Bundelkhand is one among the most backward drought affected area in the state of Uttar Pradesh due to which seasonal migration is common from here. This in turn has led to children dropping out of school in this region.
In the patriarchal Bundelkhand society, it is preferred that girls are least educated as compared to boys. The region also has other challenges like child labour, migration, caste and gender based discrimination as far as girl child education is concerned. Infrastructural hindrance like non availability of female teacher and non-availability of functional girls’ toilets has also been forcing majority of the girls to drop out early from school.
If we want to remove discrimination from the society, first of all we have to educate the people, that enable them to understand their rights and various opportunities prevailing in the economic environment and different health related aspects.
For the past three years Oxfam and its partner organization has been working in Hamirpur district of Bundelkhand region. Efforts are focused towards establishing an improved quality of education in schools.
‘Child Collective’ is an initiative that has been started here in this region where the children of child collective are tracking all those children who have dropped out, counselling their parents with the help of School Management Committees & teachers and bringing them back into school. In the class room, they are helping out of school children to attain age and grade appropriate learning level.
Children of child collectiveare taking up issues to teachers and parents wherein teachers acts as facilitators and involve children in activity based learning.On the other hand parents prepare school development plan which supports teachers by facilitating child learning with locally available teaching and learning material. This process helps the teachers to track the implementation of Right to Education act, raise issues at Panchayat, district and state level and conduct social audit for greater transparency.
Ten strong child collectives have been developed with girls’ leading the collective. A perfect example of this project is child collective of Primary School Bada Lewaled by 11 year old Dalit girl Jyoti. She has been able to increase enrollment and improve the condition of her school through her leadership. With the collaborative effort of Parents, children and teachers, two schools have become fully ‘Right to Education’ compliant.
NGO based in Hamirpur has collectivised civil society organizations of seven Bundelkhand districts under collective forum of ‘Bundelkhand Shiksha Ka Adhikar’forum to strengthen Right to Education grievance redressal system. Oxfam and its partner has also contributed to the development of School management committee and teachers training module, school development program(SDP) format and RTE state rules in UP.
Jyoti is the beacon of education in her village. But, lakhs of children in India are yet to enter a school. Help us create more Jyotis’ to brighten the future of India