Indigenous children of India: enrolment, gender parity and drop‐out in school education

K.M. Joshi (Department of Economics, Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar, India)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 7 September 2010



The purpose of this paper is to examine the status of access to school amongst the indigenous children of India. It looks at the enrolment, gender parity and drop‐out at different levels of school education as well as gender‐wise.


Sociological factors and the economics of education discourses on the significance of education and reasons for impediments to access are reviewed. The paper uses SES data for the year 2006‐2007 published by the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development in the year 2008.


The indigenous children still remain the most deprived group in terms of access to school education and drop‐outs. The girls are the most affected stakeholders. The enrolment and gross enrolment have increased in the last three decades, but it is still very low at the higher levels of schooling. Similarly, the gender gap amongst the indigenous children increases at the higher levels of schooling. The high poverty and opportunity cost of attending schools are the major reasons for low participation.

Research limitations/implications

Although the macro‐level strategies of government reflect an overall increase in enrolment and fall in drop‐out, research is needed to study grass root/micro‐level strategies adopted by NGOs for individual indigenous communities at different locations and their effectiveness.


The effective and equal access to and within indigenous children is an important tool for their socio‐economic development. The paper provides both an aggregated and a disaggregated picture by both gender and state.



Joshi, K. (2010), "Indigenous children of India: enrolment, gender parity and drop‐out in school education", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 30 No. 9/10, pp. 545-558.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.