Educate Girls is closing the elementary education gender gap in India. Using advanced analytics, they know that just five percent of the country’s villages are home to 40 percent of the population of out-of-school girls. Over five years, they will mobilize field staff and a team of volunteers to enroll 1.6 million girls in some of India’s most rural, tribal and hard to-reach geographies. Village-to-village, they’re creating educational pathways for girls by seeking fundamental shifts in local norms.
Main photo caption: In India, more than four million girls are out of school — a number that’s skyrocketed with the pandemic. / Educate Girls
Educate Girls has enrolled more than 250,000 girls in school and provided Life Skills training to more than 50,000. This amounts to 18,000 villages across the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Program beneficiaries have experienced significant improvements in learning outcomes — by as much as 48 percent in Hindi, English and Math.
To best serve families hardest hit by the loss of income and mobility due to the pandemic, Educate Girls added humanitarian relief to its portfolio, delivering basic essentials and facilitating access to government supports in over 1,000 villages, to serve more than half a million residents.
Educate Girls has adapted and expanded its program model in order to ensure continuity while schools remain closed due to COVID-19. This includes the design and launch of community-based “learning camps,” run by field coordinators and Team Balika community volunteers, that will serve more than 100,000 children. They are also providing digital learning tools and support for parents to facilitate learning for their children.
Girls Remain Committed to Their Learning
“Schools have been closed forever now. That was the only place where I got together with my friends. We used to play every day after school, and now I don’t even get to see them! This lockdown has taken both study and play out of my routine, but I still try to read when I get free time.”
“Just six months ago, I was preparing for my examinations and now I can’t even go to school. This time has been scary for us, and I’m most disappointed about not even being able to peek at my books because of all the household chores. The only thing keeping me company are my dolls! But just a few weeks ago, [my mentor from] Team Balika got us all together and taught us using her phone. It was so much fun! I wish I didn’t have to cover my mouth and nose all the time, but [my mentor] says this is for the best and I trust her.”
“From our crops being spoilt by untimely rains to our schools being closed, the lockdown has been very tough on us. My day is now filled only with various household chores and waiting for my school to reopen!”
“The pandemic has further exacerbated the impact of poverty and patriarchy on girls’ education and created a higher risk of girls never going back to school. It has also presented unique opportunities to reimagine a post-COVID education system that is resilient and equitable. This can be achieved if we consider the needs of the most vulnerable. That means putting the needs of our girls at the center.”