All ready to go to school!
Thank you once again for your support which helps us educate more girls. At "Educate Girls" we work towards improving enrollment, retention and academic performance of girls in some of the most backward areas within India.
We would like to take this opportunity to talk about our efforts and impact in 2010 and our plans going forward. At the beginning of the year (2010), we had identified 11,243 out-of-school girls through an extensive door-to-door survey in the district of Pali in Rajasthan.
During the year, we conducted 503 village meetings to understand the bottlenecks faced in enrolling girls into schools and to create awareness about the importance of educating girls. We heard several apprehensions from parents such as Bhakti. While Bhakti always hoped for a better future for her daughters, she was uncomfortable with the idea of her girls travelling a long distance to school each day. Even after we introduced her to the possibility of enrolling her daughters in a residential program, she was still anxious about their health and safety. However, we did eventually succeed in convincing Bhakti to enrol her daughters in a residential program; although she made at least 4 surprise visits to see if all was well with the girls at school! A few months into the program, Bhakti is now totally convinced and beaming with happiness to see her dream turning into a reality... a better future for her daughters!
In 2010, with your support we successfully re-enrolled 4,590 girls like Bhakti’s daughters in mainstream schools and enrolled 921 in other relevant Bridge courses.
We also trained over 650 teachers through our teacher training program to improve the quality of education and make education more pertinent to these children. A great inspiration for our program this year has been Raghunath Singh. When he was posted in a government school in Kalpura village of Pali district for the second time, he was shocked to find only 1 student in the classroom! When we spoke to parents, we found out that lack of quality staff and infrastructure was a major deterrent in sending their children to school. With our help, Raghunath Singh reached out to every household in the village to convince parents to educate their children. Within a month of our efforts, the school count increased from 1 to 111. Through our teacher training program, we hope to master the challenge of convincing parents to send their girls to school and to give to the community many dedicated teachers like Raghunath!
So what’s next for us? In the next 5 years, we see the innovation of our model extend to the districts where the percentage of girls attending schools is very low. We hope to eventually ensure that every girl in some of the most backward areas of India gets the opportunity to go to school.
We would love to hear from you on any suggestions you may have and thank you once again for your support!
Girls where they should be - at school!
Having fun at school!