The literacy rate among the tribals is only 37 per cent against the general literacy rate of 63 per cent in state, according to Census 2001.
Though the general literacy increased to 73.45 per cent according to Census 2011, literacy among tribals did not increase proportionately, experts tribal campaigners claimed at a workshop held here yesterday.
Most of the tribal children quit education at the primary school level as they don't understand the medium of instruction, which is different from their mother tongue.
Around 14 lakh tribal children don't have access to pre-school education in their mother tongue, tribal campaigners said.
The workshop on 'Need of mother tongue-based multilingual early childhood education' was organised by tribal outfit Odisha Adivasi Manch and NGOs early childhood education campaign and people's rural education movement.
The government had decided to implement mother-tongue-based multilingual early childhood education in anganwadi centres, primary and upper primary schools.
"The same is yet to be implemented," said convenor of the manch Ido Mandal.