B. R. Ambedkar
Cultivation of Mind should be the
ultimate aim of human existence.
Even though school enrollment of girls in India has increased from 10.7 to 28.1 million between 2000-2014, girls continue to drop out of school at higher rates than boys!
Additionally, there are 102 million child brides who exist in India even today and according to estimates, an additional 10 million adolescent girls will be added to this number globally, because of the COVID-19 pandemic (UNFPA, 2021; UNICEF, 2019).
These social outcomes are compounded with each layer of marginalization of gender, class, and caste.
Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya or KGBVs are residential schools specifically designed to provide education to minority girls in India. They are throughout the country in what is known as Educational Backward Blocks.
Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) schools were established by the Indian government in 2004 with the vision of providing access to quality education to girls belonging to underprivileged communities (i.e., from India’s lowest castes namely SC, ST, OBCs, tribal groups, and low socioeconomic status). Educationally Backward Blocks were identified throughout the country as areas with literacy levels below, and male-female literacy gaps above the national average. There are 3,609 residential KGBVs in India where, along with education, girls are provided clothing, food, and school materials (NITI Aayog, 2015).
SwaTaleem uses a participatory system-based approach to influence change at several layers of stakeholders and capacity building areas. Our work maps on to eight SDGs.
Our overall process of working includes addressing a common school-based pedagogy related problem coupled with socio-emotional skills education. The curriculum is co-created with schoolteachers and schools undertake the SwaTaleem journey as a cluster of 4-5 schools.
Choose an educational challenge together
Co-create a curriculum
Classroom activities and share of experiences between schools
As a result of this process, our work focuses on quality education around English and Socioemotional skills for underrepresented adolescent Girls.
We use a hybrid approach in our work which is a mix of deep grassroots work coupled with low-cost tech called Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) based engagement.
We use this to create a cohesive ecosystem of stakeholders to support girl’s education.