Tribal Languages get a boost in Andhra Pradesh through Multilingual Education


Andhra Pradesh has a long history of engaging with multilingual education among the tribal groups. It is good to note that the latest initiative not only focuses on material development, but also on the training of teachers. Hopefully this will make the program more sustainable than previous attempts. While reading up on this, I discovered an NGO that I was not aware of: It is good to note what NEG FIRE is engaged with!

According to the recent report from the Times of India, ‘teacher training modules’ have been developed for tribal languages of Andhra Pradesh. The Tribal Cultural Research and Training Mission (TCRTM) held a two-day workshop for the same at Rushikonda. Mother-Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) has been implemented in 1,350 schools in the state according to this news report. The languages covered by this include the Koya, Savara, Adivasi Oria, Jatapu, Kuvi, and Konda Dora. 

They plan to train 1,400 teachers who are already working in these schools.(TOI report)This programme has come about through the collaboration of the TCRTM with the school education department, Samagra Shiksha, and the NGO NEG FIRE. The NGO NEG FIRE is focusing on “promoting quality education for children of marginalised communities through MTB-MLE, teacher training, and inclusive education strategies in four states and ten districts of India.”

TCRTM mentions that they  have also developed six primers which were distributed among six tribal languages in the ‘anganwadi’ centres (child care centre).  As primers and other materials had already been developed, the questions arise concerning what has happen to all those materials that were produced in the past and whether there is an archive that the next initiatives can build on. It was therefore good to see that the NGO NEG Fire has uploaded the books they helped to produce on their digital library. Maybe one day we can have all the reading books and primers uploaded on the Bloom library or at another central place where all NGOs and education departments have access to them!


Karsten, co-written by Upasana Lepcha


  1. Script-less tribal languages to get a boost in Andhra Pradesh | Visakhapatnam News - Times of India

  2.  NEG Fire 

  3. Photo courtesy: The photo is courtesy of Pamela Mackenzie