LifeScale education empowers 5 lakh girls in Telangana – Times of India

Kavita (name changed), the eldest of her family’s three sisters, faced pressure from her mother and extended family to marry while she was still in 12th grade. Kavita’s mother wanted to marry her because of the recent financial loss of her father. The pressure on the family. She wanted to use the money to marry Kavita without further investment in her studies, but Kavita was adamant to finish her education. Feeling helpless, Kavita reaches out to her teachers. The teachers immediately came forward to support Kavita and were able to successfully convince her mother to let Kavita continue her education.

Kavita says she found the courage to stand up to family pressures because of ‘life skills lessons’ as part of a Room to Read (RTR) intervention with her school. “There, I gained an idea about gender issues and built a sense of trust with my teachers and mentors which gave me the confidence to express my views and communicate with my family.”

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Like the poem, many girls found themselves in the same situation during the epidemic. Due to the economic weakness caused by the epidemic, families have decided to remove their children, especially girls, from school. According to a survey by the National Sample Survey Office, about 321 million Indian children were out of school (India Today, 2019) resulting in huge gaps in learning and various safety issues. Girls face higher vulnerabilities because families view educating girls as an additional burden. In the context of Telangana, a recent study by CRY (a leading child rights organization in India) found that child marriage had doubled in the 52 villages surveyed. (Source: Child marriage rises in Telangana during Kovid: CRY – Report)

In view of these events, Room to Read (RTR) has set out to implement a multi-level, collaborative approach with the government to prioritize the continuity of education and protection of adolescent girls in the state of Telangana. Strategies to achieve this goal include mobilizing communities to support girls’ education, promoting life skills education, and strengthening support structures for girls to complete secondary education. To raise public awareness, in collaboration with the Telangana Department of Women Development and Child Welfare (WDCW), more than 300,000 posters have been distributed in 14,000 villages in 33 districts. Problems preventing girls from dropping out of school. The public was informed about the increased dropout rate using micro-campaigns and a local art form, Kalajatha (maintaining COVID protocol). Alternative media were used to reach remote villages, including radio, television and digital media. With the support of the state government, a collaborative approach was taken to make the problem more visible. 6245 district officers from 33 districts participated in the virtual district meeting. State-level virtual launch event, on The impact of the epidemic on girls’ education and the challenges of digital segmentation, Hon’ble J. was present as the Chief Guest. Srinivas Rao, Chairperson, State Commission for the Protection of Children (SCPCR).

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As a way to support girls from afar at this time, important life skills education was planned. These programs included skills development around personal development, financial planning, health and hygiene management, and mental well-being. Existing digital divisions have proven to be a major obstacle to achieving this goal, and radio has been able to overcome this challenge through a wider reach. 32 radio episodes were produced and aired. 10 episodes were made and broadcast on local television through Doordarshan and private channels.

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Shruti, a class 8 student of KGBV, Gadwal district says, “I wait for these radio programs every day because, because of school closures and lockdowns, I can’t go anywhere. After helping the family with household chores, they rarely do anything to keep themselves busy. The stories in the program are very relative and give me ideas for dealing with similar situations. “

The purpose of raising the standard of lifecycle education was to encourage girls to complete their education and to prevent the social pressure of dropouts and child marriage. Like poetry and myth, many Telangana girls have benefited from these lessons From the number of teenage girls reaching out to their teachers and social organizers for help during the epidemic, RtR seems to have been able to successfully build an effective support network. Teachers and school administrations at 72 Kasturba Gandhi Girls’ Schools (KGBVs) have undergone capacity building training to provide drop-in training to girls in order to provide them with the necessary practical assistance. About 54 ‘Model Lifeskill Centers’ were set up as a safe place for girls to discuss the challenges they face. RtR has also designed a self-learning kit, ‘Lifeskills in a Box’, which helps girls to continue their education from a distance. Through all these approaches, RtR has reached 14,000 villages and supported more than 5 lakh girls across the state. This extensive project has been made possible with the continued support of the Telangana School Education Department.

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Room to Read (RTR) seeks to acquire her vision to help girls complete their secondary education and acquire the skills to discuss important life decisions in the future.

To read more about our program, visit our website www.roomtoread.org

Disclaimer: Content produced by Room to Read

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