Blackboard in the jungle

Jul 1st, 2010 | By | Category: Featured, Impact

A rather interesting phrase. I loved it the moment I heard it as it built a vivid picture in my mind of the deeper meaning it possess.

Quite surprisingly I heard this in a workshop on qualitative ethics and this the name of a classical qualitative research done by Victoria J. Baker, an idealistic teacher and an anthropologist who took residency in a remote area belonging to the Monaragala district situated in the dry zone of  Sri Lanka during 1984. Her research was named as the “Blackboard in the jungle: formal education in disadvantaged rural areas.A Sri lankan case.”
Bringing into notice what she has found in her research, even though more than two decades ago is still applicable to the education system in Sri Lanka. She separates into three broad categories based on the research findings the inhibiting forces for the effective functioning of village schools as poverty, traditional and /or negative attitudes and weaknesses in the system. She further says that “these three categories penetrate all levels of education network.Some areas overlap one another and work together to intensify or frustrate the situation”.

 In her article on “Schooling and disadvantage in Sri Lankan and other rural situations”she explains precisely the education system from her popular research  “Blackboard in the jungle” which comprised of  three stages of field research carried out in Sri Lanka, how disproportionately the resources are distributed as in many a occasion ‘the best is for the city and the rest for the village’.

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