Girls’ Education

A special programme to help girls in India complete their education

Pratham Open School started in 2011 to give young women the chance to complete their Secondary School education and acquire the necessary skills for employment. It is a 15-month programme that targets young girls and women between the age of 16-25 who have left school earlier than the recommended age and helps them pass their Secondary School Examination.

Pratham Open School also aims to raise awareness of educating girls and women so that they can break the regressive barriers of caste and religion.

The objective of the programme was further expanded to address the issue of high dropout rates among students at secondary school level. Studies show that close to 70% of students in India drop out before year 11. With this in mind, the programme attempts to provide ‘at risk’ children in upper primary grades the required support they need to remain in school.

Initiation into the programme

It is a 15-month programme that begins with a 6 month ‘Foundation Course’ followed by a five-day residential training session at a ‘hub centre’ (see below for explanation) during each of the remaining 9 months. Upon completion of the Foundation Course, a final selection of students is then formed based on their performance and enthusiasm to continue with the course. These students are then trained for 9 months in all subjects required for the Secondary School Examination.

Hub centre

This model is typically structured as a central Hub, linked to 4-5 ‘spokes.’ The hub is a residential or non-residential centre (depending on the need within the area) where qualified faculty members are stationed. The faculty members are subject specialists and provide short intensive classes to the students. The spokes cater to smaller clusters of 10 to 25 villages each. Each cluster has a tutor that guides the students in their daily studying, assisting them with take-home worksheets whilst answering their questions in all subjects. The tutor holds daily classes with the students while the hub centre classes are typically for 5-6 days each month for the students of any one cluster.

Main objectives of the programme

  • To help girls and young women from disadvantaged communities complete their secondary school education.
  • To provide market relevant vocational skills to the students in order to increase their employment prospects.
  • To focus on personality development and confidence building to make them strong individuals.

These young women need your support to accomplish their dream of completing their Secondary School Education.