribute to reduce discrimination of indigenous childrens education.

Linguistic Perspective: The standard/ideal textbook for indigenous students is helpful for
the psychological and mental development of the children. Besides, this textbook would inspire them for getting education for comprehensive psycho-social development of the children in future. This textbook focuses on indigenous society and their culture and it also includes our national feelings, patriotism, and equal rights of women. So, it is very much related and integrated with national planning of education in Bangladesh. It will play important roles for spreading education and developing life style of indigenous people. The clear objectives of multilingual education were to implant hopes and aspiration of indigenous children and their parents through education in their mother tongue. Alongside, to make them aware about cultural awareness and motivation of children and parents was another objective. The objectives are presented in details in following sections. Cultural Issues and Meaningful Contents: Clear learning goals are fundamental to all students. "The link between effective teaching and learning and the teacher's formulation of learning goals that are appropriate to the student" takes on even greater significance where effective multilingual instruction is the aim (Danielson: 1996, p. 123). Taking into consideration the issue, the multilingual education curriculum was developed with meaningful contents including cultural issues and concerns into the textbook for PPS. The pictures of elements like animals, flowers, etc., used in PPs textbook are part of their culture and familiar to indigenous children. The contents of curriculum incorporated issues and concern to make cultural awareness and meaningful contents. Clarity of Learning Goals: A study of significant multilingual instructional features revealed a clear linkage between the teachers' ability to specify clearly the intent of instruction, the organization and delivery of instruction to reflect this intent, and student performance with intended outcomes (Tikunoff, 1985). If "a clear objective is one that creates an image of specifically what a student will know or be able to do when the instruction is over. What's important is that the image is framed from the students' point of view" (Saphier & Gower, 1997, p. 408), the unique linguistic and academic needs of the multilingual student must be taken into consideration when formulating and communicating learning goals. The multilingual education materials were developed consisting with fundamental objectives such as attaining goal to make children familiar with their own culture and make them used to and/or interested to education. In this regard, teachers quality and environment of educational institutions are to be considering as key feature. Appropriate strategies might be as diverse as putting all the goals on the board to assure that students and teacher can measure what they do or taking the time to discuss why the objective is worthwhile (Saphier & Gower, 1997). In either case, the multilingual student will be able to insert the goal into a suitable frame of reference to meet his/her particular needs. In this case, the educational material development process and materials especially pictures were used from their respective communities.
Cultural Awareness of teachers: To facilitate learning, teachers need to "accommodate students'

background knowledge and skills" (Danielson: 1996, p. 41). "By the time children begin their formal education at the age of five or six, they have already internalized many of the basic values

and beliefs of their native culture" (Saville-Troike: 1978). This is often hidden element of culture that is so important to successful multilingual education. All students bring to the classroom outof school knowledge that influence school-based learning. When this individual knowledge includes another language and a different culture, it must be taken into account so as not to become "a barrier in the communication process between teachers and students" (Cruz, Bonissone & Baff, 1995). If learning as defined is "an individual process of constructing meaning from information and experience, filtered though each individual's unique perceptions, thoughts, and feelings", then a student's cultural heritage must not be dismissed but instead utilized to enhance his/her learning. It is also important to identify potential areas of cultural interference where two cultures may come into conflict or overlap. There may be different values, expectations and behaviors to be learned by a student before going on to study the curriculum. The children of indigenous communities are in a position that at the age of four or five they internalized cultural values, beliefs, thoughts and feelings with cultural nuance. So, curriculum developed by accommodating issues and cultural nuances to address respective community concerns. However, the cultural issues like use of pictures and signs were taken that are well known to the children of indigenous communities that attracted students to involve in education. Attention of students is found keen to accept and internalized learning issues by the indigenous children. Teacher education programs must develop cultural awareness and teachers must prepare to be effective instructors of culturally and linguistically diverse student populations (Parla: 1994). Teachers should be encouraged to reflect on their attitudes and experiences toward language and culture and thus hopefully develop a greater understanding of different learning styles and different cultural expectations. The teachers were recruited from the respective communities, who have awareness about culture issues and sensitivity. It helped them to address childrens sensitive issues and contents. There is no longer the fear that speaking a native language at home will place a student's success with second language acquisition at risk. Studies by Cummins and Collier & Thomas (as cited in Soto, Smrekar & Nekcovei: 1999) indicate that children can readily transfer concepts learned at home in their first language to the second language. If "multilingualism" is then extended to embrace "biculturalism", a unique opportunity is provided for exchange among learners, families, educators and the community, which allows students to utilize their cultural and linguistic heritage while learning new skills which, in turn, increases their academic success (Cruz et al., 1995). However, in case of Oxfams programme, the children are learning mainstream language along with their mother tongue that substantially enhancing adaptation capacity of children and they have been doing good result in primary and secondary level education. The old model of sacrificing native language and rejecting its cultural ties can be replaced with one of teaching and learning about the second culture and how to operate effectively within it, without requiring students to sever all ties to the former. Bicultural education should "broaden the range of choice for cultural identity" (Saville-Troike: 1978), not restrict it to the dominant culture. "Learning is a process owned by the learner and facilitated by the teacher which includes respect for the student and his/her view of the world Freire (as cited in Serpa & Serpa, 1997). However, multilingual education is introduced by Oxfam through its partner organization by

accommodating multicultural nuances as well as languages, which has been contributing to generate a realm of acceptance and adaptation. Instead of rejection, internalization process generated within the mindset of indigenous communities encouraging them to compete with wider community children in same education process. Meaningful Content: The theories supporting bicultural education extend to content and curriculum. Students gain "a sense of empowerment when the content presented and ideas discussed are relevant to their experiences and histories" (Fern, Anstrom & Silcox: 1993). Students engage material at a deeper level if they find aspects of it that have personal relevance (Warmoth: 1995). Taking into consideration, the curriculum developed and materials used with material they are used to and relevant with their histories and everyday life. The depict histories, use of picture of Shiddu & Kanu of Santal communities are emerged from their histories. How can teachers implement a curriculum that reflects diverse languages and cultures? They can tap the community's cultural resources for use in the classroom, incorporate out-of-school experiences, be flexible in their teaching styles, involve parents and the community and, above all, remain sensitive to and respectful of cultural and linguistic differences among their students. For effective implementation of curriculum in multilingual education system, teachers from respective communities were recruited to make teaching meaningful and effective for the respective students. The multilingual education system involved community people in the form of school management committees, Mathers Forum and involved customary organization leaders in management of the schools. The education system introduced various abacas and playing materials which were also selected from the respective communitys heritage and histories. The children were used to see that material in their everyday life which accustomed them with those materials. Multicultural sensitivity should be institutionalized in the schooling process regardless of the content taught or the instructional approach. Teacher education programs should foster an attitude of acceptance and respect for unique cultures and linguistic traits. Once in the classroom, Multilingual teacher competencies should aim at helping children appreciate their own ethnic heritage, thereby developing a positive self-concept, foster peer acceptance and interaction, and minimize the inevitable conflicts between cultures (Canales & Ruiz-Escalante, 1992). However, clearly stating objectives that the multilingual student can decode and understand, and that have relevance to his/her cultural background can impact on student learning significantly. The challenge of preparing future citizens of the 21st century who can meet the demands of a multicultural society is in the hands of today's educators. If students are to reach their full potential, educational goals must go beyond instructional objectives and include values and expectations and teaching must provide the meaningful content that enhances students' understanding of the interconnectedness of all cultures and peoples. For many, the primary objective of multilingual education is the development of mainstreamedlanguage proficiency at the earliest possible age, to expedite the transition of language-minority limited-Bangla-proficient students to classes for which Bangla is the sole medium of communication. To meet this objective, instructional goals during early years of schooling would concentrate on the learning of Bangla. Students, however, would be disadvantaged in subject15

matter knowledge to the extent that they fall behind cohorts for whom Bangla is their native language and who had already gained knowledge from classes taught in Bangla. An alternate, or perhaps concurrent, objective is to maintain equity of opportunity to learn subject-matter skills and knowledge, regardless of the students' facility in Bangla at a given stage of development. This objective would seem to require subject-matter teaching in each child's native language until such time as sufficient proficiency in Bangla allows the child to be an active learner in classes conducted in Bangla. Still another objective may be the preservation of linguistic and cultural pluralism, and there may well be others. From the perspective of students and their parents, the objectives may be somewhat different, and different objectives may be differentially important for children from different language groups. For example, some groups might encourage the early development of Bangla-language facility for their children, while others might place greater importance on mastering their native language. Within a language community, different objectives may be favored for different subgroups of children, the values espoused by adults in the local community, or a variety of other factors. It is imperative that objectives be agreed upon before assigning children to particular programs. Establishing program objectives is not a function of educational research, but, rather, must be accomplished as part of a political process. It is desirable that teachers, parents, and children be willing to accept program goals and sub-goals, and that an instructional program then be oriented toward fulfilling those goals. Once objectives are set and programs to meet the objectives are in place, then criteria consistent with those objectives can be specified, and research designs to assess the relative success of alternative programs can be developed.



National Education Policy (NAP)-2010 has accommodated strategies and implementation modalities for inclusive education to reach the MDG. Accordingly, it has emphasized and introduced pre-primary schooling system with primary school to create childrens interest and make them familiar with mainstream language and discipline of formal education. As per rules, initially, age 5+ children are to be enrolled in pre-primary school and gradually it will cover 4 years plus aged children. The policy documents stated the government will ensure education of indigenous children in their respective mother tongue but it is yet to be taken off. The concerned ministry will develop the curriculum in MLE of indigenous communities in phase by phase. Despite challenges, the recruitment of teachers to deliver lessons to the students, and giving instruction remained as uncertain. The strategy of Pre-primary education Policy (NEP-2010) mentioned teacher for Pre-primary level will be recruited gradually. The objectives of primary education arrangement are education of children including the children of indigenous communities in their respective mother tongue and teacher student ratio to be made 1:30 within 2018 The National Education Policy set a vision for comprehensive primary education in Bangladesh but long way to go to reach the goal. The NEP clause 18-20, kept the provision to ensure Pre-primary education in mother tongue and special assistance to marginalized indigenous children will be ensured, and residential provision for indigenous people concentrated areas in the hilly region is also stated in national education

policy (page-8). However, students interest and talents will be encouraged through teachers parent interaction in the form of PTA. In addition, follow up of absent students through households visit, interaction between teacher and parents, participation of teachers and parents in school management would be ensured. According to education policy guideline, the ongoing preprimary education has been providing one year PPS course for children, but it is not supportive for indigenous children because the materials are developed in only Bangla language. The teacher crisis is found enormous in most primary school. In the nongovernment registered primary school physical facilities like classroom, bench, and others supports, are absent which hindering the objectives of PPS with the government primary Schools. However, pre-primary education by NGOs for indigenous children is only option, and it is much needed actions for those areas.



The bilingual education was first introduced in 1968 by the Federal Government of USA from the prevailing needs. Bilingual education has been transformed into multilingual system from emerged needs through a process. The definition and concept of bilingual and/or multilingual education is emerged through needs and challenges. According to Westchester Institute for Human Services Research, Bilingual education refers to a range of instructional programs for children whose native language is not the language of respective students. Its goal is to help students acquire mainstream language so they can enter and succeed in mainstream classes. The best way of accomplish is goal, but it is the topic of considerable academic debate for nearly three decades. The controversy centering on the role of the native language in instructionwhether it should be used and for how long. On one side of the debate are supporters of native language instruction who recommend aggressive development of the primary language prior to the introduction of mainstream language. However, use of native terminologies in Bangla alphabet to make indigenous children accustom to mainstream language adopting the essence of native terms and concepts. Over the period, it took new dimension, and Oxfam designed programme by using mainstream alphabets with terms, concepts and dialect of mother tongue of respective communities. Pre-primary education in mother language for indigenous children was introduced to build a strong foundation for further schooling, to provide a good bridge to the mainstream language Bangla and respective indigenous languages, governments recognition of mother tongue based multilingual education as an effective strategy to ensure quality primary education for Indigenous children in the National Education Policy and Education Sector Plans such as PEDP II, post PEDP II and the National Action Plan for EFA. Specific budgetary allocations by the government for development of teaching/learning materials in indigenous languages, training of teachers and introduction of multilingual education in primary schools are essential. The implementation of multilingual education would ensure the inclusive education that adopted in the national education policy. As the government has an obligation to implement commitments made in the National Strategy for Accelerated Poverty Reduction (2005) regarding the education to Indigenous children in their mother tongue at the primary level, the primary Education Situation Analysis, strategies, and Action Plan for mainstreaming Indigenous Children in partnership with local leaders and HDCs in hill tracts, transfer of complete authority and support

to the HDCs for effective implementation of education programmes in line with the commitments made in the CHT Peace Accord of 1997. Introduction of training courses and programmes in multilingual education and Bangla as a second language at the primary Teachers Training Institute are also essential. The highest indigenous people concentrated areashill district has structural framework of implementation of education policies while in case of plan land governments special attention is required . Mother tongue-based multilingual education (MLE) is an education system in which the childrens mother tongue and Bangla are used as instruction of lessons in the classroom. The strategy of multilingual education recognized the importance of children beginning their education in respective mother tonguethe first language they speak and understand. Local community ownership, local teachers, appropriate and relevant curriculum are important elements for the success of mother tongue-based MLE programme. In this education system, children commence their education in a language they understand and develop a strong foundation in it along with the mainstream language used in the curriculum. After development of strong foundation in mother tongue, children then begin to learn as a second language. Evidence has shown (Benson, 2006) that education in mother tongue increases the enrolment and attendance. As a result, mother tongue-based multilingual education was expected to produce better and more successful learners who are Multilingual, bi-literate and bicultural (Malone, 2005). It is anticipated that in multilingual education, learners are confident and comfortable in using their mother tongue and Bangla in everyday interactions, and learning. They are able to read and write their mother tongue (when they have alphabet) with Bangla fluently. They would access to more information and more opportunities and governments supports that will ultimately contribute to increase enrollment, attendance and reduce dropout from the school. Alongside, a better understanding of learners will develop about their own culture and community as well as Bengali culture and community. They would be confident and comfortable in interacting with outsiders and own community. A World Bank report statedfirst language instruction results in increased access and equity, improved learning outcomes, (iii) reduced repetition and dropout rates, socio-cultural benefits and (v) lower overall costs (World Bank, 2005:2). However, in case of indigenous communities in Bangladesh, similar benefits were expected to produce from the multilingual education. At the same time, MLE would enable the Government of Bangladesh to achieve its goals under EFA and the Millennium Development Goal-2Universal Primary Education. However, education at pre-primary level in multilingual education mode might be an effective means to for inclusive education to meet the objective of education for all. The use of first languages at the elementary level in schools is an important phenomenon, and it is the first phase of education for children. Consequently, the concept of language related to the education system should be taken in account seriously. The first language of a child should be the medium of instruction in elementary education. Using the first language, childrens understanding increases and that allow teachers to use more active and effective teaching methods. Students get interest in learning because it is their comfort zone and eventually they deliver a good result. Mother tongue based education supports mastery of the first language and promotes the cognitive development. It is needed to more easily learn a second language. The use of local languages also ensures that the knowledge of children bring to schooling is used as a basis for further learning. The use of the first languages for instruction often leads to inclusion of more local contents in the curriculum as classroom resources and greater participation of parents and community members. The participation put parents in better positioned to become involved

in the school and to feel that their knowledge and culture are valued. The legitimization of local languages that come from their use in schooling can strengthen sense of inclusion in schooling of childrens, their families and communities. The use of local languages in formal/education has a positive impact on children. As parents see their children successfully learn to read and write in their own language, the parents are often motivated to attend literacy classes (WB: 2006). The same study indicated the financial benefits of the use of first language in education derive largely from decreases in repetition and dropout. In the few cases, where these benefits are calculated, the savings have considerably outweighed the incremental costs of establishing and maintaining schooling in local languages (production of learning materials, teacher training. In Mali, for instance, found that programs cost about 8% less per year than mother tongue schooling, but the total cost of educating a student through the six-year primary cycle is about 27% more, largely because of the difference in repetition and dropout rates (WB: 2006). However, from an economic perspective, the MLE is cost effective at PPS level while the cost of education would be high for long durational programme. The programme has to be viable in all respect for countries like Bangladesh. However, the importance of linguistics perspective, textbooks for pre-primary school was developed taking opinions of distinguished personalities of indigenous people, NGOs and research institutes and respective professional and academician. Alongside, provisions of education supervisors training and monitoring of activities were kept for quality education. The teaching-learning activity of student is proposed as well as practices that are not only texts based rather they provided with picture, chart scale etc. for education of indigenous PPS student. As a result, the children of indigenous communities have been able to coup up with mainstream education and inclusive education has been possible in only intervention areas. The government should take initiatives to scale up and implement the multilingual education in wider areas to reach the EFA targets and MDG goal.


The indigenous people of Bangladesh are the issue of debate, in terms of total population, number of communities, and even regarding the definition of indigenous people. Recently, the government of Bangladesh declare that there no indigenous people in Bangladesh but there are tribes living in a different part of the county. There are more than 45 smaller groups of Indigenous communities/Tribe in Bangladesh covering about two percent of the total population have been living in different pockets of the hilly zones and plain lands of the country (www. According to the Bangladesh Adibasi Forum, there are more than 45 indigenous groups with approximately 2.5 million living side by side with the Bengali majority people . While the government statistics shows, the total number of Adibasi is 12, 05,978 (BBS: 1991), which is only 1.03 percent of the total population. However, enough doubts remain about this number of Adibasi in Bangladesh. The Constitution of Bangladesh does not formally recognize the existence of Indigenous People in its territory, but other laws recognize the presence of indigenous , aboriginal , hillmen, tribal, upajati ( similar to tribal), Adibasi ( similar to indigenous ) or Small Ethnic Groups. Because of the ethnocentric origin of the state of Bangladesh based on Bengali nationalism, the concept of diversity remains little understood and appreciated (Sille Stidsen: 2011). The indigenous people are concentrated mainly in four regions like Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) with costal area, Greater Sylhet, Northern plain land and Mymensing. General perception of people is indigenous people live in Hill Tracts and significant proportion of them also live in

the Northern part of the country. Though in terms of number, majority indigenous people and communities have been living in planland but it remained shaded to the general mass of the country. The indigenous communities along with the localities they live are mentioned here; Bawm, Chak, Chakma, Khyang, Khumi, Lushai, Marma, Mro. Pangkhoa, Rakhain, Tanchanga, Tripura in Chttagong Hill Tracts and coastal regions; Santal, Oraoan, Mahale, Munda, Pahan, Rabidas, Rajbongshi, Rajwar, Karmaker, Mahato, Malo, Paharia, Singh, etc., in the Northern Plain land region and, Garo, Hajong, Barman, Dalu, Koch, etc., in Mymensing region and Manipuri, Khasi, Patra, etc., in greater Sylhet region. The general conjectures concerning indigenous people of Bangladesh are; they are deprived of, discriminated against, and excluded from mainstream communities. They have little or no ownership of, access to and control over financial, social, environmental or natural assets which has compelled them to be refrained from resource creation to ensure livelihood security through buffering households vulnerabilities(Hassan & Ali:2008). The economic vulnerability abstains and unenthusiastic in nature, and reluctant mentality of them are responsible for less access to supports and services. In terms of communication with different government and nongovernment organizations, they remained far away which hinder their childrens education. The indigenous peoples rights are recognized by constitutional provisions, laws, policy of Bangladesh. Despite, rights remained black and white on paper but inhuman sufferings due to lack of awareness, knowledge and access to the information they faced constantly. Education is the effective means to increase knowledge and awareness and rights to information which would ultimately enabled them to claim rights from respective authorities. The indigenous people have limited access to education and information so that they are not at the same pace of changes taking place. It is reality that in terms of education indigenous people are far behind the mainstream community. In order to assess the educational status of indigenous communities, first tried to reveal if members of the indigenous communities do understand the language other than those of their own. The most indigenous adults are able to do communication orally in Bangla but not in written form. It is observed that the majority of the 38 communities understand Bangla language. While looking at the medium of education, it is notice that Bangla is used in 75% pre-primary and all primary schools. It was further felt necessary to obtain information on opportunities to learn in mother tongue and, accordingly, it is observed that the large majority (78.5%) do not have any access to learn in their own language mainly because of absence of qualified native teachers and books printed in their languages. It is needless to say, the main initiative to introduce books in mother language came from the private sector i.e. NGOs. However, a strong demand is there among the most members of the communities to receive education in their respective mother tongue. Teaching in mother tongue using Bangla alphabet is seen among the Santal, Oraon, Garo Hajong, Khashi, Patro, and few others which have been introduced by Oxfam at the pre-primary level. In Bangladesh, special attention has been given to enhance literacy rate among the female and, therefore, school education for the girl children is made free. However, a significant portion of parents are not aware of such opportunity for their children. However, unawareness is consequences of the governments outreach program on education and related information could not reach to them or they could not give much importance to it due to poverty. The value of education of their children to the parents remained inconspicuous because there is a rare example to them to be motivated to increase education. Many communities have knowledge about supports for girls education, physical facilities for education, but dropout rate remained high, which might have reasons that need further investigation. In general, poverty, unavailability of

educational facilities at the doorsteps, lack of appropriate prioritization between instant cash earning by doing work and education, remain the challenges in promoting education. However, these challenges are diverse in terms of physical and social accessibility. Despite, nongovernment organizations efforts are contributing to promote education of children of indigenous communities. INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE STATUS: BANGLADESH Name of the Name of the Language Family Indigenous Language Bowm Bormmon Bhumij Chak Chakma Dalu Garo Hajong Khasi Kharia Khiang Khumi Koch Kole Karmakar Lusai Marma Muro/Mro Monipuri Moitey Monipuri Bishnupriya Monipuri Panghan Mahato Munda Malo Mahale Bowm Bormman Munda Chak Chakma Dalui Mandi/Achick Hajong Khashi Munda Khiang Khumi Koch Munda(Sadri) Shadri Lushi/Dolen Marma/Bormi Muro Monipuri Tibetan-Bormann Indo-Aryan Austro-Asiatic Tibetan-Bormann Indo-Aryan Tibetan-Bormann Tibetan-Bormann Indo-Aryan Austro-Asiatic Austro-Asiatic Tibetan-Bormann Tibetan-Bormann Tibetan-Bormann Austro-Asiatic Indo-Aryan Tibetan-Bormann Tibetan-Bormann Tibetan-Bormann Tibetan-Bormann Population Population Script Status (1991)PCR (2011)PCR 6978 12,424 Roman 53,792 No Script No Script 2000 2835 No Script 2,52,986 4,44,748 Own Script 806 No Script 68,210 84,565 Roman & Bangla 9,162 No Script 11,477 13,412 11,697 Use to Roman No Script 2345 3,899 Use to Roman 3,369 No Script 1241 16,903 No Script 12631 2843 No Script No Script 662 959 No Script, (Roman) 1,54,216 2,02974 Bormi 22178 39,004 Mro script (24902) 24,695 Own script(Bengal i) (24902) 24,695 Bengali script 6000 3534 2112 Own script No Script 38,212 No Script No Script No Script

Monipuri Monipuri (Moitee) Shadri Munda Shadri Mahile/Sadri

Indo-Aryan Tibetan-Bormann Indo-Aryan Austro-Asiatic Indo-Aryan Indo-Aryan

Name of the Name of the Language Family Indigenous Language Oraon Pangkhua Paharia Patra Rakhain Rajwar Rai Rajbongshi Santal Shing Tangchangya Tripura Kuruk/Shadri Pangkhua Paharia(use Malto) Patra Marma/Bormi Rajwar(use Sadri) Shadri Rajbongshi Santali Shadri Tangchangya Kokborok Dravidian/IndoAryan Tibetan-Bormann Dravidian Indo-Aryan Tibetan-Bormann Indo-Aryan Indo-Aryan Indo-Aryan Austro-Asiatic Indo-Aryan Indo-Aryan Tibetan-Bormann

Population Population Script Status (1991)PCR (2011)PCR 11296 3227 1853 80,386 No Script 2,274 Roman used 5908 No Script No Script 13,254 Bormi Script No Script No Script No Script Roman & Bangla No Script (Mon-khem) Roman & Bengali


5444 202744 1,47112

21057 44,254 79772 1,33798



The exploratory investigation conducted to assess the impact of multilingual pre-primary education in mother tongue in plainland districts. It aimed to measurement of changes and effectiveness of pre-primary School in improving enrollment, attendance and education status of indigenous children. It also assessed, contribution of mother forum and school management committees particularly education behavior, continuing education, reducing the dropout rate and discrimination prevailing in primary education environment. The investigation attempted to identify the existing gaps and challenges of Pre-primary school component, and further scope and opportunities for modeling and disseminating in national level. MLE in pre-primary school education of indigenous children was design as comprehensive and feasible model with purpose of improving education in indigenous communities. Among several challenges of education, less motivation on value of education of parents, language barriers of the children were found major. Each community has its mother tongue, and people used to practice it at home and community, while curriculums of mainstreamed education and teaching languages are Bangla and English. As a result, the children failed to communicate with teachers and fellow students of other communities in school. As a result, MLE at the pre-primary levels is introduced to prepare them for the primary level. Now, to what extent the PPS education component is contributing to make them conversant and efficient in education needed to explore document. Investigate potentials of PPS in MLE, and disseminate it to stakeholders as a model for children of indigenous communities is crucial after 10 years of intervention. Alongside, the exploratory investigation was to prepare evidence of effectiveness of PPS and impacts on

communities of plain land. It is anticipated that the operated MLE has already become a model of inclusive education, so the improvement and scaling up of the PPS model needs replication. Furthermore, documentation of gaps and challenges for dissemination in wider scale with aim of further growth, the implementing agencies and stakeholders require comprehensive understanding about the model for adoption in mainstream education system. As a result, exploratory investigation followed a multi-method approach to capture the whole issues of concerns of MLE in conjunction with community traits. To meet the purpose, the investigation of pre-primary education in multilingual education for children of indigenous communities conducted both in qualitative and quantitative methods. The successfulness of multilingual education has multifaceted issues, which required critical and indepth review. Accordingly, only traditional and single approach seems inadequate to capture the whole realm including the hindrance factors of such education system. Both formal and informal approaches of investigation felt inevitable to portray objectivity of information and real picture of education scenario. Taking the objective and reality in mind, multi-method approach deployed for the assessment. The pre-primary school has made operational among indigenous communities to improvement education behavior; improve enrolment, reduction of dropout and continuing education of children of respective communities. to increase enrollment rate, reduction of dropout are quantitative in nature, which are to be measured through quantitative survey, but the reduction of discrimination of children in terms of education and identification of gaps and challenges of pre-primary education are qualitative issues . These issues are dependent of various socioeconomic traits of respective communities. Considering twofold outputs of the intervention of an integrated methodology of qualitative and quantitative methods were more effective to capture the results of actions. In conducting impact assessment of pre-primary school level educational interventions through multilingual curriculum, the potential informants are identified as graduated and present PPS students, teachers of pre-primary schools, teachers of primary schools where PPS graduated students enrolled, Mothers Forum members and School management committee members. In addition, the implementing NGO executives and government officials were considered as stakeholders, and they were consulted to capture institutional issues and government supports for the students of indigenous community. Case studies on successful students outstanding activist and teachers, change making organizers, and women leaders were taken included to capture the whole issue of success. An in-depth investigation in qualitative approach was considered as more feasible to address actors like mother forum, SMC members, Teachers of primary schools and executives of implementing NGOs in getting a comprehensive understanding about effectiveness of actions, identification of gaps and challenges, and potentials initiatives to present as a model. The students and PPS teachers covered under structured questionnaire survey. About 16000 students graduated from 186 Pre-Primary Schools, which were implemented by 18 partner organizations. In sample selection, regional and partners was considered as characteristics. Of the total partners, 7 were selected for quantitative survey and all PPS of selected partners were included in the survey. All the primary schools were selected where the students of selected PPS enrolled over the period of time. There are 38 indigenous communities have been living in study areas. Of them, Santal, Oroan and Munda are concentrated in Rajshahi and Pahan in Dinajpur. Considering geographical area for the first three communities the Rajshahi, Noagoan and Dinajpur was selected for investigation. At the same time, for Hajong and Garo, Durgapur of Netrokona and

Madhupur of Mymensing were selected. Patra community is concentrated in Sylhet Sadar and for Khasi is community Moulovibazar so that both the areas are selected for the study. Three stage of methodology is divided into preparatory stage, field investigation stage and post field stage. In preparatory stage document collection and review, finalization of methodology, identification of indicators, data collection instrument development and finalization of data collection tools, orientation of data collectors were performed. The field phase survey for data collection, qualitative investigation through FGD, case study, in-depth interview and key informants interview were conducted with respective stakeholders. The Post field Phase actions were data entry program development, data entry, and data cross checking and cleaning, output generation, and finalization of outputs for reporting. Alongside, compilation of qualitative data, analysis of data and report generation would be the task for this stage.



The nongovernment organizations including Oxfam introduced multilingual education at the preprimary school level to promote education for indigenous children in Bangladesh. To address community culture, diversities, customs and values in education programme are challenging task for the nongovernment organizations. As the programme was innovative and had no first hand experiences, so it had to go through trial and error approach of implementation. Oxfam is mandated and committed to ensuring rights of disadvantaged people through providing supports and services, including capacity enhancement of respective people so in initiating multilingual education among indigenous communities had a challenge to them. Oxfam along with other national and international organizations have been implementing their development programme in various areas including education. However, those actions are supporting the government of Bangladesh in reaching MDG, and targets set on universal primary education. Various organizations have initiated and continuing MLE among indigenous communities till to date. All programmes are supported by donors and the programmes are highly depended on continuation of donors commitment and availability of funding to support the programme. As a result, sustainability issue of nongovernment efforts in MLE remained inconspicuous for piecemeal and dependent actions. However, when only MLE without integration or coordination with other development actions is implemented there may have potential ricks. Several organizations like Oxfams partners, along with BRAC, ASHRAY, MJF, initiated MLE in indigenous people concentrated areas in Bangladesh. However, some of them have already closed their programme that created uncertainty among the people and again the parents became doubtful about their childrens education. However, the MLE initiative has been tested, and lessons learnt from the initiatives which would be effective and functional for comprehensive learning for the government in implementation of MLE under the mainstream education structure by the government of Bangladesh.


Oxfam-GB, an international organization has been working in Bangladesh since the War of Independence (1971), and established permanent country office in 1972. It has been providing supports in various modes to the disadvantaged people of the country. Among diversified programmes of Oxfam, indigenous people capacity building is one of them, and education component of the programme focused to indigenous children of the plain land districts. The Millennium Development Goal-2 achieve Universal Primary Education that stated ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling(MDG Report: 2011) . However, to ensure primary education to all children, especially children who have mother tongue other than Bangla needed additional efforts. Oxfam has been implementing multilingual pre-primary school (PPS) through its partner organizations since 2001 for indigenous children of Bangladesh in plainland districts. Aim of setting up PPS was to increasing primary education enrolment, reducing the dropout rate, increase school attendance and removing social discrimination of the Indigenous children. Meanwhile, over 16,000 indigenous children enrolled in one yearlong PPS education course using multilingual

curriculum. They are getting admission high schools and colleges, and continuing education with hope and aspiration to remove discrimination against them. Such hopes and aspirations are implanted through multifarious actions under the Indigenous Peoples Capacity Building Programme (IPCDP). However, the programme has gone through a rigorous process from piloting of MLE programme, situational analysis programme design to comprehensive community development programme as a whole. Initial consultation and discussion held with community leaders, civil society organizations at regional and national levels to identify and followed by actions. The main outcomes were identifies priority issues, including capacity building of organizations, land rights, education, reducing violence against women; reducing social exclusion; and sustainable livelihoods . Accordingly the activities were designed to address those issues. It was essential to ensure that local communities and Oxfams partner organizations were willing to take a rights based approach. The programme was then developed in phases as community members gradually gained experience in identifying problems and way of solutions by themselves and so began leading the process. The indigenous people of Bangladesh experiences structural prejudice, discrimination and violence from the majority Bengali community in social, economic, political and cultural context. They lacked power and influence at community, regional, and national levels due to ignorance and lack of knowledge about their rights. Oxfam with assistance from its 20 partners has implemented Indigenous Peoples Capacity Building Programme to empower community people for establishment of their rights. The programme expanded significantly in 2006, with the support of DANIDA, adding 16 partners organization in eight additional districts. It has been implementing in rights based approach. It consisted of three main stands; a) building trust within communities; b ) building the capacity and leadership skills of women and men in grassroots organizations; c ) training community groups in human rights and advocacy. The education component was used as tools for confidence and capacity building of communities at grassroots, building womens leadership among indigenous people for including them in traditional customary organizations to establish womens rights. The programme increased the number of Indigenous children in primary school, improved women participation in traditional social structures, help Indigenous peoples claim land, and make them less vulnerable in exploitation. However, the programme went through a process and concretized in 2006. The programme has taken the issue as the indigenous people and children are not conversant with Bangla language so they faced hurdle to communicate with teachers and follow students. The language barrier regarded as the most important factors for their dropout from primary level. At the same time, indigenous people have unsecured livelihoods. For chronic land disposition as a result of grabbing by influential people intensify vulnerability. Earning income through selling labor to manage food for household members get priority rather than education of children. As consequence, parents pull out children from school and insist them to work for earning that is a significant cause for dropout of proportion of children. Along with awareness of parents on value of education, additional livelihood scope and options for parents could be remedial action to reduce dropout. Oxfam, under its IPCBP, identified needs of education in mother tongue of respective communities through consultation with respective actors, and designed programme to establish the education as right. In the programme design phase, it identified language barrier is key hindrance of education. The indigenous children used to attend schools but faced hurdle to communicate with teachers because almost all of them from Bengali community and unaware about respective indigenous peoples languages. As a result, children could not cope with their

follow students as well as teachers and felt disinterested to go to school for education. Then multilingual education is taken as means for reduction of gaps in understanding of indigenous children. However, development of MLE was also hurdle because some indigenous communities do have alphabet, while the most of them do not have that. It is presume that indigenous people of plain land have less access to educational facilities in comparison to Bengali people. Under the IPCDP, a baseline study in 2007, explored indigenous peoples level of access to education. The findings depicted that people were less enthusiastic to education and awareness about the value of education in life. Alongside, educational facilities, availability of opportunities and intention to get an education in mother tongue, knowledge about educational facilities provided by the government, etc., remained unearth to them. It also revealed that local level initiative in certain communities to introduce mother language based education in pre-primary and primary level. The significant number of communities has no alphabets, but they practice oral form of their languages. It is only the spoken dialect, and that too is used for communication within the communities but not with others including outsiders. It is a great challenge to introduce MLE in those communities who lacked alphabet. Taking language barrier and parents unawareness issues into cognizance, Oxfam consulted to indigenous leaders, community members regarding way-out of those challenges. It was a hard task to promote education only in their mother tongues because that would also keep them isolated from mainstream. At the same time, small communities need alphabet to develop education material for them which is lacking. Then, it was decided to pilot multilingual education using Bangla alphabet with indigenous peoples dialect and accordingly curriculum for pre-primary education developed in association with respective communities. In programme designing phase, Oxfam team planed to conduct multilingual education by using Bangla Alphabet in respective community language, and those community people agreed and supported Oxfam. This process ensured participation and active involvement of community people establish ownership of them on planned actions. As per needs of indigenous people, education material developed and initially four pre-primary Schools established in 1999 for piloting the system. The operational modalities was taken into accounts of certain issues like selection of teachers from respective communities, trained selected teachers on multilingual education operation system, formers mothers forum, and school management committees, and involve customary organization in management of pre-primary Schools By taking this issue into account, MLE was piloted at four pre-primary schools in Noagaon district. Through trial and error the programme get a complete shape and PPS reached 186 and 8 learning centre in 2010. Implementation of MLE was a great challenge because a specific section of respective communities were against multilingual education system, and they used to teach lessons by using curriculum in Roman alphabet. However, that the curriculum is not been widely accepted, and had little contribution in effective promotion of education among indigenous children. Despite challenges, curriculum of MLE developed school facilities arranged, and started implementation of multilingual education. The programme design consisted of several actions focusing capacity building of community people (mothers of children, customary organizations leaders, parents of children, and stakeholders) where education was at the centre of actions. It was the beginning of MLE in the northern area of Bangladesh, and the system already crossed more than one decade. The education component of Indigenous Peoples Capacity Development Projects is implemented at pre-primary school level by using multilingual education curriculum in

Santali/Har (Santal), Sadri for Oroan, Munda and Pahan communities ) Achik/Mandi (for Garo community ), Parta/Laleng (for Patra community ) and Hajong (Hajong community ) languages along with Bangla. Aiming at mainstreaming of indigenous children of plain land directs, multilingual curriculum developed and used at pre-primary school level for one year duration. Increase school enrolment, reduce dropout of children from primary school and remove discrimination of the respective community in terms of education were targets. Oxfams partners have been implementing PPS in multilingual curriculum since 2001. Meanwhile, over 16,000 children completed one year long PPS course following and all of them enrolled in primary schools and continuing primary education. It is challenging for the programme to enrol in primary schools, but that has been successfully done by programme personnel specially the teachers of PPS. To understand the present actions and achievements of Oxfams intervention needed to look back to the programme history systematically. The achievements are the result of course of actions that started more than a decade back. Oxfams partners together brought a group of education and programme specialist along with community leaders and programme participants to plan how Indigenous children could start to access children services. 51 First, a one year pre-primary education programme was devised. Multilingual textbooks, sensitivity training for teachers and parents, information share were tools used to assist the children. The aim was to reduce the language barrier, increase school attendance, and support the Indigenous children in reaching the level required to participate fully in primary school and express their needs and options. Secondly, school participants and head teachers were brought on board at an early stage. There was initial resistance from many head teachers due to a mixture of traditional prejudice; limited information and fear that their school ratings might drop is lower level students are admitted. However, the partners and community organizations promoted the use of textbooks and encouraged head teacher to visit successful community programmes. There were 186 community organizations, some of which are preprimary schools, all set up to build trust, increase attendance, and increase Indigenous childrens confidence. The fact these organizations are community owned has been very important to the programs success. Previously, previously Indigenous parents did not feed willing or able to send their children to primary schools, but now hundred percent of schooling aged children in the same area re - enrolled in the government primary education system. The primary schools attendance rate for Indigenous children increase from 10 percent four years ago to its current level 98 percent: some 1300 children (Mannan:2011). More than half of them are girls. The Indigenous children are doing better, and some neck to neck to Bengali children. The programme established forum for the mother of children attending pre-primary schools to come together once in a month and talk about Indigenous issues of concern. These forums are largely supported by male members of family because they see the positive impact on the family and community as a whole. Discussions are help on various topics to do with health, hygiene, sanitation; nutrition and encouragement continue sending their children to school for education. The most indigenous communities are in backward position, except where missionary carried out activities and program for education (Hassan & Ali: 2009). Beside inadequate physical facilities, lack of opportunities of education in mother tongue, the student becomes disinterested to go to schools where their mates and teachers are from wider society. Field observation shows that many parents prefer their children to help them in their work rather than going to school. As regard facilities, the schools are located far away from homes of the children, and that restrict

the number of school going children. Lack of education of parents is an important factor that keeps children away from mainstreaming of indigenous children. Oxfam initiated Indigenous Peoples Development Programme in North-West Bangladesh with the aim of ensuring that the Northern Indigenous peoples were aware of their rights, empowered to claim them from the government, and they would be recognized as equal with the majority Bengali community. One issue was that the Indigenous children were suffering from a lack of nutrition which meant they could not actively engage in education. To reduce this mother forum organize cooking regularly and distribute to the children of nutritious food. To acclimatize mothers and children to the new atmosphere and to expose them to broader horizon, exchange visits organized in nearby pre-primary schools. This further encouraged both mother and children to make new friends and discuss issues and build the women s confidence (Adopted: Mannan: 2011).


The multilingual education introduced as part of approach encompassing activities; education, campaign on rights of indigenous people, capacity building of customary organizations on claiming rights, training on land rights, development of women leadership, actions on access to information at government and NGOs bodies and establishment of relationship between different actors through coordination and cooperation. The training and other activities are event based and issues specific while the education was a continuous activity in respective areas. So, education became the central points of interest as well as actions, and relevant actions are getting integration with education. The PPS education programme of Oxfam for indigenous children in Bangladesh is demand driven activities. It emerged in course of programme planning and activity designing process. Low levels of education and literacy rate in indigenous people intensify lack of understanding about rights they entitled to get, and means to get access. Accordingly, at programme designing stage, education was identified as one of the priority areas during initial discussion with respective communities. The programme particularly focused to pre-primary level as an entry point into the mainstreaming system and accordingly subsequent actions were designed. During the project stage, Bangladesh government did not have initiative or policy to educate indigenous children in their mother tongues. It also did not portray the values, cultures, and traditions of them adequately and appropriately in national textbooks. Multifarious barriers in introducing a new education system beyond the formal education structure of the government surfaced throughout the process. Key obstacles in accessing mainstream education include language barrier, treatment by peers and teachers, curriculum, context of textbook, types and language of instruction, remoteness of villages, operational modalities and governments involvement with these actions. Indigenous children are fluent in their own mother language but are often weak in Bengali-the language of mainstream education. Oxfam partners together brought a group of education as well as programme strategy specialists, community leaders and programme participants to plan how indigenous children could start to access education services. First, a one-year community-led pre-primary education programme was devised. Multilingual textbook, sensitivity training for teachers and parents, and information sharing were tools used to assist the children. The aim was to reduce the language barrier,

increase school attendance, and support the indigenous children in reaching the level required to participate fully in primary school and express their needs and opinions. Second, school principals and head teachers were brought on board at an early stage. There was initial resistance from many head teachers of government primary school and some Indigenous leaders due to a mixture of traditional prejudice, limited information, and fear that their school ratings might drop if low-level students were admitted. However, the partners and community organizations promoted the use of textbooks and encouraged head teachers to visit successful programmes. It gradually resulted to increase acceptance of, and confidence in, the multilingual education programme to teachers of formal education institutions. However, the process became complementary to primary schools teachers. The PPS teachers complete the child survey appropriately of catchments areas of primary schools which is used by the primary schools teachers that ultimately contributed to reduce the workload of primary schools. The head teachers of Registered Primary Schools of Dewanpur of Mohadevpur, Zina Karmakar of Goadagri, Taljhari of Dhamoirhat, Ischachar of Kulaura, and Bidirpur of Niamotpur mentioned they use child survey data of PPS teachers. These actions are supporting the primary school activities. At the same time, the primary school teachers are cooperating PPS teachers in enrolling in primary school graduated from PPSs. Such cooperation and coordination among stakeholders is a step of integration of education activities, and such learning would contribute to implement national education policy especially mother tongue based education at PPS level. The main objective of the project is to develop capacities of the indigenous population at different levels, and local Community Based Organizations are enhanced to claim their rights and entitlements from service providers. In the education sector, schooling system strengthened for ensuring the indigenous childrens greater access to MLE, pre-primary education and formal education provided by NGOs and government respectively. The last objective is to strengthening women leadership to protect their rights and ending violence against women. The main activities are to recruit indigenous teachers at government primary school for convenient of indigenous children to receive their lesson with assistance from their teachers familiar with mother tongue, organize School Management Committee (SMC) meeting, meeting with parents, organize training, seminar and meeting with different stakeholder including local government representatives for ensuring the rights of local indigenous groups. Mr. Rezaul Islam, Head Master of Taljhari Registered Primary Schools of Dhamoirhat Upazila stated as before one year, PPS stopped operation in Beradangi village- the main source of students of this school- and number of Indigenous students has slightly increased in this year. In previous years, we had to give less effort for students while students enrolled in this year require more efforts because they do not know anything about reading and writing. They cannot even hold chalk, notebook, etc., rightly which was not the case of PPS students. This is the key differences between PPS and nonPPS students. Almost all students of this school are from indigenous communities so we recruited an Adhoc teacher from Santal community with the support of community people and Union Parishad, but due to very insignificant support the Adhoc teachers left the job. As a result, we three Begali teachers are running Pre-primary level class with difficulties of the language barrier. Mr. Islam earnestly requested for reopening the PPS in the village. Effective instructions of linguistically and culturally diverse students require teachers to be sensitive to students unique learning styles. To achieve intended outcomes, learning goals must be clearly communicated, reflect cultural awareness and be relevant to the students experiences.

Contents are to be meaningful only if it takes into account the students prior knowledge and his/her world view. If multilingual education is to be a successful and enriching experience for all students, teacher education must include multicultural awareness and foster an acceptance and respect of different cultures and linguistic traits, to facilitate students in acquiring a second language and learning the modes of a new culture, while maintaining an appreciation of their own cultural heritage. In general perspective, multilingual education would encourage students to be mainstreamed and be accustomed to discipline of formal education coup with mainstream curriculum and by bring down the language barrier of indigenous children. Rafiqul Islam, Upazila Education Officer of Potnitotal Upazila stated as separate teachers training module is required for training of primary school teachers especially for indigenous people concentrated areas. The teachers should be more sensitive towards indigenous children at school and their culture. It can only happen through training with substantial materials. The multilingual education materials are to be distributed among teachers of primary school, as if they can go through it and get at least primary ideas about terminologies and concepts and can communicate with indigenous Students. Alongside, shift of schools based on seasonality might play an effective role in increasing Childrens attendance during pick seasons of agricultural works. However, multilingual education system immensely contributed in increasing enrolment, but more efforts are required for policy decision and that can ensure education as rights of indigenous children - Mr. Islam added. The participation of Mothers Forum members in parentsteachers meetings is another success of this programme. The participation of Mothers Forum at Upazila level meetings was beyond expectation, but awareness rising and capacity building programme under pre-primary schools has made it possible. The programme is supporting the governments education programme and integrating NGO and government activities on education. Section - B) (Kha) Chittagog Hill Tracts Local Government Council/ Hill District Council, Clause 33 (b) of Peace Accord (1997) clearly mentioned to provide primary education in mother tongue. The HDCs have the power to recruit, appoint and transfer local teachers. As per the accord, primary Education in mother tongue is specific function of Hill District Councils. Despite MLE is specific function of HDCs, but currently they have limited involvement in education beyond the authority over recruitment of teachers that hindering the MLE in respective areas. The government mechanism could ensure multilingual education and in creating substantially ownership of community people. It can integrate activities with the relevant actions of formal structure of local government bodies and authorities. When integration of action will be in place that inclusive education and EFA targets would be possible to meet, and that will push toward reaching the MDG goal. The indigenous students are doing better than the Bengali students in class, and we are very pleased with them. We will try to give more stipends and other facilities to the promising youngsters, said Ms Kamrunnessa, Joyenpur School Principal. The governments Department of Primary Education used the model developed by the programme to produce the first training manual for the civil servants, who supervise the teachers working for the inclusion of indigenous children in education a major success of the programme. It indicates that the government considered the approach as effective one for inclusive education and included education policy.


The IPCBP programme designed encompassing actions with a view of overall integration of actions for empowerment of indigenous people of respective areas. The central focus of the programme was multilingual education of indigenous children especially in Pre-primary school level in plan land districts. The programme covered education, health education and material health care knowledge, awareness development among indigenous people on their citizenship rights, land rights and legal rights. Community people were oriented on comprehensive development issues and concerns and capacitated them to act accordingly. The education focal points centering education, Mothers Forum (MF), and school Management Committee (SMC) introduced in Pre-primary schools to create complete enforcement of action, orientation and capacity building trainings provided to actors. As womens leadership development was a thrust area so that leadership development actions among mothers forum performed so that they can at least seek supports from education department and nongovernment organization. The leadership development among male members of indigenous communities took place through school management committees, where school was focused, rights issues related to education were supporting actions. These actions for increase access to information and capacity to claim rights of indigenous people. The capacity enhancement activities for customary organizations leaders includes Manjhi Haram of Santal, Morol of Oroan & Pahan, Montri of Khasi and Gauburo of Hajong and their committee members strengthened their capacity in terms of increase knowledge and make them confident in claiming rights to respective authorities. Over the period, as a footprint work for the indigenous peoples programme, Oxfams PPS component brought significant change amongst Indigenous communities. Outcomes and impacts including wider dissemination to wider audiences and policy makers got priority.



Multilingual education is an approach of inclusive education and elimination of prevailing discrimination between Indigenous and Bengali children in education. The approach, operational management and implementation process are developed and followed comprehensively. It accommodated participatory approach to ensure involvement of stakeholders participation as well as community ownership. The management systems developed in participation of parents of students and community leaders, which enhanced the management efficiency of the education system. The implementation process, governance, monitoring and supervision are also done by the community people, which has contributed to develop the MLE as unique system of education for indigenous children. Several factors like knowledge about government and non-government services available for indigenous people, negotiation capacity, level of understanding on value of communication with various stakeholders, etc., are the determinant factors of access to rights of indigenous people. To address those determinant factors education is prime one that can contribute to pave the way of actions. As language barrier is considered as hindrance factor of education so mainstreaming of indigenous children in education is needed efforts in curriculum development by adopting values and culture of respective communities. It is also required to introduction of learning system that instigates children to be proactive, enthusiastic and devoted to education. The Multilingual/multilingual education (mother tongue and mainstream education language-Bangla) under the management of customary organizations of respective village/Punji that are key socialcultural and religious decision making body of respective communicates. At the same time, parents and mothers forums are made responsible to ensure smooth operation, regular attendance, oversee the presence of teachers, and keep contact with teachers and customary organizations. A manual for PPS operation and maintenance, ensure quality of education and maintenance of cultural integrity was developed and the programme has been running as per that guideline. The programme implementing agencies are found keen to follow the guidelines in all areas and respects. The pre-primary schooling system seems encouraging initiative and action to promote education environment in respective intervention areas. It tried to address issues that propagate exclusion from mainstream education of indigenous people. The total literacy programme was key thematic areas of education programme of the government of Bangladesh and reaching the set targets in millennium development goal is broad objective of actions. The PPS education programme has been running in line with the governments strategic directions.



The pre-primary education programme for the children of indigenous communities is not only an education approach rather a children centred development programme. Taking pre-primary education on centre points, mothers forum and school management committees have been

performed in each school. At the sometime, the customary organizations of each community have been involved in making the education programme successful. As a result, the programme personnel have been organizing activities involving parents, mothers, customary organizations leaders, and other community level leaders in increasing awareness and knowledge. The awareness development activities making united of parents, mothers and leaders and community people. It also created scope to share knowledge and information, exchange hopes and aspiration of respective communities. The education was a component of indigenous peoples development programme and these has been complementing other activities organised at the community level. An operational guideline was developed for smooth implementing of PPS education which is very accommodative all embracing documents. Accordingly to the Pre-Primary School operational manual, course was designed for one year duration, within given timeframe 20-30 students of 5-6 years would be enrolled in each school. Aims of the programme were to reduce language barrier of indigenous people and make them interested to education, create scope and opportunities be educated in mother tongue, creating parents awareness make them knowledgeable on education is their rights. In addition, establish relations of indigenous people and their customary organization with education service providing agencies and individual to increase access of them to those supports and services. Moreover, create scope to increase representation of indigenous people in various education related committees and develop leadership among indigenous people. The thematic objectives were address through wide and accommodative strategies of PPS education in respective areas. At the same time, schooling time is set by partners and teachers based on feasibility of respective areas. PPS is not only for making indigenous children literate and mainstreaming in education but also created enthusiasm among indigenous communities. Village selection for PPS: The village selection followed a long process to ensure education for all children of respective communities. First of all, child survey was conducted in each village to identify and estimate adequate numbers of childrens available for running a PPS. As Indigenous villages are small in terms of households in most case so sometime taking the feasibility and accessibility two or three nearby village/para consists catchment for a pre-primary school. In each village section, a coordination committee formation with members of respective communities, one Local level government official, head teachers of nearby primary schools and Union Parishad members were made mandatory. According to PPS operational guideline the coordination committee selected villages with assistance from partners organization competently in most cases, while sometime it differs from partner to partner. As results, when adequate numbers of children for Pre-primary schooling age is not available in a certain village then PPS shifts one village to another. It is the uniqueness of strategy that followed by the project in village section and running PPS as well. The approach allows covering huge number of children with limited resources and efforts. Child Survey: Before village selection, child survey generally conducted in three adjacent villages to estimate children of 0-6 years old. The survey data is preserved in partner office and used to enrolled children in following years. In this survey, some partners have taken assistance from the health and family planning volunteers because volunteers keep records of birth in respective areas. The partners organization conducted child survey, identify children to be enrolled in PPS. Once database is prepared, then teachers communicate with parents specially

mothers for future course of actions and enrolled children in PPS. It is to be mentioned that under the IPCBP of Oxfam, birth registration of children of indigenous communities is completed in most programme areas. At the same time, primary schools do not enrol children of below 6 years age. After completion, however, there is no provision to change the date of birth registration, so some children have been facing problems in enrolling primary school even after graduation from the PPS due to mistakenly putting wrong date of birth. Structural of PPS: The pre-primary school programme followed an operational manual that was developed to keep smooth functional of schools with attention to adequate educational environment in the schools. The students have been made fixed 20-30 so classroom arrangement is suggested 18X15 feet. During selection of locations for classroom, it has been clearly mentioned to select comparatively high land that would unaffected by normal flood and free from water stagnation in heavy rain. As per instruction, the class room must have two doors; two big and two normal windows to keep open wind follow and have sufficient light. It is hard reality that classroom as per guideline is difficult to get in such poor village. However, physical structure of classroom was found convenient for PPS students. Light and wind flows were found sufficient for the education. However, the programme is maintaining the quality in terms of structural facilities and supports for smooth running the pre-primary school education for indigenous children. Students selection and sitting Arrangement: The students age range was set for 4-6 years. Non-indigenous people are not allowed to enroll in Pre-primary school. The 5 years and above children of only indigenous community will get priority in enrolment. However, in reality, maintain age range of indigenous children become difficult. As the villages are very small and adequate numbers of children of 4-6 years range for consecutive years is difficult to manage. When the school within two or three villages, to ensure attendance of those children is difficult because from distanced location children do not feel interest to come to school. Another a reason is both father and mothers of children are wage laborer so they cant match time of work with school. As a result, continuation of childrens education even at PPS is challenging task in such cases. On the other hand, when pre-primary school is at the door steps and within the villages, then parents keep smaller kids to schooling age children and s/he used to come to school with their younger siblings. In such case when the elder one in classroom then younger kids play with abacas made available at PPS. This process in making children more interested to school and at the same time, parents remain free of anxiety about their younger kids. There is no chair or bench in the school and sitting arrangement of students is U shaped which help teachers to communicate with students. Due to this sitting arrangement all students of the classroom can see the blackboard can communicate with teachers. It was found very effective arrangement to face to face communication. Teachers of PPS: Teacher is key persons to run the Pre-primary schools and success of this programme mainly depends on commitment, capacity and skill. In PPS, a teacher is virtually plays role of nursing to children. The teacher is a person who takes care of mental and physical development of children of PPS beside the education. The most teachers are SSC level of educated, but some areas where eligible teachers are not available then below SSC teachers also recruited. It followed the process of formation of recruitment committee by partners organization. The committee consists of parents, government officers, teachers of local primary

or high school, UP members and Indigenous people leaders. In teachers selection committee inclusion of parents and community leaders were found effective for management of school and creation of ownership of the programme. However, inclusion of government officials and local government representative in committee created a sense of responsibility among them. Mr. Alamgir Rahman of Hagra Khali Registered Primary School of Modhupur, said, inclusion of primary school teachers like us in PPS teachers selection committee has increased our responsibility, we feel proud and mental attachment with the school. As a result, whenever we pass beside the school we to have look and talk with PPS teachers regarding the education of children. At the same time, UP members and community leaders also feel mental attachment with the school. The recruitment process of teachers is an example of good practice. Role and responsibility of Teachers: The teachers are responsible to perform various activities like run PPS as I dont have higher education and per guideline and timetable, organize mother forum through regular interaction with School meetings, facilitate to arrange SMC meetings, etc. They Supervisor and fellow teachers, I always ensured 100 percent attendance of children but in some try to overcome lacking I have. I was wage cases they faced hurdles to perform respective actions. labourer and then became teacher of PPS. I Teachers are maintaining regular communication with participated in several trainings and I had parents and school management committee members for keeping educational environment good at school, collect to interact with NGO officials regarding information about respective communities and preserve School. Observing my potentials, villagers them. Teachers facilitate to arrange and participate in requested me to contest in UP election and mothers forum and school managing committee I did accordingly. Now I am elected meetings and shared challenges of education in PPS. member of Union Parishad but still They used to visit nearby primary schools and or continuing teaching in PPS. It means my important place with children, keep contact with capacity enhanced. Otherwise it was not primary school to enrolled graduated students. In possible to be a UP member from wage addition, the prepare list of dropout students and keep laborersaid Raimonu Kujur, A PPS contact with partners organization and school Teacher of Dewanpur Bashpara village, management committee members for regularize dropout children. In case of absent of student, they visit home of children and request parents to send their children to school. Besides, teachers assist to sick children, parents and pregnant women to get access to health services available nearby. The teacher, not only teach the children in schools but also perform social activities for the community. In addition to delivering lessons, teachers are responsible to unit community people through their actions centring education. Skill and capacity Building: After recruitment, teachers are trained for 8-10 days on teaching method and techniques, school operational management, rules and regulation of school, cultural practices, etc. Teachers were found skill on deliver lessons to the children and perform their role and responsibility. More attention are needed on role and responsibilities related to school operation, ensure more participation of mother forum members and keep records of students and schools. Monthly refresher is arranged at office of partners, where respective partners staff and all teachers participate. In these refresher sessions, problems identified by education supervisors shared with teachers and find out remedial actions through discussion with teachers. Alongside, lessons to be given in next months also identify by participants of the session and prepare action

plan on it. The required educational materials for next month are allocated and delivered to teachers from that session. In addition, biannual special workshops are organised to make teachers more capable and skilled on pre-primary school operation and management. However, the capacity building activities is generated effective result to improve education for indigenous children. As the teachers qualification in most cases are SSC levels quality improvement strategy through monthly refreshers is found effective actions for education. However, the capacity enhancement activities significantly contributed to improve education help to bring community people together, increased commitment and confidence of indigenous people of respective communities. The PPS teachers performed key actions for overall improvement of education in terms of enrolment, increase attendance in schools and dropout rate reduction. Education Materials: Essentials and supportive materials were developed and provided to PPSs for making lessons lively to the Multilingual education children. Among those essential materials; blackboard, duster, material helping charts, books, notebooks, etc., are notable. In addition, supports Indigenous students to materials like, flipchart, scissors, seeds, colourful piece of cloths, ludu, and abacas, etc., were also provided to increase attention and understand Bangla along interest of the children to school. Those materials are used by with their own mother teachers and students and make education lively and help children tongues. It also helps them to show their creativity and potentials. All schools maintained, to be conversant and preserved and used these materials for teaching the children. confident with their Mothers Forum members of Gopalbari, Chingini of Kolmakanda teachers and fellow under Netrokona district stated as children are very interested to go in school-to PPS because they can play with toys over there, which are more students Jannatul Ferdous, Acting interesting to them than that of books and others education material. As a result, none of them missed schools. The teacher of Head teacher- Rajabari PPS stated as when I use this material, then, I can draw more primary School, Nachole. attention of children than use of books or anecdote mode of lesson delivery. The education material was found effective in creating attention of children, which is ultimately promoting education among children. However, most Mothers Forum and teachers stressed more needs of such materials for their schools. The education materials are maintained and preserve properly in school. Some materials like flipcharts, colour papers are used to display information which is found the part of decoration in the classroom. Material Development Process: The material development went through a long process which started from identification of issues to be covered in curriculum, through field study by using tools of focus groups discussion, consultative meeting with community people, school teachers, educated young and adolescent and students of primary school. The conceptual frame and layout designed was sketched out for full fledged material development by respective professional expert. Then, professional sat together and reviewed cultural nuances, traditional values and norms of respective communities that are part and parcel of community life and livelihood. Based on learning from initial actions and review ideas and concepts were concretized and transformed them into education materials.


Accordingly, a draft curriculum and text materials were developed, then shared with actors like children, teachers, community leaders, partners organizations executives and concerned staff, educationist and text & curriculum experts through meeting, workshop, and discussion sessions. Based on the feedback of children and other actors, it ensured inclusion of easy communicative language/terms, used familiar picture that match with terminologies of respective communities and they frequently used. It also included national important events like Independence Day, National Victory Day, etc., to make children oriented to national events and issues through the education curriculum.

The basic curriculum developments theories were followed in preparing the text of curriculum. The issues of community level symbols, national hero were used to create inject ideas of community traditions, own stories and rhymes and myths. Alongside, respective community scripts were used to create attention on own language and culture. It would contribute to emerge positive attitude and respectfulness towards their community and national integrity. The curriculum development specialist cautiously used pictures and text selected from the everyday life and culture of respective communities. All the pictures of flowers, animals, and other materials were used which are commonly known to each indigenous community instead of national and/or standard picture used in mainstream education documents. PPS and Community Level Governance: The provision of arranging a monthly parent teachers meeting in each PPS is found most effective activities at the community level governance. In the parents meetings, Education supervisor, representatives of School Management Committee, Mothers Forum and customary organizations leaders and respective schools participated. The meeting review the schools management and education related issues arrange nutritional

Sumela Patra, a women of Patra community is Chairperson of Adibasi Nari Shongothon, member, union Unnyan committee and members of pre-primary school management committee of Kushirgul PPS, under Sylhet has been playing active role in operation and management of PPS. A dynamic lady with long vision formed a women group consisting 25 members of neighboring households for initiating self-help group by her own initiative in 12 years back. Now, she is known to all by virtue of her organizing capacity, community development initiative and actions, and activist of establishing rights of the women. She stated, Paskop the local organization initiated bilingual education which attracted me to be involved with the actions. Accordingly, the programme personnel contacted me and gave responsibility to organize, motivate and make aware the women. Alongside, the community people selected me as the members of SMC of PPS and also members of union Unnayan committee.

food for children, and mothers were made responsible to cook food for the children. As the indigenous communities are mostly poor and the children have nutrition deficiency so that such food supply would improve children nutritional status. The parents meetings create opportunity to share their experiences and giving suggestions for improvement improvement of education in PPS students. The management issues are also discussed and all stakeholders get the opportunity to have information regarding the education. This sharing meetings making accountable of all stakes to each other and transparency is ensured ensured at the community level. However, participation of community leaders and more parents to be ensured through effective initiatives in this regards. School Management Committee: School management committees were formed with representative of parents, ts, local influential people, customary organizations leaders and social workers of respective villages to ensure quality education through proper management and overall supervision of school. Democratic process was followed in forming committees and it was s done in presence of parents and other stakeholders. It has been performing various activities like taking initiatives to ensure quality of education, instantly take decisions on school structure when problems arises and ensure attendance, visits absent students houses and discuss with their parents, look after management and preservation of education materials, ensure teachers presence, etc. In most cases the school management committees have been performing their role and responsibilities for proper management management of schools. Some SMCs have been doing great job in running the pre-primary primary Schools with their own supports. They are managing local resources for operation of PPS. A significant numbers of SMCs provided school house with free of cost through negotiation ation with the owner of the house and in some cases club, and other house are used as school. However, the participation of all members in monthly meetings needs further attention from the partner organizations. Various reasons for less participation in management m committee meetings are identified like seasonal migration of some members, involvement in other activities for earning for the households, less attention, etc. The participation of school management committee members are required attention from t the he partners and programme personnel. Mothers Forum: The Mothers Forums in each PPS were formed with an objective of spreading quality education through creation of congenial education environment through ensuring effective and efficient management. Mother Forums are responsible to take carecare off their childrens education, keep contact with teacher on a regular basis, arrange to feed nutritional food for children, take role on violence against women in the village, take actions to keep peace and prote protest against drug addictions, help sick and pregnant mothers to send them to health centre, helped school management committee, ensure attendance of students and regular presence of teachers in school. The Mothers Forum Member keeps contact with SMC, Union Education E Standing

committee members, Upazila women affairs officer, and other actors. It has been found that a significant proportion of mothers forum members have contact with LGI and government officials while some have still limitation in these actions. Despite limitation the process has been creating opportunity to increase access to government offices and helped building social capital for them. The mothers forums in most areas were found active in performing their responsibilities for the improvement of education of their children. It seems extra orientation on mode of communication with external people and offices, increase knowledge about structure and functional of those institutions may be expedite the access to those offices. Generally the pre-primary school education is a component of Indigenous Peoples Capacity Development Programme (IPCBP). The IPCBP is also have actions related to establishment of land rights, capacity development of customary organization, womens leadership development, actions to increase access to government, local government institutions and non-government organization available in respective areas. As the social inequality in indigenous people is enormous and they are deprived from their citizen rights so elimination of inequality got prime focus of this actions and education is considered the sharpen means in establishing equity in society. As a result, the mothers forum, customary organization, local government and government departments are considered as stakeholders of these actions. Accordingly, all actors were found active and supportive to education programme and most actions are centring to PPSs of respective areas. It is general conjecture with facts and evidential and experiments learning, it can be treated as child centred development approach. With the end of funding for IPCBP, the programme was shifted to Diversity and Indigenous Peoples Leadership Programme, which hampered one year. Oxfam managed fund for continuation of the programme under the new programme that required effort to continue the education. The multilingual education programme introduced by Oxfam with comprehensive approach of implementation with specific operational modalities. It had developed PPS operation guidelines with all specification and modalities for smooth operation. In case of physical structure of preprimary Schools, village selection, child survey, were done adequately as per guidelines. The education material specially curriculum development and distribution of those materials were done professionally and maintained due process as per guideline. The recruitment of PPS teachers were done following the guideline and active participation of respective actors like local government primary School teachers, Upazila education officers, and community leaders. The capacity building training of teachers is conducted based on curriculum and PPS operational guideline which is found effective actions to promote education of indigenous children. The linkage with mainstream educational institutions is established through personnel contact and/or in some cases organizational arrangement. Through this linkage, PPS graduated students are getting scope of enrolment in primary schools. It has been playing effective role in increase enrolment and attendance of teachers. In addition, formation of Mothers Forum and School Management Committees for smooth operation of multilingual education at pre-primary school level is done with due attention. However, Mothers Forum and SMCs needed additional attention to keep functional effectively because the attendance of members of both the committee could be increase through some extra efforts. The participation of members could be more vibrant and active in respective actions.



The multilingual education covered seven communities of 11 districts located in the North and the North-Eastern part of Bangladesh. Geographically, the programme covered vast areas, but it could address only six out of forty-five communities living in Bangladesh. Education of children having mother tongue other than Bangla at Pre-primary level and mainstreaming was prime focus of actions. However, the programme was comprehensive, and accommodative of multistakeholders to create ownership, involve them in actions, capacitate in terms of knowledge and awareness, and make them confidents to claim their rights. In last one decade, wide range of issues; e.g., area coverage, status of PPS graduated students and enrolment in mainstream schools, dropout of PPS students, performance PPS graduated students in primary and secondary level education has been covered. Alongside, participation of parents and stakeholders including community people, in pre-primary level education management increased substantially, which was address by the investigation. The multilingual education programme covered seven indigenous communities with educational materials developed on six indigenous languages. Those are Santali, Sadri, Garo, Hajong, Khasi, Patra. The PPS covered wide range of geographical areas of plainland districts along with hilly areas of Sylhet and Moulovibazar districts. The coverage of the programme is wide, but coverage in terms of numbers against huge number of population is limited. In last one decade 186 PPS and 8 language centre operated by its partners, which was started with six. The coverage by community, geographical areas, and achievements are presenting in light with promotion of education, transformation of visionary endeavour presented in the following sections. The quantitatively measureable achievement has been presented in the first two sub-sections and followed by changes in vision, commitment, and confidence of indigenous people and children are articulated.



PPS by Community: There are 194 PPS established in last one decade under the Chart -1 : No. of PPS school by support of Oxfam supported programme. Community Schools run by partners in different areas of 100 Bangladesh, and by community. The highest 81 80 81 school was established in Oraoan community and followed by Santal (43), Garo 60 (7), Khasi (10) Hajong (7), Dalu (3) and Patra 43 40 (7). Mainstreaming of indigenous children in 21 20 education using multilingual curriculum was 12 7 10 7 3 0 key objectives. The findings show that 21 schools run where lessons delivered in Bangla language, because communities like Teli, Karmakar, and Hajong having no alphabet and the people of those communities are conversant to Bangla language. As a result, in those schools Bangla curriculum used to deliver lessons to the student.

Sadri, the language of Oraoan community and the curriculum developed for them. In conjunction with them, Munda and Pahan hav have e the same language and they used same curriculum to run PPS. In terms of number of covered community are seven but actually the coverage of children by community in pre-primary primary school reached to more than 10 by the programme. Therefore, PPSs have been running ning in respective language but children of other communities living in the same catchments also attending in those schools. In addition, there were eight language centre established with the same purpose and they are functioning and contributing to improve improv education among indigenous communities specially in Khaki community at Kulaura under Moulovibazar district. PPS by Establishment Year: PPSs gone through Year of establisment of PPS schools by a trial and error approach and learning are year incorporated in programme operational process in following ollowing years. The programme expanded 31 35 29 gradually and that reveals from increase number of 27 30 PPSs over the period. PPSs established in 2005 and 25 20 2006 are 20 and 29 schools respectively. While in 16 20 2007, 2008 and 2009 are 7, 27 and 31 respectively. 15 7 6 Initial three years was learning period for partners 10 3 4 and implementing agencies and then they move 5 0 forwards towards expanding the programme. It resulted, increase of number of schools in 2008 and 2009. However, the number of schools declined in 2010 caused for reduction of programme supports. In the sample survey areas of seven partner organizaitons (BSDO, Palsree, ASUS, HRMKS, PSSKOP, AMS and Prochesta), 142 school was found by their establishment year. It is mentionable, though number of PPS was 186 in total, they condu conducted cted 816 sessions of one-year one pre-primary primary education in the programme areas. Growth of PPS students shows the gradual increasing trend in multilingual pre pre-primary schools. The 6 PPS started in 1999 as piloting and formally replication introduced in 2 2002. The learning of piloting of PPS was effective in drawing attention of indigenous people and their children for schooling. The PPSing programme is not only education programme, but also it is part of community level activities. The schools started functioning functioning with the aim to reduce inequality through increase access of people to Chart-: : Number of PPS by District entitled rights of indigenous people living in the plain land areas. As a result, as the 45 45 programme is need based and implemented 36 40 in right based approach so responding to 35 27 30 the community munity demands numbers of school 25 have increased over the period. With the 20 12 12 12 12 10 15 8 7 increase of school, more children got the 10 3 5 opportunity to continuing education from 0 those schools.
Chapainawabg Naogaon Dinajpur
Tangail Netrokona





PPS by Administrative District: The preprimary education programme covered wide




range of areas of eleven districts in North, Chart : Student Enrolled in PPS by Northeasters, and Eastern part of the country. Under its Indigenous People Capacity Building Year programme, Oxfam conducted a baseline 7000 survey in 2007, in 717 villages that covered 6000 R = 0.853 16,851 households on four thematic areas like 5000 land rights of indigenous people, education, 4000 customary organizations and wage and wage 3000 discrimination. Education is the most important 2000 thematic areas of intervention and findings 1000 from that survey give some direction to emphasis education as means of capacity 0 development to reduce long lasting inequality in indigenous communities in plainland areas. Based on the findings of baseline survey, it extended the intensity of its multilingual education programme in programme areas. However, the coverage status determined by availability of funding and resource and it gradually increased from 1999 to 2010, while in 2011 there was no such support to run PPS and resume fund for 95 PPS. Though funding for running PPS stopped but the community people ran 35 PPS through mobilizing resources from the community. It indicates necessity and value of education to the people increased and realization of education needs of indigenous community people. PPS coverage is gradually in incremental trend over the period. In Noagaon district, six PPS piloted in 1999, and then replication started in 2002. The number of PPS in found the highest in Noagaon district and the lowest in Sherpur district until the year of 2010 that also indicates the concentration of respective communities by regions. Enrolment and graduation status of students: The number of students studied in PPS presented in

graph, which reveals that the Santal children are the highest in terms of number who studied in PPS and followed by Oraoan, Pahan, Khasi, Garo, and Patra. The children of Hajong, Rajwar, Mahato and other communities are reading in PPSs as well. The partner organization have been running PPS in respective communities with special focus to unavailability of educational facilities/institutions and having adequate number of children to fulfil the criteria of pre-primary school operation as per its guideline. PPSs are using multilingual curriculum in seven languages, while children of other indigenous communities are reading in these schools within their reach. As a result, the graphs may raise questions how other community people are attending in schools using curriculum not in their mother Utilization/relocation status of PPSs tongue. Due to settlement pattern, a Actual Total village where Santal households are District number Number Utilization concentrated but a few households of Tangail 5 6 1.2 other indigenous groups are residing. Rashahi 5 7 1.4 Therefore, the children of those Dinajpur 16 23 1.44 households attend in PPS, even though Sylhet 12 12 1 curriculum is not their mother tongue. The Moulovibazar 5 6 1.2 community participation in PPS Noagoan 35 76 2.17 management has widened interest of mass Netrokona 7 13 1.86 people to education. In some cases, the Total 85 143 1.68 communities are living side by side so that they know the common terminologies they used. Bangla is common language to

them so that the students are getting orientation on Bangla language and that are continuing education in PPS. The utilization of PPSs supports was found very effective. It was designed as need based programme to ensure education to the indigenous children. The survey designed to cover allocated 85 PPS while it increased into 143 schools based on its location. To respond the needs of communities and to comply with the PPS operational management guideline, they had to shift the schools based on needs, so that utilization of pre-primary pre primary schools have substantially increased. The highest shifting found in Noagaon district while it is lowest in Sylhet districts.


The achievements in terms of enrolments, dropout, continuing education, chasing persisted challenges and commitment of parents presented in this section. As the education of indigenous children has multifarious relationship and has diverse determinant factors, ors, so only directly measurable issues accommodated and analysis made briefly in this regard. Chart- Mean student per PPS by district
23 27 25 23 20 26 20 21 22 22 Sylhet Moulvibazar 28 Sherpur Netrokona

40 20

primary School: The PreStudents in Pre-primary primary School management guideline indicated that in each school a total of 20-30 30 students would be enrolled. The study finding reveals that average students per PPS are 24 that varied district to districts and partner to partner. The highest average 28 students enrolled per sessions in Moulovibazar lovibazar district and the lowest 20 in Natore and Tangail districts. The investigation findings reveal that availability of educational facilities and status of communication facilities are determinant Table-: : Status of enrolled in PPS, graduated and factors of enrolment. The enrolment rate is high in enrol in Primary Schools by year. those hose areas, where educational facilit facility is limited/unavailable either from government, Enrolled in Graduated Enrolled in Year Missionary or NGOs other than Oxfam partners. PPS (mean) (mean) Primary School At the same time, inaccessibility factors are also 2002 25 16 16 hindrance for enrolment in similar areas. Educational facilities are comparatively comp much 2003 27 14 14 available from government, missionaries and other NGOs in Tangail district so that competition 2004 26 14 13 among schools to attract children is there is high. As a result, enrolment of children in PPS in 2005 26 12 14 Tangail district is less than the other part of 2006 27 13 12 programme rogramme intervention areas. However, average number of students per session in PPS was 24, but 2007 26 12 11 average mainstreamed is almost half of total enrolled students. There are several reasons under 2008 24 13 11 aged children enrolment and graduation, distance of primary schools ols from the locality, frequent seasonal migration of partners in search of work are found prominent in this regards.

Rajshashi Chapainawab Naogaon Dinajpur Natore Sirajgonj Tangail

PPSing ing and initial challenges: Six Preprimary schools piloted in Noagaon district 6689 6582 and BSDO performed that task. At the initial stage, there were huge challenges from 7000 different corners like Adibasi asi leaders and teachers of respective communities. As the 6000 education system was initiated in multilingual education so some vested groups ps were found 5000 active for not to introduce such program. Despite challenges, the program stated 4000 functions, gain trust of community people and till to date, it has achieved in terms of 3000 mainstream education, community peoples Boys Student Girls Students confidence building and finally change the educational scenario in some areas. The Dewarpur is an example of achievements on education through PPS education, which is almost common where PPS established. The mothers forum members found very positive and confident towards the education of f their children through PPS system. They have significant amount of Rice in Rice Ric Bank, they are confident to run the PPS by their own initiative, and that did for one year when there was no funding from the program. The ownership of program was found very strong among the people.

Enrolled and number of students by sex category: The survey finding shows that the proportion of boys and girls students enrolled in PPSs in surveyed school were almost the same. Boy students are a bit higher than the girls at the initial three years and that changed over the period of time. Based 85 surveyed schools data out of 194 PPS, it was found that 6690 boys and 6582 girls were enrolled enr in PPSs and continued their education over the project duration. However, no dropout of PPS students happened because of comprehensive strategy and subsequent actions and proper follow mechanism as well.

Distribution of number of boys and girls student by Year 1200

746 710






600 400 200















The trend data revealed no difference between boys and girls over the ten years period of intervention. In initial stage, enrolment rate and number of boy Boys Girls students was higher than their girl counterpart, while after four years of school operation, graduall gradually the number of girl students increased and it crossed the number of boys students. The PPS education was a part of Indigenous Peoples Capacity Building Programme, under which much awareness rising and capacity development activities performed. At the same me time, customary organizations and other social actors made involve with the activities. The much awareness and capacity enhancement actions might have contribution to change parents minds set to educate their sons and daughters with equal preference.














Comparative Growth of students: The students growth varies based on factors 250 Compasison between mean students of like geographical feature, social context Adibasi and total students in primary School and community peoples commitment to 200 education of their children. The mean 192 number of students per school from 172 161 157 2002 to 2010 shows that children of 153 150 mainstream society has an stagnant 139 131 position while the mean students of 112 112 Adibasi children in primary schools 100 where PPS students are enrolled has 66 gone almost time higher. The trend is 40 47 58 37 46 50 33 30 30 gradual incremental in nature while the Bengali children in same schools remained almost same status. The partner organization staff, PPS teachers, mother forum and school management committees have played effective role in continuing education, operation and Mean Student Mean Adibasi Student management of PPS, establishing relationship with school teachers and other actors in education sector. The joint efforts of them have contributed to increase interest of children toward education and helped building confidence among parents. The capacity build actions, awareness raising activities like orientation, community level meetings, mother forum meetings etc., has synergic impact in such increase of Adibasi children in schools in comparison to the children of wider community.
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

Mainstream Status: The average enrolment per PPS depends on number Pre-primary schools run by the partners. The average numbers of enrolled students and graduated from is found gaps. It resulted that there is gaps between enrolled students and graduated students from PPS, at the same time graduated students, and enrolled students in primary school. Despite graduation, a few students could not enrolled in primary schools because of age barrier. As they graduated before 6 years of age, while primary school do not enrolled them by following instruction and rules of concern ministry. As a result, some of them remained further one year in PPS. Chart - Trends of PPS students, graduation and Enrolled in Primary The trend of enrolment in PPS, Graduation from School PPS and enrolment and mainstream in primary 30 schools has a shape trained. The enrolled students found higher than the graduation and 25 mainstreamed students. The graduation of 20 students is average below 15 and enrolment in R = 0.2034 15 primary school is almost similar to graduation. In first two years, PPS teachers faced hurdle to 10 enrol in primary school because teachers were 5 reluctant to enrol them in mainstream schools. As a result, a few of them continue educations in PPS and then through negotiation with teachers they were successful in enrolling students of Enrolled in PPS previous year as well as current year. That is the Graduated reason in 2005 and 2003 the total mainstreamed students was more than graduated students that specific year.
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012



Trend of Class one Students: The trend of class one

students in primary schools where PPS students 3000 Growth of class one students enrolled is positive incremental in trained. In last ten years, it has gradually increasing significantly. 2500 Before 2004, number of PPSs was very few which increased considerably from 2005 and continued 2000 until 2008. However, the number of PPSs increased 1500 sharply in 2008 and that continue until 2011. The increase number schools and students of Class 1000 One in Primary Schools where PPS students 500 enrolled have positive relationship. With the increase number of schools and the students in class, one increased which is indication of Preprimary Schools role in increasing number of students. As the indigenous people were reluctant to enrolled their children in school so that less number of children were at school but PPS and its relevant actions motivated parents of indigenous children and they have become more interested to educate children. It indicates sharp contribution of PPS in increasing school going children from indigenous communities.
1887 1954

















Dropout status: From a general perspective, Table: Number of student by Class dropouts of students mean how many students dropout from primary school might Year II III IV I be calculated by using the monitoring data 2002 1887 1677 1729 1723 collected by the project personnel. However, 2003 1885 1680 1764 1721 dropout calculation needs a different process 2004 1839 1483 1488 1740 in this regard, graduated students from the PPS could not reach to enrol in primary 2005 1954 1778 1546 1602 school are not the dropout in this case. The 2006 2065 1896 1596 1573 PPS operational manual developed using a standard rules that 5+ aged children are 2007 2185 1792 1646 1681 eligible to enrol in PPS, as if after completion of PPS education they can enrol in primary 2008 2017 1909 1682 1676 schools. As per education policy of 2009 2236 2085 1877 1835 Bangladesh, only 6+ students are eligible to enrol in class one grade and they needs birth 2010 2602 2187 1935 1959 certificate to authenticate age of children. The 2011 2650 2447 2037 1981 PPS graduated students in some cases are below six years of age, so, that primary schools did not allow them to enrol in school. Despite graduated from the PPS, they a significant proportion of them could not enrol in primary schools due to age barrier. As a result, a significant proportion of students compel to continue in PPS education another a year to be eligible in terms of age to enrol in primary school. The dropout rates of indigenous and Bengali children are 71.6 and 67.7 percent respectively. It is about 4-percentage point higher among indigenous children than the mainstreamed Bengali children. However, dropout of indigenous people in the plainland areas needs to analyze in considering the enrolment of children. As the enrolment is very poor, so dropout might not be significant so that growth of students could be use as contribution of the multilingual education.




Trends of Indigenous students from class one to class five grades. Trends student of indigenous communities are in primary Schools is positive and upwards over the past 10 years, the overall feature depicts that growth nature of trend is positive and where PPSs have strong role in this changes. The trends are presented in figure.

Chart -Trends of continuing education of from Class-I to Class-V

Pre-primary school in multilingual education started at Ischachara Punji in 2008 and continued until 2010. In 2011, there was no school run in the Punji, but it started in 2012 again. As per PPS rules introduced by implementing agency, on an average 10-15 students graduated in each year from PPS and enrolled in Ischachara Registered Primary School. According to the mothers forum and I II III IV community people, the PPS education has immense contribution in motivating parents to send their children to school. Enthusiasms of children, extensive scope of interaction among children, availability of learning and games facilities, recitation of rhyme and participatory learning facilities attract children to school. Alongside, it instigated parents to be motivated and positive towards showing talents of children. Parents are involved in various actions like Mothers Forum meetings, School Management Committees meetings, and in customary organizations involved in PPS management with objectives to promote multilingual education of indigenous community people. The overall actions in education promotion were very effective among indigenous communities.
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

The members of Mothers Forums of PPS are enthusiastic and committed to run PPS in the Punji to promote education. Their participation in monthly meetings found less interactive and less participatory in actions. Despite challenges, effective actions taken to supply nutritious food once in a month to PPS students. Some mothers occasionally visit PPSs to oversee the presence and mode of teaching of the teacher. The enthusiasm of parents transmitted into children and community people as well, which is moving forward the education related actions. Despite having no children in PPS, some mothers are contributing to supply nutritious food for the PPS students for the community interest, which indicates community participation and motivation status of parents and community people. Multilingual education system has greatly contributed to increased enrolment, increase attendance of students in class, increased commitment, and confidence of community people in this regard. Oxfam has undertaken initiative to reduce language barrier in education for children of ethnic minorities (e.g., education through mother tongue and increase in school enrolment). As a result, of the initiative by Oxfam, there has been remarkable increase in primary school enrolment of Adibasi children. The primary school attendance rate of Adibasi children increase from (10% four year ago to 98% in project area (Mannan: 2011). Under the Indigenous Peoples capacity, building programme the issues of indigenous Children are recognized in the PRSP and Special Standing committee of Union Parishad. The capacity building actions resulting, people used to enhance awareness on rights, proven self-confidence they talked about are not only a discourse but brining something in practice. They also talked about learning to speak, and becoming aware of right to take equal part in decisionmaking and managing families economy. (Sille Stidsen: 2011). Mother tongue based preprimary and primary education facilitated indigenous childrens enrollment and learning Bengali language in government schools, and proven to be an effective way to counter high dropout rates, thus contributing significantly (in a long term perspective) to a higher level of education in indigenous communities (Sille Stidsen: 2011). The overall actions of the


programme is found deriving force to the community people and in long run it would contributed to overall economic development of respective communities.


The multilingual education is not only an education system for the students of indigenous communities in their respective mother tongues, but a programme designed to cover overall development actions beyond education. It resulted to ensure participation of stakeholders, mothers of children, customary organizations leaders, local government representatives, and teachers of government and non-government schools. The joint efforts of them has changed from stagnant condition to mobility, sluggishness to committed, individualistic mentality to pluralistic development approach and finally improvement in education status became an end of performed actions. It is a kind of transformation into visionary endeavour. With the given timeframe, some remarkable change and bright examples has been set. It has been instigated them to pro-educational environment creation by the community itself. Indigenous communities have their own traditions, belief, values, and customs. Occupationally, almost all of them confined within agriculture related activities. Long experiences of neglect by wider community and institutional deprivation, and they were reluctant to get access to educational institutions in educating their children. Josna Kujur stated that it was our perception that Deprivation was our fate, and we had nothing to do against it. Minoti Rani Lackra voiced in same tune, as we were reluctant to educate our children because of having less understanding about no financial benefit from education- it was accepted to us as ultimate truth. Now we can realize that we were in deep darkness, we did not try to understand the value of education. We had no access to information and did not know the benefit and supports available from the government. However, PPSs and relevant actions opened up our eyes to see the vision. Therefore, now you will not find anyone in the village, which is
Adibasi Non-Government Primary School of Dewarnpur under Haturi Union is an example of mainstreaming education of indigenous children. The benefit of PPSs is enormous in terms of hope, aspiration and motivating parents which cannot be measured in money. After thirteen years of PPS establishment in the village, the economic return has started coming at households levels. Two PPS students are now Union Parishad members who are taking care of issues of Oraon community of the village. Earlier the people were not use to visit service-providing agencies due to lack of confidence and cooperation with them. Now two members elected from indigenous community and they have been playing effective role in ensuring access to supports and services, which is remarkably contributing in changing the Baskhaim Kongwang, Rosana Kongwangtwo sisters are reading society. Due to PPS, the children of the community got the in class five and to class three respectively in Ischachara opportunity get education and coming forward toRegistered develop Primary Both of people. them achieved first positions final their School. own community Now they are the part of in rural examination for promotion following Mr. Koel and power structure that inhas some classes. contribution to Dhar reduce Langdu Kongwang are father and mother of them who are educated deprivation, injustice, and inequality Adibasi communityup to class one and illiterate respectively. In Adibashi response to a question Said Wazed Ali, Assistant Teacher of Registered to the motherschool of Baskhaim, she failed to recognize in which class Primary of Dewarnpur village. their children are reading despite brilliant results of her daughters. Puran Bari Punji is nearby the Ichachara where they have been living. Langdu stated, It is hard task for us to send children to school due to remoteness and inadequate educational facilities around. The both sisters (Baskhaim and Rosana) enrolled in PPS in 2008 and graduated in the following years. Then, they enrolled themselves in Ischachara Registered Primary School and have been continuing education. Baskhaim is elder than Rosana and brilliant as well so the teachers enrolled her in Class two instead of class one for her good performance in education. Through their parent are poor and unable to provide educational supports but the two sisters have become incredibly motivated to continue education. Both of them have been getting stipend from the schools and teachers are tremendously cooperative and supportive to them. Baskhaim said, My parents cant support me and my sisters on my study so I used to ask support from my School teachers whenever required and they are willingly do that for me. My parent cannot afford tuition fees for tutor so I help my sister to take lesson and I try to take lesson by my own. As we studied in PPS so we can communicate with teachers and easily understand Bangla language which is hard for my classmates who did not attended in PPS. As a result, the students of PPS are doing well in primary school in comparison to Non-PPS students. Book of PPS contained pictures and our own language in Bangla alphabet which was very helpful for us to understand the language. It also helped us to learn Bangla which is helping lot to continue education. Now one of my younger sisters 49 is reading in PPS and doing well but now she had to come to

reluctant to send his/her children to school. The change of attitude and perception towards education is the comprehensive outcome of joint efforts of development activities performed by Oxfams partners. Multilingual educations at pre-primary school level initiated by Oxfam and its partners as a test case and initially it faced hurdle to introduce the system. It was design as comprehensive programme that included all stakes of society. It is not only programme for education of kids of respective communities, but an approach of transformation into development of the indigenous communities- Pulok Kumar Mondol, Head Master, Usurper registered Primary schools, Potnitola.

Mr. Bidhu Bhusan Singh, Head Master of Ischachara Registered Primary School stated that the PPS programme contributed to reduce labour of teachers because the PPS students come to primary School after learning general alphabets, numeracy, general norms of school and interaction with their fellow students. As result, PPS students have been doing well in their respective classes. The result of annual examination shows that the most PPS students are in better position in comparison to non-PPS students. The first and fifth position holds in class five from the PPS. Similarly, Puran Bari PPS is nearby the Ischachara registered primary School. Some of them are continuing education in class three and four grades. Now the people of these inaccessible areas have become motivated and enthusiastic which was totally absent among them. It is due to pre-primary schools in multilingual text and community level activities of NGOs working in the areas. I have come here from 15 kilometres away in holiday because the NGO staff informed me about your visit. I thought it is my responsibility to present real features to you for documentation and seek support from the government and stakeholders for the sake of education of indigenous people of this area. If the government is committed to inclusive education this MLE education should continue and they should come forward to support similar kinds of programme- he added. In Manutila PPS (in 2010), there 13 boys and girls 14 were enrolled and graduated in the following year. But due to lack of primary school in respective areas they could not enrolled in primary School. There is a primary School at Tarabasha and another school in Longla Tea Garden-under 7 No Tilagoan Union, but due to lack of accommodation capacity they could not enrolled PPS students in their school as well. There are PPS in Longla Boro line, Longla Mejenta and Longla Bazar line and Longla Kukitila area have PPS and BRAC has primary School but they enrolled once for three years. As a result, PPS students get chance of enrolment in that school but the students of following years had to wait for another two years which resulted discontinuation of school. The community people demanded a primary school for education of their children in the respective area. All of them discontinued their education after graduation from the PPS and after one year of intervention, the PPSs had to close due to lack of primary school for mainstreaming the children. The success and mainstreaming of children is dependent on external factors, which should take care for by the government to make successful of inclusive education and education for all by 2015.

Md. Yasin Ali, Head Teacher, Dewarnpur Adivasi NonGovernment Primary Schools stated as; PPS is supply chain of students for primary schools. More than 50% students of this school are from Adibasi communities. In class one out of 43 students 35 from PPS, in class two out of 35 students 27 has come from PPSs and they are doing well in examination. The PPS has changed the education scenario of the village because earlier only 3-5 students came to primary school and most of them dropped out before reaching to high school level. We need to conduct survey in catchment areas because PPS teachers supply that information to us. It has reduced workload of teachers in delivering lessons and instruction to Adibasi students, because most Adibasi students needs not required extra care in teaching which was essential earlier. After learning some basic principles, rules and systems including behaviour like how to dealt with fellow students, and teachers, even how to hold pencil for writing, etc., which required at least two to three months earlier. As a result, Adibasi students could not cope with mainstream children and lost their interest to education and as consequence dropout was common. However, the current indigenous students need not such efforts from the teachers and even they a bit advanced in comparison to their mainstream counter parts. Mr. Wazed Ali and Fazlur Rahman both are Assistant Teachers of the same school reported as sometime we became feed-up to deal indigenous students earlier but now we do not face such challenge due to PPS. It is our earnest request that

The community people were highly enthusiastic towards the pre-primary schools contribution in promoting education and they acknowledged the efforts of partner organization. The multilingual education curriculum contained terms and concepts related to their culture and mode of teaching are supportive for the children. The community people have eagerly placed their demand to continue pre-primary schools in their respective communities. Alongside, pre-primary schools education, the partner organization conducted various awareness campaigns, orientation on peoples rights, available supports and services at government and local government institutions for them, etc. The awareness campaigns basically motivated the parents and community and make them supportive to education. As a result, children have become enthusiastic and they are doing very well in school level.

Sibaran Minj, a student class ten, will sit in SSC examination in next year from Rajbari High School under Paroil union of Niamotpur Upaizla. He graduated from PPS of Tukia Para village. Everybody knows him for his brilliant results in school examinations. He stood second position in the class out of 97 students. No one of the village could cross SSC level earlier but people are expecting Sibaron Minj will do brilliant result in SSC examination. Sitanath Minj- the younger brother of him is five grade student and hold first position in the class. He also graduated from PPS and enrolled in BRAC School and then in high school. His mother, Maleka Minj was asked about the education of your children and she responded as teachers and villagers says that Sibaron is doing well in education and I understand it, only from expression of people and teachers as I dont have any education and even cant sign my name. When the teachers and people say about my both son then I can realize they are doing something good. Earlier, no one in our family had education so we were not aware about value of education and had no confidence that our children can do well in education. When BDO established a school for children and requested me to send my son to school and I did it accordingly but had no expectation. The BDO official and Shuvra Santi Ekka the teacher of BRAC school inspired the children to education. Now, more than 20 students are going to high school being graduated from the PPS and BRAC/Primary schools. The PPS initiated education among the children of Oraon community of Tukia para which was totally absent earlier. The parents were not aware and confident about their children education and now they are more confident because their children are doing well in primary and secondary level. As most parents are landless and marginalized so the children of Adivasi communities had to work in agriculture field for livelihood. Due to lack of awareness on value of education of parents, they were more interested to cash earning instead of investing time for education. In most cases, parents forced


Beradanga village of Dhamoirhat Upazila, Rodoil, Enayetpur, Dewanpur of Mohadevpur Upazila, Burjuk Mahamudpur of Potnitola Upazila, Gondhosail-Tokia Para of Niamotpur Upazila, Ischachara Punji of Kulaura Upazila, Rajbari of Nachole Upazila and many others villages are few examples for promotion of education through multilingual education with difference.

According to the participants of focus group discussion with community people, in-depth interview with different actors revealed that changed occur centring multilingual education and subsequent actions. The community people and stakeholders expressed as you could rarely found children with dresses are going to schools. Only one or two in a village but they were not very regular students even before 7-8 years. Now it is common phenomena in indigenous villages. Children are working in agriculture field with their parents, rearing cows and goats in the field, passing idle time or playing with younger siblings at homestead premises was common phenomena. While at school time, you will not find any children as earlier. In General sense, it is remarkable change over last 8-10 years. If you ask me, how this change occurred, I will say only the multilingual education system introduced by Oxfam and its partners has shaken the mind set of parents and the activities has made this changesAbdus Salam, Head Master of Rajbari High School of Nachole Upazila. In my School, 648 students are continuing education of them, more than 35 percent are Adibasi children, which were unimaginable, even before 5-6 years-added Mr. Salam. He added, in class six the total student (248) is about 38% of them are Adibasi students. Because there are about 13 BRAC schools graduated, a batch of student of them 75% has enrolled in this school. As a result, indigenous children in class six are more than half of the total students. It is due to PPSs. After graduation from the PPS, they enrolled in BRAC schools and then come to high school. Such increase of indigenous children in mainstream education has only been possible for PPS in the area. Sonaboti and Suvra Santi Ekka were PPS teachers described changes occurred in last ten years on education. In 2004, PPS was established in the village, and then parents were reluctant to send their children to school due to lack of awareness. Initially, teacher had to visit households to call students to attend school, which changed within couple of months because children were enjoying PPS for fun, and learn, play and learn approach of teaching instruction. Then parents considered PPS as a place to keep children to avoid taking care of them at least for coupe of hours. It was the attitude of parents at the beginning, while now parents send their children to PPS for education purpose. As a groups of children from PPS are continuing education, and getting various supports from school like stipend, books and some other material in some places so parents are more interested and confidence of this childrens education. The PPS teachers stated as in mother forum and SMC meetings, the value of education and its importance in live were discussed and they have become more aware and consequently motivated and

It is Dewanpur; Bashpara a village at Hatuir Union under Mohadevpur Upazila under Noagaon district is not different by geophysical characteristics and social juncture from other adjacent villages. It is one of the six villages, where PPS was piloted in 1999. The Bashpara of the village is concentrated with Oraoan community and was socially debouched with mainstream society where there was no educated person. Bijon Ekka was only SSC graduated before 2002 from Oroan community of this village. Jogesh Ekka is also PPS management committee member stated that I am now continuing my education at honours level because of PPS. After getting education from this PPS, I enrolled in high school and then collages. Beside my education, I am elected member of the Union Parishad. The people of the village requested me to contest in UP election and responded accordingly. People have trust on me so they elected me the member-he added. Raising finger to Rajmoni Kujur, he said she is also elected member and working as PPS teachers. She was also the students of first batch of PPS. Due to this PPS, six PPS students (Palash Kujur, Showon Kujur, Roli Kujur, Ramy kujur, and so on) have appeared in HSC examination in 2012, Anita Lakra is continuing education in eleventh grade this year, 16 are in class six, six in class seven, 8 in


confident to educate their children. Such meetings and sharing was the first sources of information on access to education and parents role in children education. a village under Enayetpur Union of Rodoila Mohadevpur Upazila la in Noagoan district where there was no SSC graduated people until 2010. The village is concentrated with Bhuyan community. y. Work for livelihood was the priority to the people rather than sending them to school for education. Parents rarely shown interest to send their children to schools before 2002, but the situation has changed over last 10 years. BSDO-a local NGO with assistance sistance from Oxfam established a pre-primary primary school (PPS) in 2001 in the village and 30 students enrolled there. After one year, 20 of them graduated and enrolled in primary schools. They are continuing education in different schools and colleges. Out of those twenty students one has appeared in HSC examination, three of them (Uzzal, Biplob, and Baby) have passed SSC and continuing education at college, four of them (Gireen, Uttam, Chandan and Manik) are reading in class ten and five (Moushumi, Olive, Syms Symson, Anjona, and Mithun) are in class nine. They are the first educated persons of the village. Uzzal said, Adibasi children will work in the field as wage labourer or rear cows of landlord was the tradition, while such attitude has changed in last couple of f years. Our parents are poor and they had to maintain family by earning as wage labourer. Due to poverty, our parents could not manage our educational cost, so we need to work as wage labourer. However, land-lord land dont prefer to hire us as wage labour because bec they perceived us as student and we would not be able to work properly. Despite such challenges we (group of students) talked to property owners personally and conveyance for contracting us to complete the task. Then they become agree and offers us contract ntract to do the work. We four student in a group take such contract and work to bear educational cost.

Topi Mondol and Baby Bhuyan of Rodoil Village under Mohadevpur Upazila was PPS student in 2001. Topi attended in HSC examination and Baby is eleven grade student of Mohedevpur Mohila College. They are only SSC graduated persons of the village. Both Topi stated my father is a Rickshaw Van puller who used to work hard to manage manag my education cost. Now, Topi is symbol of inspiration to the parents of the village because to understand any documents Topi and baby is important person to them. Both Topi and bany stated that the primary schools is about one and half kilomiter away from om the village and both mother and father are all children are involved in agricultural work in the field so they could not spent time accompany their children on the way to school. No children of the village go to school earlier. When PPS established in the he village then all children attend in the school and the PPS teacher enrolled in primary school and they followed up our progress. Only the PPS is the turning points for education of this village. Following us an almost all schooling aged children are continuing con education in different grades in primary and secondary schools.

Wearing pant and shirt walking in the villages was unexpected but now this is reality. Landlord will call Adibasi people to work as labour was tradition but now they perceive us different because of education. Not only that, our parents did not have education so culprit people did fraud to grab land us. Now a day, in case of any such sign of fraudulence, elderly people come to us and discuss about it, which whi make us proud. Topi Mondol, Baby, Uzzal and others, unanimously showed their confidence to change their community through promotion of education. Aiming to that some of them used to teach younger children of the community with free of cost.

Bujrukmanudpur Village had no one crossed SSC grade of education and rarelycommunity students went to some school. But Rajbari village at Nachole Upazila is concentrated with Oraoan and adjacent now situation has changed and villages are same as Rajbari. The indigenous people were reluctant to education their children rather children continuing contin education they used to send their eir children to work for earning. Now the village hasare turned into a village as an and they were found determined example of 100% children enrolled in school. No schooling aged children are out of school now a day. continue education. However, 8-9 9 years earlier, it was hard to find children are going to schools sch ools from the village. The

Rajbari a Village with difference in education:

pre-primary primary School established in 2002 in the village, and that was the foundation of education for indigenous children-said said Mohon Baroar a teacher of BRAC School. In 2011, 30 students attended in primary schools certificate (PSC) (PSC) examination, and all of them passed. Jalil Minj and Suman Mahale scored GPA-5, 5, and all the 30 students scored GPA 3.5 and above. Those students enrolled in Rajbari High School and continuing education there. They graduated from pre-primary pre primary schools run by b partners of Oxfam and enrolled in BRAC Schools to get primary education. As per course curriculum of BRAC schools, they completed class five grades of education in four years. From this Upaizla, only five students scored GPA-5, 5, and two of them are from t this his village and PPS. It was great achievement of MLE education system. According to Mother Forum, and PPS teachers, before establishment of PPSs, it was hard to find a student going to high schools, but now in each class you will find at least 10-30 students ts from this village. It has been possible only because of PPS in the villageMr.Barwar village added.
Figure 2: : A group of Adibasi Children continuing education in Bujrukmamudpur village



CHANGES Language barriers and reduction in gaps in understanding: Language barrier was considered as main factor for dropout and discontinuation of education. Reluctance of schooling perpetuated by language barrier and it is also challenge for indigenous children in adaption to mainstream education system. Understanding gaps on teachers instruction and delivered lessons in classroom make them unconfident to interaction and self-doubting self to respond to their teachers. Long continuation of such process makes them apprehensive, frustrated and finally students tudents pulled themselves out of education. However, multilingual education system has acquainted indigenous children with mainstream textbooks language as it used its own curriculum. It substantially reduced gaps in understanding and contributed to transform transform them from apprehensiveness to confident and vibrant in interaction with fellow students as well as teachers. Zannatual Ferdous1, a teacher of primary School stated as the gaps in understanding Bangla prevail between indigenous and Bengali children whereas reas no such difference in English them. English is foreign language to both Bangle and indigenous children so they are in neck to neck in understanding and taking teachers instruction on English. However, the introduction and continuation of pre-primary pre schools in multilingual text has tremendously contributed to reduce the language barrier and improve understanding of indigenous children.

Acting Head Teacher, Rajbari Government Primary School, Upazila Nachol, district: Noagoan 54

Personal hygiene and cleanliness: PPS education system developed as a comprehensive package for the children from the indigenous communities. The teachers of PPS regularly give lessons to the students on doing lessons on a regular basis, maintaining cleanliness, hygiene maintenance at schools and home, etc. At the same time, the education and hygiene issues discussed at mothers forum meetings. It has shaken children about cleanliness and personal hygiene and parents have become sensitive to their children on cleanliness and hygienic issues. The students of PPS cut their nail, wear clean cloths during school within their affordable level, use sandal at school and latrine use, which were not common practice earlier. The teachers taught students rhymes on cleanliness and children transformed those learned knowledge into practices. Though hygiene education has been informally included in teachers instruction, despite it has made them aware about personal hygiene in day-to-day life. Reduction of fear and shyness: The indigenous adults as well as children are mostly endogamous in communication with wider communities and introverted by nature and tradition. So, they hesitate and unconfident to contact with wider society where language is of courses a challenge. Shyness is another factor that abstain them come into contact. However, multilingual education has made children conversant with common wards for communication in Bangla. As an impact of multilingual education system at pre-primary level, teachers delivered instructions in their respective mother tongues as well as in Banglathe language of mainstream education. Since, they are becoming use to communicate in Bangla with their teachers and fellow students so that fear, hesitation, and shyness to communicate with teacher and other people have drastically reduced. The primary school teachers stated as we had to face challenge to orient children who enrolled in primary school directly, on the others hand, it is easy in case of children coming from PPS. The PPS students are more confidents than that of others children of same class. At the same time, they are not afraid to communicate with teachers and confidently respond to teachers, which are very essential for education. When students remain submissive, then teachers could not identify drawbacks of children and followed by necessary initiatives for their improvement. PPS system has already paved the way so that they are coming forward, get confidence, and continuing education. Understanding the appreciation and encouragement: The appreciation is very important in encouraging the children, which is inbuilt in PPS education. The teachers trained on teaching methods to adopt mode of specific appreciation and to avoid rejection for their actions. Many people carry rejection of some form or another throughout their whole lives never overcoming it and never feeling appreciated. Rejection is the single biggest cause of low self-esteem. Rejection by parent, teacher, or anyone admire and care for can scar him/her for life. The appreciative approach of teaching was effective to draw attention of children. The performing rhymes, songs, and practice of exercise together is appreciated by the system. The appreciation process encouraged children and they feel that they can do what others can do. This process contributed to emerge aspiration among children and make them confident. Such confidence exponentially transforming into other children and they are striving for higher position. Santona Toppo, Sibaron Ekka and others expressed their experiences, as our parents are illiterate so they cant read. When any letter/documents come to them, then they come to us to readout the letter/documents. We feel honour and people also respect us though we are minor to them. The people appreciate out effort in education that encouraged us to continue education and to be more attentive. Commitments and Confidence of Community People: Due to introvert nature of indigenous people, they rarely seek and get access to information and social contacts with wider community. Increased access to information, more scope of sharing issues and concerns without hesitation, reduced fear of potential risk enhanced supportive environment and reliable and constant institutional backing have made them committed and confidents. Centring pre-primary schools, the integration of actions of mothers forum, customary organizations, local elites, and government and non-government schools teachers have open up the scope of interactions that ultimately build their confidence and commitments of indigenous people. It was remarkable among children and parents in the programme areas, which happened as consequence of several interactions related to pre-primary school. However, PPS targeted education, but other actions like mother forum, established linked with customary organizations to create supportive environment at home and school for effective education. Now a day, the parents are committed to ensure

home environment for education, taking care of and oversee school facilities and activities of PPS teachers. Through participation in various actions, they became aware about value of education and taking coming forwards to enhance scope of education for their children. Such commitment helped to perpetuate education of their children and students are setting example for their younger siblings and cohort. Confidence in interactions beyond the communities: Generally, indigenous people remained confined within their respective communities and reluctant to communicate with wider community. The increased intensity of interactions with wider communities is gradually making them confidents. It has been contributing to increased knowledge on available supports and services for them. More interactions opened up more information sources that help them to realize their citizen rights. The PPS related actions has multifarious impacts on indigenous peoples life e.g., enhancement of confidence and commitments, access to information, supports and services, increase of knowledge and awareness, and finally realization of overall livelihood improvement. Strengthen Facilities: The main challenge of education was lack of facilities at doorstep of indigenous communities. In remote pockets and hilly areas, the situation was even worst. As a result, parents may have commitment for education but they could not afford education of their children by keeping them outside. The PPSs have paved the base of educational facilities and followed by some NGOs as if BRAC has established their primary schools in those pockets and remote areas. Advantage of PPS: There are several positive changes occurred because of multilingual education like they can cope with new environment in primary schools takes less time to adjust with new environment in Primary, less shyness and fear in comparison to non-PPS students, taking lessons and skill of writing is more conversant than their fellow students, quick responsive to their teachers actions and instructions and become confident to ask question to their teachers in class room and are more inquisitive than that their fellow students.



Multilingual education programme operation in existing structural framework of government is a great challenge. The government does not have experience on implementation of MLE at preprimary level but it has started pre-primary education at existing primary school setup .Curriculum for PP Education is developed and distributed. Existing teachers are trained on instruction and lesson delivery system without recruiting new teachers for this purpose. The NEP-2010 stated the teacher student ratio would be 1:30 at primary level but the introduction of PPS within the primary schools set up, it has increased burden to teachers and the ratio is increased rapidly. Teachers have not yet been recruited while number of students (PPS students) increased due to introduction of PPS. It is against the merit of NEP and quality education. However, the challenges of pre-primary schools in multilingual education are presented in the following sections from diverse perspective and approach.


The multilingual education approach of Oxfams partners face challenges like enrollment of appropriate aged (4-5 years) children in PPS, unavailability of adequate number of children (20-30) in the catchment area for running the PPS and shifting of schools in a different location. Alongside, unavailability of appropriate teachers within the school catchment in respective location, inadequate primary school to enroll PPS graduated children within the reachable area of the catchment is challenges. As per PPS operational guideline, defined age for eligibility to enroll is 4-5 years while teachers had to enroll some under aged children to fulfill the required numbers of children to run the PPS. On the other hand, if the PPS is relocated, then appropriate aged children get deprived and do get access to education. This is one of the challenges to run the PPS. When the under aged children are enrolled and graduated from the PPS, primary schools cannot enroll them due to age barrier. According to education policy, six year is the appropriate age to enroll in Class One grade of education, while at the age of 5 or five and half year, the children are being graduated from PPS. Due to under age, primary schools teachers cannot enroll them in Class One grade in primary School. As a result, PPS teachers compelled to keep them in PPS for the next one year. When the school is relocated, some PPS graduated students of relocated schools cannot get enrollment in mainstream school in the following year for absence of support of teachers. In this instance, teachers losses their job and do not feel interest to take initiative to enroll them in mainstream schools. As a result, dropout of children after PPS graduated children occurs. Though shifting of school becomes essential when an adequate number of children are available in the catchments to run a Pre-primary School. As consequences of such frequent relocation or shifting need teacher to run PPS in new location is not always

available in all villages due to poor education in Indigenous communities. It has also consequences, like loss of coordination and cooperation between PPS and primary school teachers, unavailability of appropriate and efficient teachers in new location, uncertainty of PPS graduates in enrollment in primary schools, unavailability of physical facilities like house to run PPS, and disinterest of teachers in running a PPS in other village due to poor salary. The strategic initiatives and partners effective long terms planning on when and how the school will be shifted might play an effective role to overcome some these challenges.

There are some Punjis/villages in hilly/isolated area, where number of households and children at school going age is few. However, PPS guideline mentioned at least 20 students are require to ran a PPS, so in case of inadequate children, PPS cannot be ran. In such cases, children in small village and/or Para are remaining out of education. The field investigation reveal, numbers of Indigenous students is gradually decreasing in government primary schools, because of BRACs non-formal primary Schools. BRAC schools are located at their door steps, it provide books and relevant educational materials with free of cost to the students and convenient schooling time and short duration. Partners are found more interested to send their children in BRAC schools than primary School. At the same time, duplication of students in UNICEFs PPSs, and religious institutions based schools at the same areas was also an issue for investigation. Challenges of Management:
o Distance of the school from the office, seasonal challenge like rain and hot weather in summer it is hard to reach the school on time regularly for supervision. As the teachers are less educated, so that supports from the partners are required on a regular basis. However, the provision of School supervisors is essential, and workload for supervisors should be distributed taking into consideration of geographical accessibility. o Inadequate supports like umbrella and/or rain coat and other required materials is to be ensured to make the supervision smooth, effective and frequent . The partner organizations could take necessary initiative in this regard. o Supervision in rainy season especially in hilly areas is difficult because of geographical inaccessibility. It is challenges to ensure quality education for the children of disadvantaged areas. o PPS teachers are less educated and less proficient in using Bangla language in some areas, because of their mother tongue is other than Bangla which is another challenge for the management. o No skill on writing in their own alphabet of teachers is also challenging for teachers. At the same time, supervisors also faced a similar challenge in supervising of PPSs. In existing PPS Books/materials counting system,


developing writing skills, etc., are not adequate covered. As a result, the supervisors and teachers faced the challenge to deliver lessons in this regard.
o The SMC and mother forum meetings are key elements for proper management of PPS for the sake of quality education and sustainability of PPS education. The members of both committees need to energize to ensure their participation in their specified responsibilities. o The programme piloted and implemented with financial assistance from donors and the system has been developed through trial and errors. However, the sustainability of the programme is a challenge if the financial supports are discontinued. However, appropriate strategy for sustainability of the programme is a great challenge for the management.

Challenges at primary Schools:

o At the primary schools, the most teachers are from mainstream Bengali community, and they are not familiar with indigenous languages. The teachers could not communicate appropriately to children, when the indigenous children use new terminologies of indigenous language. In such cases, the children faced challenges to grasp the lessons in schools. o The attitudinal and perceptual barriers between indigenous and Bengali children persisted in all areas. In some cases, acceptance of indigenous children to Banglai students is not supportive. It becomes a matter to make indigenous children disinterested to school. The orientation of teachers is required to create a supportive environment at school is essential for indigenous children to support education of them. o Attendance of indigenous children becomes a challenge in pick season of agricultural works in school in some area. It is general practice among some indigenous communities that they seasonally migrate to other village for work at higher wage. They used to go with full family who do not have any member to take care of their children. Then the children could not attend in schools and consequently attendance drastically reduced in schools. When they come back, they cannot cope with and complete remained lessons which sometime become, the cause for dropout.


o The education as intrinsic means of empowerment for the indigenous children was in darkness to indigenous people. Taking education as the central focus, activities were designed as part of comprehensive development approach, and it has been able to bring in light of the darkness. As a result, awareness of people on value of education can make them committed to education and followed by


actions. Information and knowledge generation and dissemination are the key determinant for bring change, gearing up and move forward from the stagnation.
o Comprehensive policy formulation and subsequent actions to implement policy into practice is essential for success of any intervention. The PPS education was designed in a comprehensive approach of development through ensuring rights of indigenous people. In case of excluded groups, the education programme should not be lineal programme, but that should be a holistic one including knowledge and awareness on rights, linked with livelihood support programme, etc. o The follow up and monitoring of programme should have a standard framework for any development intervention to make visible of outcomes. The follow up and monitoring of graduated students of PPS, are found informal in nature and lacking standardized structural system. Partners are doing it by their own system but not standardized in nature. Still it could not visualize a holistic picture of achievements made by the project intervention. Like any other development programme, the monitoring system could be more structure and functional as per standard monitoring system principles. o Involvement of mothers and parents in school management can bring expected outcomes. The multilingual education programme at pre-primary schools level involved mothers in the form of Mothers Forum and parents in SMC. It has ensured the community ownership on education programme and helped to bring effective outcomes. So, involvement of community people in education management is essential for greater success of such a programme.


o Once in educationally in dark, the subjugated, deprived and discriminated indigenous communities living in Bangladesh are now slowly approaching towards a better future in terms of education. Several initiatives have taken by the government of Bangladesh and nongovernment agencies, and that has made it possible. Outreaches of these agencies are trying to incorporate the untouched but potential beneficiaries. The formal and non-formal schools are slowly increasing the coverage of pre-primary School in multilingual education. However, constraints are observed which are still creating obstacles to Education for All in the indigenous communities. o Awareness building for parents is required, and teachers cannot take care of their students adequately. Facilities, skill of PPS teachers in ensuring quality education required more efforts . Need to emphasize to follow the PPS manual; specifically regarding the age of enrollment of children in PPS. The disperse location of school create hurdle to monitor schools as per requirement for quality education. The provision should be kept in the guideline to relax the hard and fast rules in terms of numbers of students to run a PPS in a special case to ensure inclusive

educations. Need to establish linkages with supports like school feeding programme, arrangement of Tiffin through other organizations or donors. There should have provision for skill development actions/training on management and supervision of ongoing schools for school supervisors. The shifting of school in every one or two years basis on the availability of required numbers of students is effective initiatives to wider coverage but sometime less feasible from financial context.
o Parents almost participation in school management committee (SMCs) needs further improvements to ensure education quality. In many schools, SMC members are nominated. This discourages parents and they are reluctant to be candidates for school management committees SMC. It is essential to establish effective arrangements for the active participation of parents and community members in decisions regarding the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of education services. Regular refresher courses are needed for SMC members. o In areas where there are no schools, new schools need to be established. This is particularly the case in the tea estate areas and inaccessible hilly areas. It is also important to provide high schools close to the primary schools. Allow schools to adjust school calendar according to local traditions, religion, and work. Allow for use of supplementary reading materials in local languages and encourage use of local materials as teaching aids. The most critical of these is the lack of awareness among the parents. The challenge might be overcome through an awareness campaign and strong motivational work. Parents should realize that no other factors would be able to improve their livelihood in future, keeping children uneducated. Along with the awareness of parents, children needs appropriate counseling and guidance to utilize existing facilities. However, the facilities are not adequate enough at this moment, but utilization process will create wider space within the limited scope. The dropout and discontinuation should not be encouraged on the pretext by any means. The girl children need understanding, about better future they can experience if educating. The girls are discriminated being a girl as well as being a girls of indigenous community. The education might make their future status and position less vulnerable within the family and community. o In the context of currently limited facilities, both the government and nongovernment agencies working in education sector should periodically review better options and opportunities for indigenous people. They can also create options to enhance level of education among the indigenous communities. Language barrier is seen as a serious concern. In view of this, the number of teacher from indigenous communities is to be increased along with the introduction of multilingual education at primary level. The children from indigenous communities can get rid of the language barrier phobia only if they understand the lesson taught in the class. Introduction of multilingual system in the class room will help them both at home as well as when they come into close

contact with the mainstream societies. It may thus be concluded that Education for All will simply remain a slogan if the above stated critical issues are not resolved.
o Access to education at pre-primary, primary, secondary and higher education is still a challenge. However, data collection and analysis on access, where the services are available, compare access levels between indigenous peoples, Bengalis and other members of the national population are essential. As rights based activities have been staged movement with speculated data in most case that creating debate and ultimately delayed policy decisions. Main factors are affecting access to education is required assessment of issues including location, availability of teachers, presence or absence of stipends and other benefits, and attitudes towards education. Ethnic identity of teachers, proportion of indigenous teachers, and assessment of the impact of indigenous teachers on the quality of education and educational achievement needed to get appropriate results in this regard. o The programme is focused to pre-primary school education and mainstreaming of children in education. Taking the livelihood status of indigenous people in mind, the linkage with vocational education for less meritorious students can be established. o As Oxfam is a right based organization, and has its own priority areas of intervention. The education programme is less focused and priority of its programme in Bangladesh. As the education is constitutional rights of children of Bangladesh, so that Oxfam should thinks about incorporation of education especially for indigenous children in its policy. o The strategy of Oxfam changed every five years and focus of actions shifted with strategic change. It put less priority issues and projects in challenges of continuation. The strategic shifting diverts the interest of seeking funding for less priority project. As a result, discontinuation of funding for programme like education may jeopardize the whole achievements of long time intervention. However, inclusion of education programme with priority in strategy documents may contribute to education especially for indigenous children.


The multilingual education operated by Oxfam and its partners aiming to ensure inclusive education to meet the MDG -2 and Education for All. The programme substantially proved that appropriate strategy, implementation process and adequate and effective curriculum essentially contribute to mainstream indigenous childrens education and ensure inclusive education. The community participation in education management is vital a factor for promotion of multilingual education, which is ensured through the multilingual education programme. It is necessary to assess the impact of indigenous teacher ran MLE in indigenous communities. Several organizations have been implementing MLE, but it needs accumulation of success and integrates them into national strategy. Indigenous teachers have been contributing to motivate children and parents that actually helped the education programme but the extent of contribution in national level needs assessment .Simultaneously, the multilingual education programme of Oxfam reached at a child centered development approach, but that required to be more structured to establish as an approach. Teacher training and indigenous cultures availability of teacher training material on indigenous culture and society, and its practical use in teaching are essential Teachers training materials are purposively designed with learning from the field, which has contributed to a great extent to improve the conduction education. Accumulation of similar learning to develop a national level strategy might be effective. In view of the diversity of forms of education in Bangladesh, particularly at primary level, assessment of the forms of schooling available to indigenous peoples is required. Assessment of the availability of multilingual education, and its use at different levels and in different forms of education is essential. The uniformity and structural framework of such education operators are required, and that can essentially and widely contribute to inclusive education especially for indigenous people of Bangladesh. Curriculum and teaching materials are available, which are prepared by the respective organization. Perceptions of indigenous people on the existing curriculum and teaching materials are necessary to review, and uniformity of materials could help accommodating in national level strategy. An assessment of the current curriculum and materials, its sensitivity to cultural diversity, concerns of indigenous peoples, and community participation are inevitable for the greater success and widening the programme. Assessment of successful experiences of indigenous peoples participation in schooling and education management, including the participation of traditional indigenous forms of representation and decision-taking may be effective. Multilingual educations in indigenous childrens education in Bangladesh are a new phenomenon but tested approach for inclusive education especially for indigenous children in Bangladesh. It has immensely contributed to encourage children, motivate and aware parents and community people, ensure participation of community people specially mothers, community level actors and customary organization representative in education management at the community level. Centering multilingual education, development actions especially for increase knowledge and awareness about their constitutional and legal rights, increase access to information and development of skill and capacity to claim rights are remarkable. The impact of community level actions on indigenous people is government and nongovernment supports and services are contributing to education of children and their livelihood security. Food and livelihood security issues are addressed, increased access to social safety net, linkage with different organizations, and that resulted increase of interest of indigenous people to send their

children to schools instead of work for earning bread for households. The education programme especially for indigenous people should not be lineal and only education focused, but it should be integrated and accommodative programme of livelihood and right based issues. As the rights based programme enhance knowledge and awareness related to their recognized rights by the constitutions and laws of state, so that they can learn and practice to claiming their rights.


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