The barriers and enablers to education among scheduled caste and scheduled tribe adolescent girls in northern Karnataka, South India: A qualitative study

Lalitha Bhagavatheeswaran, Sapna Nair, Hollie Stone, Shajy Isac, Tejaswini Hiremath, Raghavendra T., Kumar Vadde, Mahesh Doddamane, H. S. Srikantamurthy, Lori Heise, Charlotte Watts, Michele Schweisfurth, Parinita Bhattacharjee, Tara S. Beattie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This qualitative study explored the barriers and enablers to scheduled caste/scheduled tribe (SC/ST) adolescent girls entering into, and completing secondary education in northern Karnataka, South India. In-depth interviews were conducted with 22 adolescent girls, their respective parent/guardian (n = 22) and 11 teachers, recruited purposively from 11 villages within two districts in northern Karnataka. Multiple barriers were identified to disadvantaged caste adolescent girls' entry into and retention in education in this setting, and these operated at the individual, family, community and school levels. In addition, some enablers to education were also described. The study highlights the importance of involving multiple stakeholders to overcome the barriers to education for SC/ST girls, and of working to change beliefs and expectations around gender norms as well as improving the quality of education in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Development
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Adolescent girl
  • Caste
  • Education
  • Enabler
  • Gender
  • Karnataka
  • Marginalised

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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