The majority of school dropout adolescent girls are forced into early marriage every year. This often leads to teenage pregnancies, posing grave health risks to these girls. Poverty, inaccessibility to school, societal pressure, gender expectation, and discrimination are the common reasons why adolescent girls do not complete higher education.
Through our Girls’ Education Program (GEP), we provide Life Skills education, resources, and mentorship support to girls from grades 6 to 12, belonging to economically disadvantaged communities.
Girls Enrolled in the Program - 82,073
Girls Advancement Rate (2019) - 97.2%
Girls Graduated from the Program - 2,913
Graduates Enrolled in Tertiary Education (2019) - 64%
Percentage of girls who passed gatekeeping exams (2019) - 79.9%
Girls’ Education Program aims to empower girls with essential life skills that capacitate them to choose for themselves a future of their choice. We at Room to Read India offer strategic assistance in the change through:
Online and Offline Life Skills
The key to empowerment is to have the confidence and ability to make independent decisions about one's future. We at Room to Read believe that when girls are trained in crucial life skills, they are more effective in negotiating key life decisions, express their thoughts better, and are more assertive about their rights.
Life skills education has been seen to bring about remarkable results in girls' decision to continue their formal schooling. Our Girl’s Education Program is designed to facilitate long-term, systemic change.
In-person and remote mentoring support
Cultural barriers and societal norms make it difficult for girls in India to stay in school past their primary education. Through social mobilizers and trained teachers, we ensure that essential on-ground support to girls is provided. Social mobilizers are assigned to act as local mentors to girls and provide crucial emotional support and form a robust support network that adolescent girls can rely on. Having a positive role model ensures that girls stay in school longer. Building a thriving environment with honest and reliable relationships has been the key to our GEP interventions.
Family, School, and Community Engagement and Home visits
The social pressure for girls to drop out of secondary education ranges from reasons like social-cultural practices, safety concerns, and the need to participate in household responsibilities. We actively engage with families, schools, communities, government stakeholders, and others at multiple levels to build an empowering learning environment for girls.
Need-based online and offline material support
In pre-COVID, during COVID, and Post COVID era, one significant gap that has remained consistent in girls' education journey is the requirement for targeted material support. We have consistently worked and evolved to ensure that the targeted material support addresses situations that can contribute to removing resource-related immediate barriers through offline and online material.
Of all the girls surveyed in India, about 60% are at risk of losing their education, according to Room to Read’s new Girls’ Education Risk Indicators, one of the most extensive surveys on girls’ education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team invested its best resources and its deep understanding of complex community needs.
“Har Kadam Beti Ke Sang”, a flagship campaign, was launched considering the Indian education system. A seamless integration of new and traditional forms of instructional materials like books, and worksheets through radio and TV mass messaging, podcasts, text messages, telephone calls, and WhatsApp messaging were put together.
Meet Khilsehwari, a Girls Education Program Alumni and a True Changemaker. Amidst the challenges of COVID-19, she took the initiative to start classes in her village, ensuring that children could continue their education. Join us in celebrating her inspiring story of resilience and dedication.
Mohini’s heart sank as she watched the policeman arrest her father and brother, her guilt was even more, as she was the one who had called the police. She could not believe the misery a few short months of lockdown had brought on their family. As the police jeep faded into the distance, tears streamed down her face in silent despair. Dive into Mohini's and other gripping stories in our coffee table book.
Watch these alumni share their experiences (Click here)