The term ‘Development’, in a value-free understanding, would mean as a process of maximising human potential. Similarly, education is also commonly defined as a realisation of human potential. While education is considered as an important factor in the process of development, progress of educational status is considered as an important indicator of development itself. However, education in a broader sense would involve the process of acquiring the knowledge and skills, appropriate in a particular situation and cultural context, in order to put into its maximum use for productive and creative purposes, in the progress of a particular individual and society. On the other hand, development always implies the progressive expansion of the existing potentialities towards higher outcome. Thus, development and education have common grounds in the process of making human existence worthy and meaningful. Tribal development has been a major challenge for the policy makers and development planners for its multiple approaches and inherent complexities. Considering the significance of education in any development process, it has also posed a major challenge with regard to the nature and form of education that is most appropriate and befitting tribal development in a meaningful way.
There have been as many ways of educational approaches adopted in the case of the tribal population as there are varying developmental approaches advocated or experimented with the tribal people. It requires a clear understanding and an integrated and deeper vision to realise the need for an appropriate form of educational approach to bring into open and maximise the potentiality of the tribal population. The present paper is an attempt to bring out the significance of evolving an appropriate approach towards tribal education that would facilitate for a meaningful development of the tribal communities, by identifying the varying issues and concerns in the present day context.