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Why India Must Worry About a Factory School Model Like KISS for Adivasis

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Education as an instrument of social policy has regularly dominated public discourse in India. Yet, research on the history of educational institutions – such as personal epistemology in the classroom, the cultural, socio-economic and political environment – is often overlooked as a methods of prognosis for understanding the problems that a society confronts. The colonial models of education which schools follow even today seek to establish the ideas of those who have the power to control the education system.

More than two hundred Adivasi leaders, academics, activists, representatives of people’s movements and student organisations and others concerned with Adivasi rights have signed a petition against Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar, Odisha, being chosen to host the World Congress of Anthropology (WCA) 2023.

Prafulla Samantara, winner of the 2017 ‘Green Nobel’ and president of National Alliance for People’s Movements, wrote: “KISS is an institution which proclaims itself to be working for the indigenous people but in reality it is entirely anti-indigenous in its functioning and does not stand with the many major battles that Adivasi people in India are fighting in their everyday reality. The institute’s close ties and financial dependence on mining and extractive industries are absolutely shameful and a point of great concern with many of us.”

Some leading voices worldwide also supported the decision to drop KISS as a co-host for the WAC, 2023 – Boa Ventura Dos Santos, Arturo Escobar, Gustavo Esteva, Virginius Xaxa, Ruby Hembrom, Walter Fernandes, A.R. Vasavi, Ashish Kothari and Nandini Sundar.

The petition eventually helped the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) to carefully examine and cancel its affiliations to KISS as the co-organiser and host for the WAC, 2023.

Achyuta Samanta, an MP from Biju Janata Dal representing Kandhamal constituency in Odisha, is the founder of KISS. A video released by Survival International – a........

© The Wire

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