Girls’ Education

India is home to one-third
of the world's child brides.

An estimated 4 million Indian girls are out of school, and
of those who do attend primary school, 80% drop out
before reaching eighth grade.



We give girls a second chance to put education first.

Pratham provides access to secondary education for female school dropouts over the age of 14 in under served communities. Our alternative education model engages these students in a safe, supportive environment and helps them obtain their diploma, improving their prospects for higher education and employment.

Since 2011, our Second Chance programme has impacted the lives of more than 27,000 girls and women.


In 2017-18, the Indian state of Gujarat saw one of the highest rates of dropouts completing their education, with 92% of Pratham students passing their Secondary School exams.



We reinforce the foundation.

Our yearlong programme begins with a four-month course in math, language, science, and English to reinforce essential elementary school concepts. Students who perform well and are motivated advance to the second part of the programme, which includes subject-specific tutoring in a supportive network of learning centres that prepare them for the Secondary School examination.


We make education compatible with home life.

Many girls do not want to drop out of school, but are forced to because of socio-economic circumstances and cultural attitudes. Pratham’s model allows girls to attend classes in or near their villages in the afternoon once chores have been completed.

We facilitate a hub and spoke model with a main centre supported by a network of smaller learning sites. Each centre caters to 30-40 villages or communities. Students attend residential or non-residential centres five days out of the month for intensive learning from subject specialists. In between these sessions, trained tutors guide students through course material, and they receive one-on-one instruction to help them address gaps in their knowledge. Families do not pay fees for the Pratham programme, which makes it feasible for the girls to attend.


In India, girls are often expected to put chores at home and work in the fields ahead of school. Unlike traditional schools, Pratham takes account of this reality, allowing these girls to complete their secondary school education.



Educated women are empowered to make better choices.

Education can be a powerful tool to enable girls to avoid early marriage. Research shows that educating females benefits the whole community, encouraging smaller, healthier families: women are empowered to express their voice and make better choices for their family in the areas of healthcare, employment and education.

Pratham raises awareness about the need to educate girls and women so they can break India’s regressive barriers of caste, religion and male preference. When former dropouts went through our programme and appeared for their secondary school board examinations, they exuded confidence and showed a dramatic shift in their overall outlook on life.

Through our programme, students also receive life skills and teacher training with the intent that they will help educate the children in their own communities. Many Pratham graduates choose to continue with their studies, while others give back by teaching the children in their village, thereby creating a more sustainable system. This is especially vital in a country where the student-teacher classroom ratio can be as high as 80:1.  


A little support can lead to big gains.

Since 2011, the programme has seen tremendous gains: including a 50% increase in the number of dropouts re-engaged in learning and a 30% increase in participant graduation rates. The number of centres has also tripled, from ten centres in one state to 32 centres connected to 200 learning sites across nine states.


In 2017-18, Pratham open school students who took the secondary school examinations administered by India’s National Institute of Open Schooling continued to pass in high numbers.


You can help a girl achieve her dream.

The high graduation rates achieved by Pratham students over the past few years prove that a little effort can make a real impact in educating girls in underserved communities. £500 enrols one student in our 12-month programme to complete her secondary school education. Donate and make a difference.