Scaling up girls’ quality education

Ongoing

Educate Girls works to boost girls’ school enrolment and attendance, promote girl-friendly education infrastructures, and advance learning outcomes in the Rajasthan State, India, where the gender gap is critical and only 1 in every 100 girls reaches grade 5. Two and a half years on from our initial support, Educate Girls has successfully enrolled 29,000 girls in the Rajsamand district, achieving a retention rate of 93%. Against this encouraging backdrop, this two-year grant supports Educate Girls in a crucial phase of expansion, scaling the project up to 572 rural schools in Udaipur district to reach a further 100,000 children.

Duration
2016-2018
Focus area
Women’s Social and Economic Development Access to Basic Services
country
India
partner
Educate Girls

Context

In Rajasthan state a girl is 3 times more likely to be out-of-school than a child in the rest of India; the female literacy rate is the lowest in the country (53%) and 6 out of 10 girls marry as children.
Two and a half years on from our initial support, Educate Girls has successfully enrolled 29,000 girls in school in the tribal communities of Rajsamand district in Rajasthan. The child-centric learning and teaching techniques deployed have achieved a retention rate of 93%.
We support Educate Girls as it enters into a crucial phase of expansion, helping scale up operations to Udaipur district, one of the 9 educationally backward districts targeted by the organisation.

Action

Through community mobilization strategies, Educate Girls’ unique transformational approach addresses the structural, socio-economic and cultural barriers that prevent girls from entering a classroom in the first place. For parents living in these remote communities, educating their daughters is seen as a dead investment. Educate Girls creates awareness in the villages about the crucial ways in which girls can benefit from education.

Partnering with state schools and teachers, training local champions for girls’ education, and in particular involving parents and communities to help them understand how to keep the school administration accountable, Educate Girls is going to boost enrolment, retention and learning outcomes in 572 rural schools in Udaipur district reaching over 100,000 children.

Activities specifically include:

  • Community mobilization through regular village meetings to sensitize the community towards importance of girls’ education and make them aware of their rights as a part of its community engagement;
  • Door-to-door identification and enrollment of out-of-school girls by the community volunteers (Team Balika) who persuade and convince the parents of each girl to enroll her
  • Set up of School Management Committees consisting of parents, teachers and village leaders and responsible for school governance and administration. These Committees, assisted by Educate Girls, are also in charge of School Improvement Plan to ensure schools have girl-friendly infrastructure and basic facilities like separate toilets for girls, electricity, water, food, roof etc…
  • Election and training in every upper primary school of a 13-member Girls’ Council (Bal Sabhas) to give girls a voice and boost confidence, communication, leadership, public speaking, health, sanitation and problem solving skills.
  • Adoption of a 24 weeks Creative Learning and Teaching methodology in the classrooms, including child-friendly, activity-based learning techniques. One teacher per school is trained to conduct this kind of pedagogy.

Expected results

  • Enrollment of % out-of school girls who have dropped out of school or who have never enrolled
  • Retention of % girls in schools and reduced drop-outs
  • Increased involvement and capacities of community school management
  • More effective school governance and increase in child-friendly infrastructure
  • Improvement in quality of teaching and learning outcomes for children
  • Enhanced motivation, communication, leadership, problem solving skills and self-esteem of adolescent girls involved in Girls’ Council

Long-term strategy

Educate Girls  model is codified and replicable, aiming to improve the existing education system so that no girl is left behind.
As Educate Girls progresses through the stages of its program model, activities are handed over to the community.