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It Takes a Village to Keep Girls in School': How Two Non-Governmental Organizations Enrolled Thousands of Girls in School

by Shailee Mishra

Date & Time: Apr 30, 2022 4:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

In India, girls' education is a challenging problem. Building a school and providing educational opportunities is merely the first step in addressing this multifaceted and complex challenge. This became considerably more problematic during the epidemic when adolescent girls made up 40% of the estimated 30 million out-of-school students.

Social taboos, gender bias and inequity, cultural traditions, safety concerns, and financial restraints are all reasons why girls are denied the option. However, the epidemic and subsequent loss of livelihood made female student dropouts even more widespread, aggravating the imbalance. When a family's finances were in jeopardy, females were the first to be yanked out of school and forced to undertake household tasks or marry young.

This situation is well-known and chronicled in the mainstream media, demonstrating how social pressures, financial restraints, and a lack of internet access significantly affect India's female student population. However, as Medha Uniyal, who co-directs Pratham Education Foundation's Girls and Women Programs, points out, there are additional aspects to this complicated subject that need to be explored and investigated further.

It's critical to grasp the link between students' 'real learning' and their refusal to drop out," she argues.
Dropouts are likely caused by parents' failure to follow what is going on in the classroom or their sense that their children are not achieving well. As we establish methods to encourage girls to return to school, we must ensure that girls are given the support they need to close disparities in their academic performance and learning levels."

It takes a village
When it comes to the education of females in poor nations like India, the African saying "it takes a community to raise a kid" is especially true.

It's a tough issue with several important facets that are rarely discussed in the mainstream media. One of them is how the community can assist a girl in getting an education and staying in school," adds Medha.
As a result, organizations such as the Pratham Foundation and Educate Girls have been conducting in-depth surveys and sensitization programs in rural communities to develop a strong team of local change agents.

We are working to reduce the impact of poverty and sexism on girls' access to education, school, and opportunity at Educate Girls. The process of getting a girl back to school after the epidemic got even more difficult, and at this point, community involvement to make up for all the losses has become even more valuable."

Since its establishment in 2007, Educate Girls has enrolled over 9.5 lakh girls in school in over 20,000 villages across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. It has assisted over 3 lakh adolescent females in receiving life skills training, allowing them to develop their decision-making agency and gain greater control over their lives.


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