Teaching the nomads in the wild: An analysis of seasonal educational schools for nomadic populations in Jammu and Kashmir

Kavita Suri

Abstract


Gujjar and Bakkarwal tribes are the scheduled tribes found in all the three regions of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the border states of India. Out of the total twelve Scheduled Tribes of J&K, Gujjar and Bakkarwal tribes form 69.1 percent of the total ST population. These twin tribes which also form the third largest community in Jammu and Kashmir, are mostly nomadic who move to the lower and middle mountain areas of Pir Panjal in search of better pastures in the summer with their cattle and come back to the plains in the winters.

 

The literacy rate of Gujjar and Bakkarwals is quite low. There are a number of educational provisions for migratory Gujjar-Bakkarwal populations in the form of stationary and permanent government schools at different places all over the state. But at the summer locations where the good numbers of nomadic children are available who move there with their parents, the educational facilities are again very less. For the education of the children of the nomadic populations of Gujjar and Bakkarwals, ‘Seasonal Educational Schools’ have been set up where the teachers do not accompany the nomadic children but continue to remain at the temporary camps of the nomads and provide education to those children who are at the higher reaches with their families and cattle for better pastures.

 The present paper aims to understand the role played by seasonal education camps in the education of nomadic children in J&K. It also seeks to explore the attempts made by the Jammu and Kashmir government to provide education to nomads during their seasonal migratory practices. The paper would also suggest few measures for providing better education to pastoral nomads.

 


Keywords


Gujjars, Bakkarwals, seasonal schools, nomads, SSA, Kashmir

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References


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