In 2012, Niasan's average years of schooling was only 6.56, which is far below the Indonesian standard of completing nine years of compulsory education. Barriers to education include poverty, infrastructure as well as customs that value marriage, family and ritual. Women in particular are encouraged to stay at home and fulfil their domestic duties. Consequently many are denied the right to education, and do not have the skills required for work.
The Caritas Centre provides sewing, computer and salon courses in order to improve employment opportunities for youth between the ages of 14-23 on Nias island. These courses are specifically aimed at young people who are not able to continue their formal education due to socio-economic or personal circumstance. Courses are either partially or completely subsidised by CKS, and are given in conjunction with seminars on business, the environment, gender and solidarity.
Providing young women the opportunity to become economic agents could trigger a transformation on Nias towards gender equality. Course participants who become economic actors, will not only benefit themselves but their entire family. Overall, the improvement of educational quality and quantity through facilities such as the Caritas Centre will have a positive effect on the intellectual level of the Gunungsitoli municipality, and will eventually lead to economic growth.