Linguistic Predicaments and Dropouts among Muthuvas and Hill Pulayas of Kerala

Author: Juhi Jan James (University of Kerala)
Speaker: Juhi Jan James
Topic: Language pedagogies
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


The current socio-cultural and psychological constraints have made it a significantly complex task for the tribal students to keep up with the normal literate standards. Improved access and quality of primary education need to be gradually initiated and carried out to all the geographical areas possible. Though Kerala is the most literate state in India, the drop-out rates in particular districts with tribal population itself have increased recently when compared to the mainstream population. The overall literacy rate of Kerala is 93.91 percent yet tribal literacy is only 75.81 per cent but it is much higher than the national average ST literacy rate of 59 per cent (Census of India, 2011). The literacy rate of Hill Pulaya is 49.94 per cent and that of Muthuva is 5.8 per cent to the total tribal population.

The unveiling of the real reasons and implementation of a Mother Tongue Intervention/ Multilingual Education Programme are indeed essential to overcome the barriers involved in dealing with the drop-out rate of tribal communities like Muthuva and Pulaya tribes in Kerala. There exist language documentation policies and programmes to foster the educational procurement of tribal students. With efficient Mother Tongue education/Multilingual education programmes among Muthuva and Pulaya tribal students, it is possible to vanquish the difficulties that students face in bridging the linguistic gaps that arise out of late exposure to the wider academic atmosphere.


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Keywords: Muthuva, Hill Pulaya, Dropouts, Tribal Literacy, Mother Tongue education