Dalit kids face bias in schools too: Study
New Delhi: Two Dalit children are made to share an egg during meal time in schools. Dalit students receive meals at the end. So-called higher caste students eat separately and are given an extra helping of meals. Tribal and Dalit students are seated on the last benches of the class.
These are not random incidents dating back to a different time but pictures of discrimination in school education unearthed by a study conducted across eight states to examine whether students belonging to schedule caste, scheduled tribes and religious minorities are treated fairly.
The study, conducted by National Dalit Movement for Justice and shared exclusively with ET, reveals a shocking picture of discrimination and sexual abuse across states. The states include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.
During field visits, researchers found that SC and ST students are forced to clean toilets and classrooms but other students are not. These students are even made to clean toilets used by teachers. According to the study, due to differentiation done by teaching and non-teaching staff, even the so-called higher caste students do not make friends with SC or ST students, are seated at the front of the class, given an extra helping of mid-day meals and meted out less punishment as compared to Dalit students for coming late to school.
National Dalit Movement for Justice general secretary Dr VA Ramesh Nathan said, “Through this study we aim to advocate for guidelines on prevention of discrimination in school education and enabling a discrimination-free learning environment.”