Tribal's access to education can be considered as a gift of missionaries to the tribal population of India than being a reflection of the constitutional and legislative attempt of the government.The tribal areas where missionary domination is significant the literacy rate is around 90% or more. This explains how the tribal communities are in actuality apathetic to education but educational programmes are not designed to cater to the needs of the tribal communities.
Nanda and Mahapatra in their study of the discourses of tribal education in India find out the linguistic difference in relation to the school and family generates a kind of linguistic poverty in case of tribal children for which they prefer to dropout from the school.
The special schools for the tribal children such as ashram schools are located in obsolete areas to which teachers never pay any visit .In many situations no school building and infrastructural facilities are available. Thus students live on rolls than being actually experiencing school life.
School curriculum never pays attention to Tribals interest in archery and various kinds of other sports and schools commitment to teaching and learning makes the tribal children schools as a non-exciting experience as an alien place leading to higher dropout.
Rapid expansion of industries has contributed for the displacement of tribal population. It has broken down the backbone of tribal economy leading to the situation where Tribals are forced to send their children to labor market in search of survival making school a distant dream for them.
Growing poverty, ignorance and self-contention and cultural myopia compel the Tribals to look back at education as no match for their culture. They prefer to maintain safe distance from it.
Tribal education has not got a momentum in India because attitudinal change has no significantly taken place as a result of which quantitative transformation in educational institutions fail to cope up with people perception of education. Hence unlike west education has not greatly been successful to dismantle the traditional disadvantage and instrumental to promote equality in society to make participation of disadvantaged groups meaningful and target specific.
Modernization theorists under Prof Yogendra Singh do not loose hope advocating that tribal literacy in India when nearing 50% it is a testimony to the fact that education has been instrumental for social change and social mobility contributing to the modernization of Indian society.