Thursday, 8 September 2016

International Literacy Day 

UNESCO officially proclaimed September 8 as the International Literacy Day in the year 1966. This year, the world will celebrate 50th International Literacy Day under the banner “Reading the Past, Writing the Future”


UNESCO 2012 report shows that 13.54 million South Asian students leave school before completing their primary education. Three main reasons for this being expectations of domesticity, safety and infrastructure barriers.

As per the 2011 census data  literacy rate in Tijara block is 50%.  In males the literacy rate is 61% as 86695 males out of total 139884 are literate however female literacy ratio is 37% as 47705 out of total 127023 females are literate in this block. 
End Poverty recognised this problem in its target area of Tijara Block in Alwar district, Rajasthan and came up with Kishori Shiksha Program. In 2010 EP launched Kishori Shiksha Program (KSP) for the girls in the age group of 10 -18 who have never been to school and may never get chance to get the education. KSP started off as a 3 months course and slowly evolved into 6 months and finally to the present 12 month course.

End poverty not only recognised the problem of girls not being sent to school, but also the real reasons and concerns of the society behind this. In addition to the global reasons listed above for the girls dropping out of school, the local population in EP’s target area also had concerns about male faculty teaching the young adolescent girls. EP addressed this concern by training one of the literate girls among their community to be a teacher for adolescent girls between 10 and 18 years of age.  The school runs in their own hamlet, so the distance and safety concerns are taken care of.

 KSP is a 12 months, in-house designed, holistic literacy program for adolescent girls who have not been educated in regular schools. This program provides literacy, numeracy, reading and expressive skills.  In addition to these there are modules on health, personal hygiene and environment awareness. Sewing is also taught as a vocational skill. There are frequent tests conducted and feedbacks are given to the parents in Parents teachers meetings conducted. The  girls also have drawing and colouring classes.

Currently 417 girls are studying in 15 centres. So far EP has been successful in making 1686 girls become literate in many villages of Tijara Block. There is an estimate of still about 10,000 unschooled adolescent girls in the area. EP is striving hard to empower the unschooled adolescent girls of Tijara block with literacy skills.


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