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I3 March ZII

New eIhi, India

SeIected Best Practices, Report ol the Conlerence
and Recommendations
United Nations
Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization
South Asian RegionaI Conlerence
South Asian RegionaI Conlerence
Responding to the needs ol 0ut 0l SchooI AdoIescents
xperiences ol South Asian Countries
Responding to the needs ol 0ut 0l SchooI AdoIescents
xperiences ol South Asian Countries
South Asian Regional Conference
Responding to the needs of Out Of School Adolescents
Experiences of South Asian Countries
1-3 March 2011
New Delhi, India
Selected Best Practices, Report of the Conference
and Recommendations
I am happy that UNESCO and Plan India have jointly come up with this compendium comprising
noteworthy initiatives and examples around learning and development of Out of School
As all of us are aware, the global situation of young people is characterized by extreme disparities in
economic, social, technological and cultural resources which vary enormously across localities and
population groups. Young people suffer from poverty, hunger and disease, low quality education,
lack of marketable skills, high rates of unemployment, early pregnancy, social exclusion, and the
highest rates of HIV/AIDS infections.
This is despite the fact that about 20 years ago from now in 1990 during the Jomtien Conference
on Education for All, member states envisaged six EFA Goals which were further referred through
the Dakar Framework of Action. Goal III of these agreed goals is to Promote learning and life
skills for young people and adults
It was ironic that this goal despite its relevance for growth of any country didnt receive much
attention. Despite decades of efforts undertaken to ensure well-being and livelihood for young
people, the situation of adolescents, especially adolescent girls with regard to their rights and
access to education, health and other basic services have not improved to the extent expected.
The Global Monitoring Reports over the years also indicated towards the challenges faced in
achieving the targets stipulated under Goal III.
It is a matter of great pleasure for me that UNESCO New Delhi along with the colleagues at
headquarters thought about organizing a dedicated conference on Goal III focusing on Out of
School Adolescents at such a crucial juncture when the world is looking forward to Adolescents
and young persons as key agents for social change and prosperity combined with peace, harmony
and compassion.
I would also like to thank Plan India to agree to collaborate with UNESCO for this important
conference which was an excellent example of collaboration between UNESCO and the civil
society organization for an important cause. It would also be worthwhile here to mention the
Education Community and the Gender Community of Solution Exchange (which is a joint UN
initiative) for carrying a query on the same issue to serve as background/ reference material for
the conference.
This conference was quite successful in several respects. It enabled presentation of 50 initiatives
from across geographies and brought about key recommendations by the end of the three day
deliberation to be considered by Member States, UN agencies, International organizations and
the larger civil society. I am condent that the Governments in the region would pay needed
attention to the proposed recommendations during their planning processes and together, we
would be able to offer enabling learning and development opportunities for our adolescent boys
and girls.
I express my sincere thanks to Government of India for supporting the conference through the
participation of Honorable Minister, MHRD, Shri Kapil Sibal; Secretary, School Education & literacy
Ms. Anshu Vaish; Secretary, Youth Affairs and Sports Mr. A. K. Singh along with other government
ofcials for their presence during different sessions. I also convey my sincere appreciation and
gratitude for member states In Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, SriLanka and Nepal for
sending their representative along with the NATCOMS.
Message from the Director and UNESCO Representative
UNESCO stands committed, as always, to work with the Government and the larger civil society for
timely and effective implementation of Goal III. Not much time has gone by when in a Joint Statement
was issued by UN Adolescent Girls Task Force, which has participation of UNFPA, UNICEF, ILO, UNESCO,
UNIFEM, and WHO with the introduction of the Girls Fund which has been set up by the UN Foundation
to support the UNs work on the ground.
I am sure this compendium would be benecial for policy makers and practitioners across the member
states to learn from some of the noteworthy experiences. I congratulate my colleagues at UNESCO and
Plan India for their untiring work to organize this conference and work on the compendium for larger
sharing and learning.
I am also condent that the recommendations came out of this important conference would be paid due
consideration and together we would be able to ensure proper follow up of the deliberations. Specic
policies, legislation, programs and measures that address the rights, needs, and concerns of adolescents,
particularly adolescent girls, are in-dispensable to ensure that they are adequately prepared and protected
in this stage of life. I have no doubt that such steps would be ensured by all Members States in South
Asia in the coming years which would accelerate the pace of progress towards achievement of goal III.
With best regards,
Armoogum Parsuramen
Message from the Executive Director Plan International (India Chapter)
As we all know South Asia is home to the largest number of out of school adolescents. Over
the next ten years Growing up in Asia will be a signicant challenge for many children. Of the
1.27 billion children in Asian developing countries, 600 million or almost 50% will be severely
deprived of some of their basic needs such as food, safe water, sanitation, health services, shelter,
education services and information. Over 350 million of them will be absolutely poor. The vast
majority of these children will live in rural areas in South Asia, which has the worlds highest
levels of child malnutrition, lack of sanitation and out of school girls. Additionally the needs of
adolescents, especially female adolescents, for protection, development and space to participate
in society are neglected. South Asia has the worlds lowest youth literacy rate. The overwhelming
need in terms of severity and sheer numbers of deprived children will be in South Asian countries.
But what is increasingly recognized is that without the direct involvement of poor children and
families, efforts to address these challenges will not succeed.
This group has specic issues and needs a clear focus, as has been recognized in Education for All
Goal 3- Promote learning and life skills for young people. And it is with this backdrop that this
Conference on Responding to the Learning and Development needs of Out of School Adolescents
has been organized to help us reect on what needs to be done for this group, what strategies
work and what do not.
Plan has been working in India for the last 30 years and focuses on working with children and
adolescents till the age of 18 years. We believe that children and adolescents have the right to
grow up to their full potential in life.
We have been working with adolescents in a holistic manner across themes like reproductive
health, education, promoting active citizenship and gender equity. While we work with all
children and adolescents our reach is to the most marginalized, especially in remote and hard to
reach areas and particularly girls.
Plan is guided by a Strategic framework called Growing up in Asia that outlines the strategic
focus of work till 2015 using a Child centered community development approach. This approach
focuses on keeping children and youth at the centre of all our work keeping in mind aspects of
inclusion and non-discrimination, gender equality and participation.
Therefore Plan seeks not only to work with children and adolescents but also with families,
communities and adults and relies on the collective action of civil society to support empowerment
of children and adolescents. At the same time we also feel that certain actions need to be
undertaken by states to live up to their obligations under the United Nations Conventions on the
Rights of the child.
Plans work spans across health, education and life skills education for this group. We work with
adolescents in communities to educate them on life-skills education and problem solving within
the overall context of growing up.
The groups of children and adolescents track issues of concern to children such as effective
functioning of schools, ICDS centers and Public health centres. In some areas they also track and
advocate to parents about negative impact of early marriage.
We also create awareness on their rights and prepare them to be able to articulate their voices on issues
that matter in their lives. We simultaneously work with adults especially Panchayati Raj institutions and
communities to develop their capacity to work on issues surrounding adolescent lives.
Plan links adolescents who have dropped out of school to suitable employment through vocational
training and placements. We also support them through a process that helps families understand the
ramications of work and also help the adolescent to manage aspirations.
In education we have worked with the never enrolled boys and girls to ensure that they reach a basic
level of equivalency of formal education through an Accelerated learning program to link to formal
We look forward to hearing and learning more from the esteemed gathering that will enrich our work
at the grassroots and identify those issues that may require policy change and collective efforts of us all.
Thank you,
Bhagyashri Dengle
Message from the Director and UNESCO Representative 3
Message from the Executive Director Plan International (India Chapter) 5
Acknowledgement 9
The Status of Adolescents in South Asia 13
Responding to the Education and Development Needs of Out of School
Adolescents- Experiences of South Asian Countries. 25
Conclusion 39
Doosra Dashak CCT engagement (the Indian Experience)
Anil Bordia & Shubhangi Sharma 45
Muktangan the Open Courtyard
Deep Purkayastha 53
Breaking the cycle of poverty for women: Empowering Adolescents for
Social Transformation (EAST)
Ehsanur Rahman 56
Kishori Chitrapata (KC) Empowering adolescenct girls through ICTs.
Gurumurthy Kasinathan 59
Responding to the Needs of out of school Adolescents-Experiences
of South Asian Countries
Havovi Wadia 64
Promoting Rights Based Actions for Adolescents in India: A Comprehensive Sexual and
Reproductive Health Programme in Vulnerable Areas of West Bengal and Jharkhand
Indrani Bhattacharya 68
An Inclusive Education Programme for OOSA Lessons from Sri Lanka.
Kamal Hearath 75
Empowering Adolescents to adopt safe sexual behaviors using
Theatre in Development
Madhura Dutta 79
Vocational Training for Adolescents
Murali 82
Project Prerana for Out of School Adolescent Girls in Bikaner, Rajasthan:
A journey towards empowerment through education
Dr. Neelima Pandey and Rameshwar Lal 86
Breaking the Poverty Cycle of Women; Empowering Adolescent Girls (Boys)
to become agents of Social Transformation
Quratulain Bakhteari 90
Responding to the Needs of out of - school Adolescents
Rajani Nair & Gouran Lal 93
Child Domestic Worker Project, West Bengal
Sanjeev Rai & Ritesh Datta 97
Pathways to Empowerment of Adolescent Girls: Insights from the UNESCO pilot project
Empowering Adolescent Girls to Become Agents of Social Transformation
Sayeeda Rahman 100
Education of Adolescents in the Tribal Areas of Jharkhand
Shubhra Dwivedy 106
The Capability Approach and the Education of Adolescent Girls:
A Case Study from Rajasthan
Shushmita Dutt 110
Prole of the Authors 115
Agenda of the Conference 121
List of Participants 129
We acknowledge Education and Gender Community, Solution Exchange (which
is a joint UN initiative) for carrying a query on the learning and development
Needs of Adolescents to serve as a background/reference material in the
Conference. The consolidated Reply can be accessed going to the link ftp://
(Size 453.34 KB)
For Further Info on the conference you can contact
Shubhangi Sharma Randeep Kaur
UNESCO, UNESCO House Plan India
B-5/29, Safdarjung Enclave E-12 Kailash Colony,
New Delhi- 110029, India New Delhi 110048 India
Tel: +91-11-26713000 (122) Tel: +91 11 46558484 (Ext 480)
Email: s.sharma@unesco.org Email: Randeep.Kaur@planindia.org
Overview Article
South Asia is a region of paradoxes. On the one hand the countries in the region have seen tremendous
economic growth in the last two decades, resulting in an expanding middle class with the resources to
afford a lifestyle comparable to their counterparts in the developed nations of the west. However, at
the same time, the region is also home to some of the most marginalized populations in the developing
world. The vulnerabilities of this section of the population are further exacerbated by violence, internal
strife and widening social and cultural gaps. The latest UNICEF State of the Worlds Children Report
reveals that though the percentage of government expenditure allocated to health [2%] and education
[5%] are on par with the more developed nations in East Asia and the Pacic [1% and 5% respectively],
the nations in the South Asian region lag behind these countries in the area of basic human indicators
such as education, health, and life expectancy. UNICEFs report Progress for Children: Achieving the
MDGs with Equity
reveals that compared to children living in the richest household, the children who
live in the poorest households in South Asia are:
5 times less likely to receive skilled assistance at birth
3 times less likely to have his/her birth registered
3 times as likely to be underweight
2 times less likely to receive basic immunizations
3 times less likely to receive a secondary education
The region has the highest number of out-of-school children (33 million) half of nearly 615 million chil-
dren in the region are living in poverty.
It is important to note that conditions in the region are not uniform across all nations. There are sig-
nicant differences between each of these countries as is evident in the indicators listed in Table 1. For
example, in spite of years of ethnic civil strife, Sri Lanka is way ahead of all the countries in the region,
with the exception of the Maldives, in its health and literacy gures. These inter country variations are a
result of geographic, political, cultural and religious differences among these countries. A study of de-
velopmental issues in the area have to take these differences into account in order to capture the reality
Table 1: South Asia - selected indicators
UNICEF (2011) State of the Worlds Children 2011: Adolescence An Age of Opportunity. NY: UNICEF
Countries Under 5 mortality
rate - 2009
Life expectancy
at birth (years) -
Total adu lt
literacy rate (%)
Primary school net
enrolment/ attendance
(%) 2005-2009
Bangladesh 52 67 55 95
Bhutan 79 66 53 87
India 66 64 63 83
Maldives 13 72 98 96
Nepal 48 67 58 84
Pakistan 87 67 54 71
Sri Lanka 15 74 91 99
Asia 25 69 80 88
South Asia 35 64 62 82
East Asia and Pacic 14 73 93 96
Source UNICEF SOWC 2011
The Status of Adolescents in South Asia
Vimala Ramachandran
on the ground. This paper, which explores the situation of one segment of the population in South
Asia adolescents/youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years, examines their situation against the
background of the geopolitical and cultural differences that shape their lives.
Youth in South Asia dening and identifying the population
Adolescents are located at the crossroads between childhood and adulthood. The period of adolescence
is a a very specic stage between childhood and adulthood, when people have to negotiate a complex
interplay of both personal and socio-economic changes in order to manoeuvre the transition from
dependence to independence, take effective control of their own lives and assume social commitments
(UNESCO 2004)
. It is a time when young people are coming into their own, establishing their sense
of selves and their place in the social world. What it means to be an adolescent in a specic region of
the world is based on a variety of factors, including culture, religion, socio-economic class and gender.
There is no one size ts all understanding of this phase in a persons life. A discussion on the status of
adolescents in the region has to be grounded on an understanding of the term adolescent who are
the members who constitute this group and an analysis of data on this sub sect of the population.
It is difcult to arrive at a universal and precise denition of the term adolescence and UNICEFs State
of the Worlds Children Report discusses this problem at some length. On the surface, it seems simple
enough and in many cultures, the onset of puberty is seen as a clear line of demarcation between
childhood and adolescence. However, this differentiation is fraught with problems because puberty
occurs not only at different ages for boys and girls but there are also individual variations within each
sex. Girls can experience menarche any time between the ages of 8 and 15 whereas boys enter puberty
between the ages of 13-15 years.
In every country there are laws that stipulate when an individual ceases to be a minor and is allowed
to engage in adult activities such as voting, marriage, property ownership and formal work including
the military. However, there are wide variations in national laws that dene when a child ceases to be
a minor and becomes an adult and this factor makes it difcult to dene adolescence with precision.
This is particularly true in the case of the age of marriage. The countries in South Asia have different
marriageable ages for males and females, with the marriageable age for men being higher than that for
women. For example, in India it is 21 for men and 18 for women.
Finally, in spite of legal age limits that demarcate childhood and adolescence from adulthood, many
adolescents and young children in South Asia are engaged in adult activities such as work in the
unorganized sector, marriage, as primary caregivers of children at home and in conict areas, as soldiers.
All of these factors make it difcult to dene adolescence with precision. For the purposes of this paper
we have adopted the UN denition of adolescence as anyone between the ages of 10-19 years.
Dening who is an adolescent is just the rst step in addressing their problems and needs. There is an
urgent need for disagreggated accurate data on individual groups and areas in the region if governments
are to develop policies and programs that address the needs of the most marginalized groups within
this population. This is a challenge, starting with birth registration data, which is vital for providing child
protection services, eradicating child labour by enforcing minimum employment age laws, preventing
child marriage, protecting children from trafcking and combating HIV AIDS. Data published by UNICEF
reveals that South Asia has the largest number of unregistered children (more than 23 million) which
is 65% of all births in the region and 47% of all unregistered births world wide The data provided in
Table 2 reveals that across the region, with the exception of the Maldives, less than half the births are
registered. It is interesting to note that there is little gender differentiation in birth registration, however
there are variations based on urban and rural residences. When births are not registered it becomes
difcult to enforce laws and provide services that are targeted at specic age groups within a population.
UNESCO. (2004) Empowering Youth Through National Policies. Paris: UNESCO
Table 2: Birth registration (%) 20002009
Countries and territories Total Male Female Urban Rural
Bangladesh 10 10 10 13 9
Bhutan - - - - -
India 41 41 41 59 35
Maldives 73 76 69
Nepal 35 36 34 42 34
Pakistan 27 26 27 32 24
Sri Lanka - - - - -
Asia 43 43 44 60 37
South Asia 35 35 35 50 30
Source: UNICEF. Progress for Children. Sept. 2010
What does it mean to be an adolescent in South Asia?
According to UNESCOs SOWC 2011 report, South Asia is home to 335 million young men and women
between the ages of 10-19 years. They constitute 21% of the total population gures that are
comparable to the least developed nations in Africa. They have been an invisible population for most
of the last century and it is only fairly recently that the focus and attention of national governments and
development organizations has shifted to this important and vulnerable group.
Among this population 51% attend secondary school and boys outnumber girls 55% as opposed to
47% in access to secondary schooling. Bangladesh constitutes an exception where a greater number of
females (53%) are in school as opposed to males (46%). It is evident from these numbers that youth in
the region, like elsewhere in the world, do not constitute a homogeneous group. The circumstances of
their lives are shaped by the opportunities that are available to them and these in turn are dictated by
the following variables:
Residential location
The educational level and SES status of their families
Religious and cultural values both within the family and in the community
Each of these variables determines access to resources and opportunities, including education, health and
employment. Any exploration of the situation of adolescents has to be contextual and take into account the
geography, culture and social and economic circumstances that shape their lives.
Adolescents do not live in a social and cultural vacuum. The factors that affect their access to resources and
opportunities are multiple and overlapping and include rural and urban differences, economic factors, caste
and ethnicity, disability and gender. These mutually reinforcing disadvantages form an interconnecting web
that determines their life chances and their quality of life.
Residential location or the areas in which individuals or their families live often determines the access that
they have to resources that may in turn open or shut the doors of opportunity. This is particularly true in
the developing world where youth who live in urban areas have access to signicantly greater resources
than rural youth. This includes the availability of information, better quality educational institutions and
healthcare facilities and access to higher paying jobs. The opportunity to take advantage of these resources
leads to higher standards of living for families and individual members.
The urban rural divide has been widened with the rapid development of technology and means of
communication. In economies where wages are increasingly becoming linked to higher levels of technical
skills, access to technology impacts employment opportunities and standards of living down the road.
Children who live in underdeveloped regions have limited or no access to technology and are severely
limited in their wage earning abilities. This results in a reproduction of the cycle of poverty.
Closely linked to residential location as a determinant in access to resources is the socio-economic status
of a family. Youth from higher SES families who live in urban areas are the most privileged in terms of the
opportunities that are available to them. The economic, social and cultural capital that they possess gives
them access to information networks and high quality educational institutions, which inevitably leads to
a head start in life opportunities. In sharp contrast, youth who live at the other end of the continuum
face economic challenges that often limit school attendance and completion. Being born into poverty is
one of the strongest factors that leads to educational deprivation, which in turn limits employment and
economic opportunities. The 2011 State of Worlds Children published by UNICEF reports that ...those
from the poorest and most marginalised households and communities fail to complete their studies or
else nish with insufcient skills, especially in those high-level competencies increasingly required by the
modern globalised economy
Children born into poverty are also extremely vulnerable and as they enter adolescence they are often open
to exploitation, manipulated and drawn into sex trafcking, crime, drugs and other forms of substance
abuse and farmed out as cheap labour. These are the hidden subgroups who are caught in a cycle of
exploitation and poverty.
Children with disabilities suffer multiple disadvantages. They are often subjected to private embarrassment
within their families and public ridicule, all of which leads to low self esteem. Educational opportunities
for children with disabilities is severely limited in all the countries in the region and when the situation is
exacerbated when it is combined with poverty and residential location outside the urban centres. Schools
that cater to the poor and rural schools seldom have the infrastructural facilities or the trained teachers to
meet the educational needs of this population.
Gender discrimination and its impact on adolescent girls
Among all the marginalized sections, the one group that bears the impact of discriminatory practices at
all levels is girls/women. In addition to all of the above constraints, they face the strictures imposed by
cultural and religious practices that severely limit their choices. Girls growing up in traditional households
with sharply dened gender roles lead very constricted lives. They are often pulled out of school at an
early age, married young and often take on adult roles and responsibilities before they are out of their
Table 4: Adolescent girls: marriage and age at rst birth
Country Marital status: Girls
aged 15-19 who are
currently married/in
union (%), 2000-2009*
Age at rst birth:
Women aged 20-24
who gave birth before
age 18 (%), 2000-
Adolescent birth
rateNumber of births
per 1,000 girls aged 15-
19, 2000-2008*
Bangladesh 46 40 133
Bhutan 15 - 46
India 27 22 45
Maldives 17 - 14
Nepal 32 23 106
Pakistan 16 10 20
Sri Lanka 9 4 28
Asia 24 19 36
South Asia 28 22 54
Source: UNICEF SOWC Report 2011
teenage years. Great stress is places on training them to be home makers and so they take on increasing
household responsibilities in their natal home. There is little space or value attached, in this context,
to formal education. Though strides have been made in reducing gender disparities, a great deal more
needs to be done. This can only be achieved with drastic change in social attitudes and cultural practices
related to gender roles and acceptable behaviours for women. Bangladesh is a striking example that
such change is possible. As pointed out earlier, girls outnumber boys in secondary school attendance.
The limited access that girls have to schooling results in an intergenerational transmission of poverty and
of traditional values that imprisons successive generations of women in cycles of child marriage, early
motherhood and often domestic violence. As the gures in Table 4 reveal more than a quarter of the
girls between the ages of 15-19 in South Asia are married and 22% of these have given birth to their rst
child before age 18. These girls have become wives and mothers while still in their adolescent years and
unless specic programmes targeted towards this group and geared towards raising their awareness of
their rights are developed, the cycle of gender discrimination is likely to be perpetuated into successive
Why are Adolescents Out of School?
Research on the impact of schooling on future economic returns reveals that the longer one stays in
school, the greater the outcomes in terms of income. Whereas primary school completion led to increased
socio-economic status in the 1980s and early 90s, in todays global economy with the emphasis on
technical skills, each year of secondary education completed makes a signicant impact (WB, 2007)
For girls, the benets of education are tremendous. There is extensive documentation on the linkages
between the number of years of schooling and age of marriage. The longer a girl stays in school, the
older the higher her age at marriage, and the lower her risk of contracting HIV. She also has fewer and
healthier children who stay in school longer. Women who have completed secondary schooling are likely
to be more empowered; more involved in family decision making and have fewer unwanted pregnancies.
It is therefore imperative that adolescents who drop out of school should have alternative avenues for
acquiring these skills.
Table 3: Primary and Secondary School Enrolment
Youth (1524 years)
literacy rate (2005-
Net Primary school
enrolment ratio
Net Secondary school
enrolment ratio
Countries Male Female Male Female Male Female
Bangladesh 73 76 85 86 40 43
Bhutan 80 88 86 88 46 49
India 88 74 91 88 - -
Maldives 99 99 97 95 68 71
Nepal 76 75 78 64 - -
Pakistan 89 59 72 60 37 28
Sri Lanka 97 99 99 100 - -
Asia 92 86 92 89 - -
South Asia 86 73 88 83 - -
The gures in table 3 reveal a sharp drop in enrolment ratios between primary and secondary school in
all the countries in the region for which data is available. Of the four countries for which secondary school
enrolment data is available Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Pakistan with the exception of Pakistan,
World Bank 2007. World Development Report 2007: Development and the Next Generation, Washington D.C.
the female enrolment ratio is slightly higher than males. However, with the exception of Maldives, for
both sexes secondary school enrolment is less than 50% indicating that the countries in the region have
a long way to go towards achieving EFA goals.
The political stability of a region inuences both access and retention in myriad ways. In areas torn
by political strife, schools may not be physically accessible to children or there may be a real physical
danger associated with travel to school. In some situations youth may be recruited by political or military
groups to further their cause. Political instability invariably causes a disruption of family life and in such
situations, adolescents may be forced to take on adult roles in the home, thus effectively ending their
chances of an education.
It has long been documented in the literature on access to schooling that the distance between home and
school directly affects attendance, especially for girls. In rural areas where schools are not available in close
proximity to residences and transportation is limited, parents are reluctant to send their girls to school once
they reach puberty, particularly if they have to travel long distances. Often the absence of female teachers
in the school acts as a further deterrent to girls attendance and completion of secondary education.
report states that for children born into poverty, affordability is a major deterrent
to school attendance. In countries where schooling is free of cost, other incidental expenses like
transportation, school supplies etc are barriers to attendance and completion. The report points out that
in a survey covering fty slums in Delhi, nancial limitations were given as the main reason for school age
children being out of school or dropping out. Children in such families are also compelled by economic
pressures to join the unskilled labour force at a very young age in order to augment the family income.
Once out of school, they seldom return.
In addition to economic factors, attitudes and stigma associated with caste and ethnic hierarchies lead
to an erosion of self esteem and poor school attendance and performance. Centuries of stigmatization
can lead to an internalization of inferiority which in turn becomes a self fullling prophecy. For example,
while the Indian Constitution has banned untouchability and the government has provisions in place to
compensate for past historical discriminatory practices, educational disparities based on caste continue
to exist . Children belonging to scheduled castes and tribes have lower rates of school attendance and
In an experiment on perception ability based on caste membership and test performance, children aged
11 and 12 were selected at random from one low caste and three high caste groups. They were given
a series of puzzles to solve. When caste was not mentioned to the participants, it had no bearing on
either the initial or subsequent test performance. However, the moment caste was brought into the
picture and talked about before the test, the scores for low-caste children fell dramatically. These results
support similar ndings on studies done with minority children. When their minority status is brought
into the picture, a long history of ingrained low expectations comes into play and affects individual
Raising and educating a child with disability requires additional nancial inputs from a family. A study in
Bangladesh, reported in UNESCOs EPA report found that the parents of children with disabilities faced
additional nancial costs for aids, appliances and health care that were three times the average household
budget for raising children. In families with limited resources, this places an additional nancial burden
and most often in such cases, this results in the neglect of their educational needs. In addition to nancial
constraints, caste membership creates another layer of disadvantage and deprivation.
The effective planning and development of policies and programs that address the needs of out of
school adolescents has to be based on identifying their numbers and their needs. Currently there are
no internationally accepted indicators for post-primary education. Also, as evidenced in Table 3 in the
data on secondary school enrolment in South Asia, not all countries can provide consistent and reliable
enrolment data for secondary school enrolment and therefore a complete picture of out-of-school
adolescents is currently missing (UNESCO 2010)
UNESCO. 2010 EFA Report.Regional Overview. South and West Asia
UNESCO (2010). Out of School Adolescents.. Montreal, Canada.
The way forward
EFA Goal No. 3 emphasizes that the learning needs of all young people and adults should be met
through equitable access to learning and life skills programmes While there is little doubt that schools (i.e.
secondary-level education and higher) are one place to begin to meet this goal, other learning environments
might also present an opportunity. In any event, monitoring exclusion at the secondary level is important in
relation to this goal in order to quantify those out of school and in need of alternative forms of education.
There can be no one size ts all programme for adolescents who have dropped out of school. As a group they can
be divided into four distinct categories:
i. adolescents who have never attended or who have dropped out before completing primary school
ii. adolescents who are currently enrolled in primary school, but are overage, attending irregularly,
and/or repeating grades.
iii. adolescents who are out of school but who have completed primary school
iv. adolescents who are enrolled in lower secondary schools but who are overage and/or not learning
Though research reveals that the most common reasons why adolescents drop out of school are lack of
money, the need to help at home, the need to work, not liking school, repeated failures, humiliation by
teachers and peers, and not wanting to attend, there is a real paucity of localized data on this group. The
rst step therefore would be to conduct a situational analysis to map the composition and characteristics
of these groups. To be meaningful and to get a clear picture this data should be disaggregated by gender,
urban/rural residence patterns, linguistic, caste and ethnic groups and by socio-economic quintiles. Such
analysis will allow government and agencies that work with OOSA groups to understand where the
greatest numbers, and disparities lie, and where targeted response is most required, in terms of resources
and services.
For many of these students there is little connection between the formal curriculum in schools, their
lived experiences and the skills sets and demands of the labour market. In many underprivileged areas,
the majority of students have a difcult time understanding and keeping up with what is taught in the
classroom. In this situation, when comparing the relative importance of regular school attendance against
the opportunity to contribute to family income they see little advantage in staying in school. This is also
because in most cases the school curriculum is not linked to the local economy and does not provide skills
and contacts that lead to employment.
It is clear that programmes targeted towards this vulnerable group should combine non formal education
with vocational skills so that they can earn their livelihood. A crucial component of any programme is
to build positive experiences that build self condence and a motivation for self development through
education. A truly effective programme as is revealed in the papers in the following sections is one
that combines literacy and numeracy skills with life skills education, including knowledge on health and
hygiene, adolescent sexuality, reproductive health, HIV prevention, leadership training and employment
The health component in non formal curriculum is vitally important, particularly in the light of the HIV /
AIDS epidemic that is affecting the youth in the region. Recent studies on adolescents conducted in India
reveal that a large number of young boys, especially in urban areas, have their rst sexual encounter with
commercial sex workers. Campaigns to encourage them to use condoms have had limited success because
of social and cultural taboos around discussions on matters related to sexuality and sexual health. The
ignorance about sexual matters coupled with considerable sexual activity among adolescents and youth
points to a growing health crisis among this population. There is therefore a vital need for programmes
that help adolescents understand and deal with their health, their bodies and their sexual lives.
Literacy and Life Skills education form the backbone of the majority of the programmes geared towards
OOSA. The denitions of the two terms have been expanded and rened over the past decades to
reect the changing technological and knowledge base. At the basic level the term Life skills refers to
the skills that people require in order to function in everyday situations which are context driven. The
Jomtien declaration (1990) declared that life skills education should include both essential learning
tools (such as literacy, oral expression, numeracy and problem solving) and basic learning content (such
as knowledge, skills, values and attitudes) required by human beings to be able to survive, to develop
their full capacities, to live and work in dignity, to participate fully in development, to improve the quality
of their lives, to make informed decisions and to continue learning. In Dakar (2000) the denition was
further elaborated to include the acquisition of knowledge, values, attitudes and skills through the Four
Pillars of Learning: learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together with others, and learning
to be. The World Bank denes education and life skills as the the acquisition of knowledge and skills,
where skills include competencies that make people productive and employable, and that enable people
to live full and healthy lives.
It is apparent from these broad denitions that the contours and details of what is included in a Life
Skills programme vary with location. It is based on the contexts in which young people live and has to
be geared towards the particular needs of individual communities. In the absence of an all encompassing
and denitive programme the following list of life skills, developed by UNICEF provides a starting point
for the development of programmes geared towards the needs of OOSA. Though divided in to broad
areas the categories are not discrete topics but overlap and interweave and can be adapted to local
Interpersonal communication skills
Verbal/Nonverbal communication
Active listening
Expressing feelings; giving feedback (without blaming) and receiving feedback
Negotiation/refusal skills
Negotiation and conict management
Assertiveness skills
Refusal skills
Ability to listen and understand anothers needs and circumstances and express that understand-
Cooperation and Teamwork
Expressing respect for others contributions and different styles
Assessing ones own abilities and contributing to the group
Advocacy Skills
Inuencing skills & persuasion
Networking and motivation skills
Decision-Making and Critical Thinking Skills
Decision making / problem solving skills
Information gathering skills
Evaluating future consequences of present actions for self and others
Determining alternative solutions to problems
Analysis skills regarding the inuence of values and attitudes of self and others on motivation
Critical thinking skills
Analyzing peer and media inuences
Analyzing attitudes, values, social norms and beliefs and factors affecting these
Identifying relevant information and information sources
Coping and Self-Management Skills
Skills for increasing internal locus of control
Self esteem/condence building skills
Self awareness skills including awareness of rights, inuences, values, attitudes, rights, strengths
and weaknesses
Goal setting skills
Self evaluation / Self assessment / Self-monitoring skills
Skills for managing feelings
Anger management
Dealing with grief and anxiety
Coping skills for dealing with loss, abuse, trauma
Skills for managing stress
Time management
Positive thinking
Relaxation techniques
The papers in this compendium reect the adaptation of these skill sets in varied settings with diverse
population groups. The organizations whose work is presented in the following pages have created
meaningful educational opportunities for children from the most disadvantaged sections of the
population. These programmes link education to empowerment, employment, better health and
responsible sexuality, awareness of social, political and community issues, and their rights as citizens
and as young people to create meaningful experiences for this marginalized and vulnerable population.
Report of the Conference
Responding to the Education and
Development Needs of Out of School Adolescents
- Experiences of South Asian Countries.
New Delhi, March 1-3 2011
In the countries of South Asia, including India which has more than 45% of its population in the age
group of 15- 35 about 22% of the people are in the age group of 11-20 years and out of those about
50% have either never attended school or dropped out because of varied reasons
The education of adolescents and young adults has received less than required attention over the years
since the Dakar framework of Action. One of the six EFA Goals explicitly relates to the educational and
developmental needs of young persons. However, not much has been achieved in the member countries
since then as far as this goal is concerned. The last few Global Monitoring Reports clearly reveal that
insufcient attention has been given in Member Countries as well as EFA Coordination Ofces to this Goal.
This could be because of all the EFA goals this is one of the most difcult to measure. It involves measuring
the individual and collective progress in the process of learning, assessing how far human potential is being
realized, or estimating how well people cope with change or the extent to which they are able to adhere to
basic human values at the time of crisis. Measuring these affective variables is not an easy task. It is easier
to measure the development of practical skills as well as literacy per se, but not the skills which are generic
and are largely visible in changed behavior.
However, this Goal is of great importance, especially in the lives of adolescent girls who nd themselves
marginalized in every sphere of life education, health and nutrition, employment and especially choices
regarding their lives. There is no denying the fact that educated, healthy and skilled adolescent girls will
help build a better future, advance social justice, support economic development, and combat poverty.
They will stay in school longer, marry later, delay childbearing, have fewer and healthier children, and
earn better incomes that will benet themselves, their families, communities and nations. Investing in
their rights and empowerment will help accelerate the achievement of international goals, including the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, an analysis of the status of girls reveals that they are
more subjugated, burdened by gender discrimination and inequality, and are subject to multiple forms
of violence, abuse, and exploitation, such as child labor The potential of these adolescents and their
contributions to their communities have yet to be realized.
But change cannot be brought about by working exclusively with girls. In the predominantly patriarchal
societies, which is the reality in the majority of the countries in the region, working with boys is essential
if the investments in adolescent girls are to be ensured. Their involvement is crucial to create a society
which is based on the values of equality, social justice and respect for each other. The experiences of South
Asia as well as initiatives taken up in India suggest that until strong advocacy and work is done with boys
and men the emancipation of girls will remain a half fullled agenda. A just social structure demands that
men and women respect each others identity, and work together to create spaces and opportunities for
each other to grow.
Though not sufcient, over the years a range of initiatives have taken place on education of adolescents in
India as well as in neighboring countries in the region. Quite a lot of these experiences have the potential
of being scaled up and expanded. What is required is the sharing and analysis of such experiences,
whether government or non government, for the purposes of learning and wider dissemination.
In the context of the above, the conference was planned by Plan India with UNESCO New Delhi from
March 1-3 2011. The overall objective of the conference was to contribute to the thinking on Goal 3 of EFA
Goals using the experiences /learning of existing governmental/non governmental efforts in the South
Asian Region. The deliberations that took place at the conference provided a platform for practitioners
as well as policy makers from government/non government organizations/agencies in the South Asian
region, who are working with out of school adolescents, to share their experiences and ideas with each
other. Over the course of the three days, participants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Maldives,
Sri Lanka and Bhutan reected on their work and the contribution of their programmes to achieving Goal
3 (Promote learning and life skills for young people and adults) of the Education For All (EFA) Goals. At
the conclusion of the conference participants prepared a set of recommendations (included at the end of
this report) to be shared with ofcials of MHRD and Ministries of respective countries, Ministry of Youth
Affairs and Sports as well as the Planning Commission.
The presentations for the conference were organized around the following themes:
Inculcating life skills amongst adolescents
Basic Education for out of school adolescents
Gender equity and empowerment
Favourable environments, safer spaces and freedom from exploitation
Democratic participation: Engaging with adolescents on issues related to governance and ac-
Adolescents sexuality, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS
Holistic Programmes for Cross Cutting issues
Challenges of Employability
Around 50 papers were presented during the initial two days of the conference on various themes
covering strategies, successes, challenges and future directions.
Inaugural Session
Delivering his welcome address Director and UNESCO Representative Mr. Armoogum Parsuramen said
that as signatories to the EFA Goals in 2000 at Dakar, all the member states had committed themselves
to take appropriate measures to achieve the goals within the stipulated time. However, despite the
huge number of adolescents and young persons requiring much needed opportunities for their learning
and development, this Goal has lacked adequate attention by member countries for several reasons.
Gradually member states have started to realize the importance of this age group and work has started
happening around Goal III. Some of the concrete steps taken by the Government of India in this direction
including setting up of Working Groups to attend to the learning and development needs of adolescents
in the context of preparation of the 10th and 11th Five Year Plans of the country are worth mentioning.
These Working Groups made valuable recommendations, based on which the Government of India took
several signicant decisions towards the realization of Goal III.
Mr. Parsuramen also congratulated the Government of
India for the recent enactment of the Right to Education
Act which is another historic step towards bringing a
large segment of the adolescent population back to
school and ensuring completion of their elementary
education. The other countries in the region are also
stepping up their efforts to attend to the adolescent
population, he said, which is a good sign
Referring to several conventions of the UN especially the UN convention on the Right of the Child
he made a special mention of the Cross Cutting Project on Empowering Adolescent Girls: Breaking
the Poverty Cycle of women which was designed by an inter-sectoral team specically to respond to
adolescents multidimensional development needs and was implemented in four countries of South Asia,
namely India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal in partnership with leading experts and institutions working
on adolescents empowerment. He stated that the lessons learned from the project have enriched our
understanding of the learning needs of adolescents and are worth considering for scaling up in South
Asia as well as in other regions.
The stage for the conference themes was set in her inaugural address by Mmantsetsa Marope, Director,
Division for Basic to Higher Education and Learning, UNESCO Paris
who, while describing the status of
adolescents in the world, pointed out that despite decades of effort by governments and global agencies
there has been little marked improvement in the situation of adolescents. This is because, in the absence
of adolescent focused policies at the national level, the programmes targeted for this group are seldom
designed to respond to adolescents needs and therefore fail to improve their situation, particularly
that of adolescent girls. Therefore, there is an urgent need for policies, legislation, programmes and
measures that address the rights, needs, and concerns of adolescents, particularly adolescent girls.
Drawing on UNESCOs experiences in South Asia, Director Marope pointed out the need for and
effectiveness of adolescent-cantered, holistic and multisectoral programmes that address the needs of
marginalised adolescent groups.
Ms. Marope also made a mention of the Joint UN Initiative for Accelerating Efforts to Advance the Rights
of Adolescent Girls, which provides a platform to share experiences, knowledge, expertise and resources
towards responding effectively and collaboratively to address adolescents learning and development
Speaking on behalf of Plan India, Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director Plan India, pointed out that
the largest number of out of school adolescents live in South Asia and among these the majority live
in rural areas. All these adolescents face severe challenges. They are deprived of some of their basic
needs such as food, safe water, sanitation, health services, shelter, education services and information.
However, efforts to meet these challenges will only succeed with the involvement and participation of
adolescents and their families. This has been central to Plans work in the region.
Ms. Dengle described the work undertaken by Plan India. The organization has been working in India for
the last years with adolescents upto the age of 18 years. Guided by a strategic framework called Growing
up in Asia and the country Strategic Plan 3 Plans work follows a child centered community development
approach that works not only with adolescents but includes families, and communities as well. The work
of the organization includes health, basic education, life skills training and rights awareness education all
of which are conveyed through interlinked holistic programmes.
In addition Plan also works with adults especially Panchayati Raj institutions on issues that affect
adolescents. The organization also has an effective vocational training and placement programme that
trains and assists adolescents transition into the world of work.
The Inaugural address was delivered by the Chief Guest
Shri Kapil Sibal, Honorable Minister of Human Resource
Development with additional charge of Communication
and Information Technology. In his speech Mr. Sibal
addressed the issue from different perspectives.
He began by pointing out that adolescents live in
different worlds and as they live in different worlds
their problems are naturally qualitatively different. If
they are qualitatively different then the ideas for the
Ms Marope couldnt join the conference due to emergent work, therefore her message was shared by colleague at UNESCO,
New Delhi ofce
solutions need to be entirely different too. Adolescence is marked by tensions, conicts and feelings of
isolation as young men and women try to carve out spaces for themselves both within their families and
in their communities. The problems that adolescents face are as varied as their backgrounds which are
shaped by their locations, socio economic and cultural backgrounds, gender and ability. There is no one
single solution that will address their needs, instead any programme that is developed for them has to
take into account the complexities of the contexts that shape their lives. Special attention has to be paid
to those among this group who are the most vulnerable. Mr. Sibal alluded to two particular groups girls
and those adolescents who belong to impoverished families. The latter are often exploited and abused
and caught in a cycle of poverty from which they cannot escape without help.
The situation of girls, especially those belonging to poor and marginalized groups require greater
attention. Many of them are burdened by the duties of adulthood at a very young age, their opportunities
and choices are limited and their lives are circumscribed by the needs and demands of the members of
their families.
He pointed out that given this complex situation the problems that face adolescents, especially out of
school adolescents have to be addressed in the context of the complexity of the problem....we need a
roadmap and solutions which target different groups of adolescents depending on the situations they
nd themselves in.
Education has to be at the center of any programme that is developed for adolescents. Their issues have
to be addressed through changes in the curriculum both in schools and teacher training programmes,
especially the latter because changes in classroom experiences can only come about when teachers take
the lead and become agents for such change. In the Indian context a good starting point to address
the problem holistically is to reach the teaching community through the DIETS and Teachers Training
programs and In-Service Teachers Training programs.
Mr. Sibal also emphasized the role that technology can play in reaching out to children who currently feel
alienated from the mainstream educational process. He revealed that the government of India is working
on a plan that will connect every village and every school in India through a beroptics network. This
will open up vast opportunities for distance education, which has the added advantage of addressing
the shortage of trained teachers. This, he said, is where UNESCO and Plan can play an important role in
supporting software developers to develop programmes that address the needs of adolescents and that
can equip them to meet the new challenges that they will face as they enter adulthood.
Mr. Sibal repeatedly stressed the need for programmes that empower adolescents, because with
empowerment comes understanding and the ability to make choices. In order to achieve this goal the
government is working with industry to develop a national vocational educational programme, the National
Vocational Education Qualication Framework, that will provide career options for those students who do
not wish to pursue the more expensive academic track.
In addition to education, Mr. Sibal also touched upon the importance of addressing health issues that
affect adolescents. He talked about the problem of HIV/AIDS and said it was unfortunate that this silent
killer disease was not getting the attention it needed.
Session I
The inaugural session was followed by reports on the
Status of Adolescents in South Asia by Ms. Vimala
Ramachandran, Methodologies of Identifying Out-of-
School Adolescents and source of data by Mr. Shailendra
Sigdel and country reports from Bangladesh, Nepal,
Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives presented
by the nominees of the Member States. This session
was chaired by Mr. Anil Bordia, former Secretary of
Education, Government of India and Chairperson
and Managing Trustee of Foundation for Education &
Ms. Ramachandran, in her report on the Status of
Adolescents in South Asia pointed out that adolescents
are not a homogenous group. Their situation depends
on multiple factors such as caste and class membership,
gender and disability all of which impact their life
opportunities. One categorization that can help
us understand OOSA is that it is an outcome not a
characteristic. For example, it is a result of location - those who live in remote, tribal areas, are less likely
to have easy access to schools and more likely to drop out. Similarly, an area that has been hit by any kind
of natural disaster, e.g. Lahore or Mumbai is more likely to have out of school adoelscents.
Family characteristics like literacy and education, economic status, occupation, and medical condition
of the family contribute to intergenerational dimensions of being Out of School. For example, children
born into families that are landless or who have to migrate very frequently are highly likely to drop out
of school and join the labor force.
In order to meet these challenges, Ms. Ramachandran argued, we need to move away from a template
kind of planning and to plan for specic groups of young people. The educational programs that are
designed for them need to be situation and group specic. Organizations that work with OOSA need
to be committed to responding to the ground level needs of their constituents. Non-formal education
programmes play a big role in meeting the needs of this group. It is important that these programmes be
formally recognized. This is a big challenge because after class six or eight a large number of adolescents
are apprentices working as artisans or in the building trade. One of the most effective ways of developing
programmes that are sensitive to their needs is to begin with local mapping and more importantly
engaging adolescents in the mapping process.
Mr. Shailendra Sigdel, UNESCO Institute of Statistics talked of the methodologies and some of the
challenges associated with identifying OOSA and their proles. The Institute collects data on this
population from several sources within each country - local educational systems, households, individuals,
and local administrations. The information is also collected from census and surveys. Each of these
sources has its strengths and limitations primarily that the quality of data varies according to source and
by country. Thus none of them either individually or taken together yield a complete picture on this
population. However it is important to gather meta data to get a better understanding of the situation.
The country reports focused on each of the countries in the region and provided a description of the
situation in each country and the challenges involved as we move forward.
Bangladesh: Adolescent and youth (10-24 years) form the largest segment of the population of
Bangladesh. Of these 23 percent falls in the age bracket of 10-19 years. Among them women constitute
an extremely vulnerable group. Inspite of the fact that girls surpassed boys in primary-school completion,
78 % of the girls get married before they reach the legal minimum age of marriage, which is 18 years.
The median age of marriage for girls is 14 years and 59% of women bear their rst child at 19 years.
Early marriage and motherhood leave these girls socially isolated and vulnerable. There is an urgent
need for programs that address the needs of this population.
The government of Bangladesh has taken active steps to set up Technical and Vocational Education and
Training Centers [TVET] across the country. However, these programs are fraught with problems. The
centres suffer from poorly equipped workshops and laboratories, lack of teaching and training materials,
inadequate classrooms and libraries, lack of qualied teachers, presence of untrained managers and
administrators. Combined with this is the absence of linkage between the training institute and the
employing establishments and inadequate policy level support to the skilled training programs.
Bhutan: The presentation included a discussion on the reasons for adolescents dropping out of school in
Bhutan. Chief among these are residential conditions - parents living in remote areas in higher altitudes
prefer to keep their children at home rather than have them traveling long distances to school. Also,
children who are members of nomadic groups or live in remote settlements are not able to attend school
because of issues of physical access. Finally, parents are reluctant to send children with special needs to
The government and NGOs have developed programmes to help these out of school adolescent. These
include, non formal education programmes, vocational training, tapping into the traditional knowledge
base in communities and among parents, community education programmes and youth networks.
The challenges faced by the program include ensuring systematic improvement of standards and quality,
review of the labor market, updating programme content and services, developing attitudinal changes
among out of school adolescent, such as inculcating the dignity of manual labor. A Youth Policy has been
developed but it has yet to be endorsed by the government.
India: has a huge youth population - 20% of the population (400 million) is between the ages of 10 -19
years. In terms of sheer numbers this is signicant and poses unique challenges because of its diversity.
A Youth Policy that was developed in 2003 is under review. There is considerable debate on whether the
thrust of the interventions should be on efciency or whether it should be broad based.
The majority of the programmes include life skills education and career counseling. The government has
identied a need for skill building. The National Skill Development Corporation is working to partner
with industry. It is currently engaged in 6 lakh villages in skills mapping. The Skill Gap analysis is looking
at where the jobs will be created in the next 20 years. Thus there is a synergy between labor and
employment. However all the efforts are at the micro level and scaling is an issue that has yet to be
Nepal: The strategic priorities in Nepal include (1) continuation and expansion of existing programs (2)
opportunities for self employment (3) media mobilization (4) reduction of HIV /AIDS. A broad framework
is provided by the National Plan of Action and the ten year NFE Literacy Framework which includes life
skills education as a core component.
Maldives has a literacy rate of 98%, however less than 7% of the population has a university degree.
The challenges faced in Maldives differ from those in the other countries in the region. These include
expansion of secondary education, recruitment and retention of qualied teachers, and enforcing the
Education Act which provides for free and compulsory education for everyone. At present, though
education is free, it is not compulsory and the Act needs to be enforced for it to be meaningful.
The island offers considerable opportunities for NGOs and private organizations in the area of OOSA. At
the present time there is not much capacity within the school for support programs, there is limited intake
of secondary school leavers into tertiary education, no emphasis on life skills and vocational training.
Programme implementation is made difcult because of the geographical dispersal of the islands.
Pakistan: There are 54.3 million adolescents and youth in the age group 10 24 years in Pakistan.
The country faces enormous challenges - low rate of literacy, malnutrition, unemployment, limited
recreational facilities, injustices and inequalities with in different parts of society, limited health facilities,
and low quality of infrastructure for social services and low levels of adult literacy. The National Education
Policy developed in 2009 aims to increase literacy levels upto 86% by 2015, develop a national literacy
curriculum, develop and enforce minimum quality standards, link non-formal education with industry and
internship programs and develop special programmes to target child labor.
Sri Lanka: The southernmost country in the region is markedly different from its neighbours in that
its adult literacy rates, life expectancy, and infant mortality have reached levels comparable with the
developed countries of the West.
The educational system in Sri Lanka is a two tier programme that consists of both formal and nonformal
programmes. In the eld of formal schooling, the government funds almost 95% of the public schools, thus
enabling large masses of the school age population to have access to free education.
The non formal education system was established in 1970 as classes for adult learners. Later NFE services
were extended to include the educational needs of school drop outs and school leavers and included
literacy classes and technical courses. These are held in religious centers, schools and other community
based centers serving the larger community. The system plays a signicant role in providing access to
education to members of marginalized groups.
The government conducts annual surveys to identify the children who are enrolled in school and those who
have dropped out. Those who have dropped out are encouraged to return and if they are not able to do so
they are directed to an NFE programme. In order to encourage attendance, students are supplied with school
uniforms and beginning in 2010 with free textbooks.
With a literacy rate of 91.1%, Sri lanka is an example of what can be achieved through active government
intervention and engagement.
Thematic Sessions: deliberations, key issues, concerns and way forward
The format of the conference followed a set pattern. Individual breakaway sessions included paper presentations
which were followed by discussions. These were followed by plenary sessions where each breakaway group
presented the key points that emerged from the discussions. The key ideas that emerged from these discussions
are presented at the end of each thematic description.
Inculcating life skills among adolescent and Basic Education for out of school adolescents
Twenty one papers were presented in the 2 sessions on life skills and basic literacy programmes targeted
at a range of diverse groups including girls, tribal children and youth, children and youth whose rights
have been violated, and children in urban slums. The papers addressed the responses of NGOs and
government bodies to their needs and requirements.
The primary target of the life skills programme initiatives presented at the conference were out of school
adolescents in various states across India. Almost all of these children have either never attended school
or have dropped out of school at the primary levels. Both their physical environment and their socio-
economic condition make them vulnerable to exploitation in many forms. The life skills programmes
that were discussed have all been designed with the aim of creating an awareness of their rights,
and developing skills so that they can negotiate their world with condence. The emphasis in these
programmes is on vocational training, negotiation and communication skills and literacy training and
imparting information on health, hygiene and sexually transmitted diseases. Two of the programmes
were also involved in training teachers and community members who can then work with the children in
local communities. Particular emphasis was placed on exposing children to resources available in their
communities like the local post ofce and banks.
An important component of all the programmes was raising critical awareness of the participants on
their situation. This was especially true of programmes that were geared towards adolescent girls. The
girls were taught to question gender stereotypes and cultural practices, like early marriage, that are
detrimental to their well being. Information on mental and physical health issues and hygiene were an
integral component of these programmes.
The Basic Education programmes are primarily aimed at children who have some level of schooling, in
order to help them complete their education cycle. The majority of the projects presented in this section
were bridge programmes that helped students transition into regular schools. Targeted at minorities,
with a focus on the challenges faced by girls, in particular, these projects have adopted a multi faceted
approach that includes local learning centres and residential camps that provide intense tutoring in a
supportive environment.
Some of the papers described programmes that prepare participants, in a short period of time, to enter
mainstream schools. In some cases the curriculum in these programmes includes both the academic
school curriculum prevailing in the area as well as life skills and consciousness raising components.
Vocational training is available for those students, who because of the economic situation in their families
are completely unable to return to school. There is a unanimous recognition that the success of academic
bridge programmes is heavily dependent on the school environments that the students enter after
they have completed the bridge courses. The programmes either have teacher training programmes in
existence or in their future plans in order to train teachers to understand the needs of at risk students
and to provide them with the skills to help them succeed in school.
The discussion following the paper presentations focused on the commonalities that participants faced
in the implementation of their individual programmes. There was universal agreement that programs
need to be customized to t the individual needs of specic populations. One effective way of doing this
is to involve adolescents themselves in the research and design of educational programs, a strategy that
is missing in most program development. In addition it is also important to engage the larger community
in the programmes that are being developed for adolescents. Family and community support can go a
long way in ensuring that adolescents complete programmes that they join and can also be useful in the
long term sustainability of the programme. This is particularly true in the case of programmes that target
The work of Grassroots India challenges the popular notion that certain minority groups resist educating
their girls. due to long entrenched cultural values. The presenter shared details about the intervention
that focuses on educating underprivileged and out of school girls living in slums in UP. The ndings
show that these groups are keen and willing to educate their daughters if the programme designs are
sensitive to the cultural, religious and social needs of these communities.
The ndings on the work with minority girls struck a chord with several practitioners who pointed out
that these lessons are true for many other marginalized groups, e.g. children living in tribal areas. One
of the reasons why many children drop out of school is because the conventional school curriculum is
far removed from the reality of their lived experiences and successful programmes are those that build
programs based on ground realities.
Gender equity and empowerment
The session on gender equity discussed the challenges that girls face in getting an education. The
disadvantages of lower caste and class backgrounds are compounded by cultural values that limit the
physical spaces and education opportunities that are open to them. In addition many adolescent girls are
married young, they have little say in the decisions that are made about their lives and live in a world of
limitations rather than possibilities. The goals of all the projects, presented in this session, were to expose
the girls to what is possible for them; to bring about an awareness of their rights and the resources that
are available to them. The content of the programmes included a combination of literacy and numeracy
skills, life skills training and vocational education. The programmes used innovative methods that included
placing cameras and videos in the hands of young women so that they can capture the world around
them. Documenting their environment brought about a heightened awareness of the beauty of their
surroundings as well as its power to limit their choices and opportunities.
A consistent thread that ran through the presentation was making safe spaces available to girls where
they could articulate their problems, dreams and aspirations. These spaces in the form of residential
camps were also locations for conducting bridge courses so that the girls could be mainstreamed into
local schools. Program coordinators were acutely aware of the need to work with the community to
sustain the skills that the girls had acquired, and were working towards this end.
The discussions following the presentations reiterated some of the themes presented in the papers. A
crucial point made by an observer and taken up by several members of the audience was the need to
include boys in programmes whose goal is the empowerment of girls.
The project presented by CARE did include boys in its leadership programme, however this programme
was conducted in a traditional school setting and the boys who participated in the programme were in
classes four and ve. Though there was general agreement on the need to work with boys, the reality
on the ground makes this a difcult proposition. Programmes that want to include adolescent girls
and boys in mixed settings will face strong resistance from both families and the community and will be
counterproductive. Given the social and cultural milieu in which the majority of the girls in the region
live, an inclusive programme is not feasible at this time.
There was near unanimous recognition that gender equity programmes focused exclusively on girls has
very limited possibilities, however there were no ideas on how to do anything differently given that any
programme that makes an impact on the lives of adolescent girls will not succeed without family and
community support.
Favourable environment, safer spaces, and freedom from exploitation
The papers presented in this section described projects that worked with children whose situations
are markedly different from those discussed in the preceding sessions. The children whose needs
were addressed in this session are the most vulnerable and exploited. Based in West Bengal, India,
the programmes targeted the needs of homeless children who live on railway platforms, victims of sex
trafcking and those who are engaged in domestic labour. These are the invisible children who live on
the periphery, trapped in a cycle of exploitation.
The central tenet of the programmes was the rehabilitation of these children, making them aware of their
rights and the resources that are available to them, that will help them escape the exploitative conditions
that mark their lives. Moving them out of the cycle of poverty and exploitation is not easy in the case
of the children who are trapped as domestic workers or in the sex trade, it means opposing powerful
vested interests, and this is an ongoing battle. The programmes worked with government agencies in
order to rehabilitate the children.
Rehabilitating children who are exploited requires a two pronged approach. The problem has to be
addressed at the source the families and villages where the children come from and at the venues of
their labour. Their rehabilitation includes providing them with safe spaces where they can recover while
in transition, teaching them life skills and vocational skills, and reuniting them with their families. Skill
development is particularly important because the children have to have a means of earning an income if
they are not to fall back into a cycle of exploitation. The biggest challenge faced by the project coordinators
is a lack of understanding and empathy on the part of the public at large to the situation of this most
vulnerable group of children.
The situation of girls who are the victims of sex trafckers is acutely tragic. Many of these girls live like
prisoners, closely guarded by their immediate families for whom the girl is often the primary and maybe
the only source of income. Rehabilitating these girls is an uphill struggle because it involves lengthy legal
procedures, keeping the girls physically safe during the period when the cases are in court and above all
dealing with the social stigma that is associated with the profession.
In the discussion that followed the presentations there was overall consensus that the problem of
trafcked and exploited children is too vast to be resolved without government intervention. Members
of the audience pointed out, and the presenter from Muktangan agreed that in the case of the children
who live on railway platforms, it was the initiative and support of the Railways and the Railway Protection
Force that ensured the continuity, expansion and success of the programme. The impact of a combination
of public apathy and lack of political will is seen in the situation of girls who are the victims of sex
trafckers and adolescents who work as domestic servants. The NGOs working with these groups of
adolescents are confronted by powerful vested interests who have resources that far outweigh what is
available to the NGOs and so it is an uphill struggle.
The vulnerable situation that these children, who are vitims of exploitation nd themselves in is
compounded by the fact that because of extreme poverty, it is often parents or immediate family
members who steer these children into exploitative situations. For the NGOs working with this group it
is indeed an uphill task because rehabilitating these children has to involve working with parents who are
themselves caught in a desperate trap. There was a palpable sense of helplessness and frustration that
permeated the discussion. There were suggestions such as approaching the media to focus on the plight
of these children, particularly those who are victims of sex trafc and domestic labour. However, there
was a sense of resignation that with all of this, the problem is not likely to disappear and the best that can
be done is to work to rehabilitate these children and youth as best we can.
Democratic participation: engaging with adolescents on issues related to governance
and accountability.
An awareness of democratic principles and values and an understanding of their rights is central to
improving the condition of disenfranchised youth. This session discussed three programs where
adolescents are engaged in governance and accountability. In the rst programme, the organization
Lehar has partnered with Lakshya to run Youth centres in Purnia and Vaishali districts in Bihar - areas with
high rates of sex trafcking. A critical component of these centres is the Village Vigilance Committees
comprising of young boys who work with village panchayats and with Lakshya in a monitoring role to
ensure that children in their neighbourhood are not trafcked or absorbed into the sex trade.
The goal of these programmes is to engage children and youth in activities that provide them with the
opportunities to participate in decision making processes thereby developing and nurturing democratic
principles and values. This is carried out by working closely with Panchayat Raj Institutions and enabling
young people to play a critical role in the community. Through this the adolescents and youth have an
enhanced awareness of rights, non-discrimination, political entitlements and democracy; and participate
actively in arenas of governance.
The Kishori Panchayat (KP) or the Adolescent Girls Forum is a community based organization in Bihar,
that facilitates the participation of adolescent girls in discussions on various issues related to their lives,
viz reproductive health, communication, functional literacy and leadership for governance. The girls are
trained in social, political and economic issues that are relevant to their lives, and two members of KP are
included in the Village Coordination Committees. They are involved in decision making at the village level
and for the rst time, the girls have a forum where they can articulate their issues and concerns.
The Concerned for Working Childrens Appropriate Integrated and Comprehensive Education Programme
(AICEP) includes a rights based education curriculum that teaches children about legislation related to
child rights. The organization runs residential centers where children practice good governance through
electing their own Panchayat which is responsible for the effective governance of the centre. The
presumption is that the children will participate actively in local government once they return to their
A crucial question that emerged in this session is how do we incorporate the voices of adolescents
and make it acceptable for them to question the establishment and their elected representatives.? This
question was seen as particularly signicant for the countries in the region where cultural norms dictate a
strict and rigid hierarchy based on age and gender where the young are socialized not to question those
in authority. It is a particular challenge to NGOS working to empower youth when the very practices that
they encourage may be seen as threatening the social order. Suggestions on how to meet this challenge
involved garnering the support of the community, especially the elders. In addition communication
skills should be an integral component of all rights awareness and empowerment programmes, wherein
adolescents are taught to express their ideas and needs in an effective but non-confrontational manner.
It was also pointed out that there is a need to mainstream these programmes on youth empowerment.
This is an issue that is relevant to all adolescents, not just to out of school adolescents and the question is
how can we incorporate the vision and goals of these programmes in the National Youth Policy.
Adolescent sexuality, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS
Adolescence is a time when youth is becoming aware of their sexuality. In South Asia because of socio-
cultural norms, issues of sexuality are shrouded in silence. Sex and reproductive matters are almost
never discussed, leading to a great deal of misinformation and in this day and age the very real risk of
contracting HIV/AIDS.
The papers presented in this section included a research study on the voices of adolescents with HIV
living in institutions and the use of theatre to spread the message about HIV/AIDS.
Given the prejudices surrounding HIV/AIDS and the cultural taboos around discussions of sexuality,
street theatre is a powerful tool in that it provides a safe space in which to raise the topic and build
awareness. At the same time bringing the issue out into the open creates a forum for adolescents to talk
about the physical, emotional and psychological changes that they are experiencing.
The workshops where adolescents were trained in theatre techniques allowed the organizers to build on
the activity to engage in discussions that went beyond HIV/AIDS to include conversations on healthy
living, substance abuse, gender rights, effect of early marriage on reproductive health. Also included in
the programme were life skills development activities that focused on building self-esteem and handling
peer pressure.
The discussion that followed these presentations were underscored by the understanding that this is a
sensitive but vital programme area that needs to be handled with care. It was pointed out that children
in Non formal education classess had an advantage, in this instance, over their counterparts in the formal
school system where this is a taboo area that is seldom discussed. Audience members pointed out that
the situation of migrant youth, who are the most vulnerable are missing from the presentations and in
that sense what was heard was limited in scope. It was also agreed that conversations and discussions
on HIV cannot be disease specic and there is a danger of it becoming that but the illness has to be
placed within the larger context of other social issues such as child marriages and sexuality.
Holistic programs for cross- cutting issues- Cross Cutting Theme Project- An Example of
Human-Rights based Multi Sectoral Framework for Adolescents Empowerment
This session was an overview presentation of the CCT project implemented by UNESCO headquarters,
UNESCO Field ofces and implementing partners in four countries. Ms. Sayeeda Rahman, UNESCO Paris
under whose leadership the project was piloted had prepared an overview presentation
on the same gave
an overview of the project. The overview presentation was followed by presentations from the implementing
partners form each country which included India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Paksitan. Each presentation tried to
capture the unique strategies adopted by partners to address the overall objective of the project as well as
challenges faced and mutual learning which took place.
Globally acknowledged as one of the best practices, the cross cutting theme (CCT) project Empowering
Adolescent Girls to Become Agents of Social Transformation was a collaborative effort between UNESCO
and local partners in four South Asian countries Nari Maitree and Dhaka Ahsania Mission , Bangladesh,
Doosra Dashak, Foundation for Education & Development , India, CeLRRd, Nepal and IDSP, Pakistan,
The project was piloted over a period of six years (2002-2007) The goal of the project was to empower
marginalized adolescents girls in order to not only improve their own lives but that of their communities
as well. The unique strength of the project was its intersectoral and multi level approach within the
framework of rights of adolescents for their own development as well as development of their capacities
to serve as Agents of Social Transformation. The project had four interrelated and complementary
components including education - combining micro- nance and skills training; science, communication
and monitoring and evaluation.
The focus of the programmes was on making girls aware of their rights. Legal education was therefore
a central part of the project. The target population included adolescent girls who had never enrolled in
schools or who had dropped out before acquiring basic literacy skills.
Each country developed its own delivery mode and timeline to match specic local contexts and
conditions. Various cross-cutting activities were implemented in each project country geared towards
community mobilisation, policy dialogue, knowledge sharing, advocacy and resource mobilisation.
Over its six year implementation period the project reached 8000 adolescent girls living in rural areas or
urban peripheral slums. It also sensitized nearly 25, 000 community members. The success of the project
clearly demonstrated the need for the development of more cross cutting inter disciplinary programmes that
will build a cadre of adolescents who are active members and agents of change in their communities.
Since Ms. Sayeeda Rahman couldnt join the conference, her colleague from UNESCO, New Delhi made the presentation on
her behalf)
Challenges of employability
A central element of the programme for adolescents is vocational skills, a component that was included
in all the discussions listed above. However vocational education cannot be a stand alone programmatic
element it has to be imparted in conjunction with literacy and life skills. The presentations in this
section differed from the others in that the focus is primarily on developing employable skills, such as
career exploration, workplace attitudes, etiquette and behaviour, apprenticeships/job placements and
mentoring for work. It includes job training for work that requires specic skills sets like working with
computers, beauticians courses, health workers etc. These jobs require a minimum set of literacy and
numeracy skills and project participants include adolescents who have had some level of schooling.
Various presenters focused on the fact that there was a disconnect between formal education and
employability and in South Asia this is particularly acute, as in many cases the courses are outmoded
and not suited to industry requirements, and teacher training has not kept pace with what is required.
Focus of Childrens paper was on their work with out of school adolescents who are linked both to schooling
and employability options. Through their initiatives they have linked youth to employment and also provided
them with mentoring support.
The organisation SIDH raised the issue that if education is equated with literacy then there is a danger
that other knowledge sources such as traditional wisdom and oral traditions in the region may get
ignored or lost. Additionally they made a strong point that the purpose of education is to provide an
intrinsic sense of condence to adolescents.
A key issue that emerged in the discussion was the perpetuation of gender stereotypes in vocational
education programmes. By and large, though there are few exceptions girls are still predominantly trained
to become beauticians while boys go into higher paying jobs like motor mechanics.
Linking potential employees to employers is a constant challenge and so also to ensure that adolescents
aspirations are managed and they are able to retain their initial placements.
What Works and what does not work?
The conference brought together a large number of ideas and practices that have tried to address the
learning and development needs of out of school adolescents.
While a number of key ideas, challenges and examples of what worked has been captured in the thematic
sessions this section seeks to capture broadly what will work and what will not work
It was clear from the conference that One size ts all programmes will not work with adolescents
since this is not a homogenous group. Programs need to be customized based on the socio- cultural
background including gender, of the diverse sections of this group.
Mapping of adolescents situations and needs is of vital importance. Currently across South Asia mapping
is related to social schemes that exist for these adolescents run by various ministries. It results in the
generation of data that is specic to particular schemes. The scope of mapping needs to be expanded to
include community members, particularly adolescents, who can be trained to undertake the task. There
is a need for a convergence of data gathered from various schemes and services; this is a major challenge.
We need to have a mechanism for convergence and analysis of this data which will help in designing
better programmes for this group.
Some sections of adolescents who are doubly marginalised need immediate attention like adolescents
who have been trafcked, child domestic workers and children and youth who have never been to
school. This means that along with a mapping of needs we need a vulnerability mapping of these
adolescents across the region, This will result in creating better programs of social protection for this
group. Schemes for protection of children and youth below 18 need to involve local community members.
Their involvement is necessary to ensure cessation/reduction of trafcking from source destinations.
Across South Asia schools and programmes need to be made attractive if children are to attend Schools
regularly and complete at least 10-12 years of education. Enrollment efforts beyond elementary stage
will not be successful if secondary education isnt seen as attractive and relevant to these adolescents
needs. Additionally it is also important to develop twin bridge programs to link livelihood/employability
skills training from school level and education for those Out of School Adolescents who would like to
return to school.
Vocational education needs to do localized mapping of employment needs of the future and there has to
be a buy in from the community if stereotypes for employment of girls and boys are to be broken.
There is a potential large pool of change agents in the community and various means such as scholastic
camps for girls with community and parental involvement can create the environment, bonding and
support, that helps to facilitate social change and advancement; specically school enrollment and delayed
marriage age for girls.
Similarly adequate focus on life skills education for boys can create positive social demand for girls to be
born in a deepening situation of skewed sex ratios in South Asia.
To sum up there was an intense debate around many themes as they relate to adolescents lives and needs
and the key issues were on issues surrounding up scaling which is a challenge.
It was agreed that up scaling can only be done effectively by governments. There is a need to make up-
scaling a part of the process rather than an afterthought. While planning programs for up scaling there
is a need to ensure that the goals related to up scaling are being achieved
The conference concluded with a set of recommendations proposed by the participants for further
discussion and modication. On behalf of participants a presentation of the draft recommendations was
made by Dr. Shubhangi Sharma, UNESCO New Delhi and Ms. Randeep Kaur, Plan India. It was decided
that a small drafting committee will work on the further improvements suggested in the draft and will
nalise the recommendations for submission to the relevant Ministries in the participating countries, UN
agencies, international organisations and larger civil society. The recommendations nalized by the drafting
committee are given at the end of the compendium.
The speakers in the concluding session efciently summed up the main themes of the conference. Mr. Jag
Mohan Singh Raju, Director General of the National Literacy Mission congratulated the participants on a very
useful, well-thought out and relevant set of recommendations. However, he felt that they were too general to
be useful and needed to be more specic to the conditions and needs of out of school adolescents. It would
be very useful to the government if the recommendations could identify specic government programmes
and how they can address the needs of adolescents.
Mr. Singh lauded the role of NGOs and stated that it is important to bear in mind that the government
and NGOs are working towards the same goals. Their efforts should complement each other instead of
competing for the same space. He pointed out that the government now has authentic data of 125 youth
clubs which can be the nodal points to reach out to the larger community.
Ms. Anshu Vaish, Secretary , Department of School Education & Literacy in her remarks pointed out that
the RTE Act recognizes the right of every child up to age 14 to stay in school until s/he has completed
his/her education. This does not happen because unfortunately there is little awareness on the ground
of the RTE Act. The government has 3 years to full the mandates laid down in the Act. She pointed
out that one of the areas of convergence is to use the youth clubs in training the School Management
Committees to develop the School Development Plan as per the RTE norms.
She pointed to the need for residential and non residential bridge courses to serve the needs of children
in remote areas. The whole process of mainstreaming children back into school has to be reassessed
and reorganized because the way it is carried out at present is ineffective and does not keep children in
school. She pointed out that child labour is one of the major reasons for children to be out of schools.
To counter this, governments have included the centres under the National Child Labour Programme in
the mid day meal scheme.
Speaking on the occasion , Mr. A. K. Upadhyaya, Secretary, Youth Affairs and Sports made a brief
mention of a couple of promising programs and policy initiatives by his ministry and stressed the need
for more coordinated efforts to address the concerns of Out of School Adolescents. Referring to Goal III
he emphasised the need to work on holistic interdisciplinary interventions which could help adolescents
develop into responsible and productive future citizens. He also said that his ministry would be willing to
consider the recommendations proposed by this conference and take further appropriate action.
Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, ED Plan India, stressed that it is essential to recognize the need and requirements
of adolescents as a special focus group across South Asia and also recognize that adolescents have the
right to develop to their full potential for which one needs to take forward the main learnings from this
conference to other South Asian countries. She pointed out that gender constructs need to be reworked
and deconstructed. Recognition needs to be given to families and communities that are an important
part of adolescents lives and civil society needs to cover this aspect. She also added that as a group it
is important to look at initiating similar efforts on Goal 3 across Asia by mapping best practices in the
region as a beginning and work with the SAARC University to undertake data collection on this group
at the South Asia level. She said that one can also map possibilities of convergence of schemes for
adolescents across education, health, HIV/AIDS, and market skills development after studying /analyzing
which strategies work best in the Asian context.
Offering the vote of Thanks Mr. Armoogum Parsuramen, Director and UNESCO Representative for Bhutan
India, Maldives and Sri Lanka expressed his satisfaction over the enthusiastic and engaged participation
from organizations and individuals throughout the conference. He re-emphasised the need to consider
adolescents as persons with specic needs and urged to ensure targeted holistic interventions for their
development and learning. He also underscored the role of education in enhancing skills, knwoledge and
understanding of adolescents on critical issues as well as its importance in helping individuals to come
out of the vicious circle of poverty. He opined that Gender subordination and stereotypes prevalent in
the society also require education which promotes reection and action to lead us towards an inclusive
existence respecting diversity. Across the globe, there are examples that right kind of education had been
instrumental in enabling countries to overcome the challenges of poverty, deprivation and subjugation,
he said. Therefore education has to be given central focus while designing initiatives for adolescents.
He expressed his sense of gratitude to the Member States for sending their nominees in the conference
to share the government initiatives as well as intentions to work towards Goal III focusing on adolescent
persons. He also expressed his gratitude to the NATCOMS representatives from member states for their
presence and active participation and hoped that they would be a catalyst to take the agenda of the
conference forward. He also praised the respect and cooperation between the government and NGOs
in India in the eld of adolescent education & development and said that it sat an example and was a
model for other countries in the region. Mr. Parsuramen, while thanking Ms. Anshu Vaish, Secretary,
School Educaiton & Literacy, MHRD; Mr. A.K. Upadhyay, Secretary, Youth Affairs; Mr. Jag Mohan Singh
Raju, Joint Secretary, MHRD and Director General, National Literacy Mission, hoped that this conference
would be instrumental in bringing about a renewed attention on the learning and development needs
of adolescents and would result in range of policy and practice level initiatives across the region. He also
stressed upon the need to follow up of the Conference recommendations in the participating countries
for joint achievement of Goal III within a stipulated time and expressed UNESCO commitment to work
untiringly with Member States and the larger civil society to work towards the realization of the targets
mentioned therein.
Recommendations proposed for Member States in South Asian Region,
Inter-Governmental and non-Governmental International Agencies
and the Civil Society
The Jomtien Conference on Education for All (1990) was a historic event. The Declaration of that Conference
envisaged 6 EFA goals of which Goal 3 emphasizes the importance of providing equitable access to education
and life-skills programmes for young people and adults. The Jomtien Declaration was reiterated through the
Dakar Framework of Action (2000). As is evident from Global Monitoring Reports on Education For All(EFA)
brought out by UNESCO, Goal 3 has received scant attention from Member States, particularly with regard
to learning needs of adolescents.
With a view to drawing the attention of the world community, and of South Asian region in particular
to this issue UNESCO New Delhi, with Plan India, organized the South Asian Conference in New Delhi
on 1-3 March 2011. The principal theme of the Conference was EFA Goal 3 focusing on Out-of-School
Adolescents. The following recommendations were unanimously adopted in the Conference for
consideration of Member Countries, UN Agencies, International Organizations and larger civil society.
1. Adolescents should be recognized as a population group having specic learning and development
needs. Adolescent-centered perspective and approaches should be adopted to respond to such
needs. Interventions and policies related to adolescents should be developed keeping in mind a
rights based perspective and within the framework of various relevant UN conventions, particularly
convention on the Rights of the Child.
2. Any intervention to meet the adolescents learning needs should be holistic in nature, integrated and
responsive to their present challenges as well as future aspirations and needs.
3. With a view to making relevant interventions adolescent age group should be categorized into
two: the age group between 10-14 and those 15 years and above. The emphasis in the younger
age group could be on education, health and nutrition while in the older age group it could be on
preparation for the world of work, family life and understanding of civic responsibility.
4. Elementary Education in most South Asian countries is characterized by non achievement of
universal enrolment, high drop out rate and low levels of learning which result in persistence of
illiteracy among adolescents. This situation needs to be remedied through effective interventions in
teacher education, improved learning opportunities and making school environment child centered
and learner friendly.
5. Educational strategies should place special focus on out of school adolescents to enable them to
laterally enter school through bridge courses and other means of non-formal learning of good
quality. Opportunities should also be provided to pursue education through open schooling and
other modes of distance education.
6. There is need for distinct strategies for out of school girls, as they go through multiple disabilities.
The special needs of girls facing trafcking and girls in other difcult circumstances need to be
recognized in order to develop effective strategies including legislation for amelioration of their
condition combined and effective implementation of existing legislation and availability of social
safety nets. There should also be South Asia level treaties for easy repatriation of trafcked girls.
7. Adolescents education needs to be combined with life-skills and vocational training, entrepreneurship
training and simultaneous provision of various development opportunities which might enhance
their access to remunerative work.
8. Issues of health and nutrition should be integrated with adolescents educational and life-skills
training programmes. Systematic approaches should be adopted to enhance their access to health-
care and exclusion of addictive substances through adolescent friendly health services
9. Keeping in view the limited availability and accessibility of adolescent friendly counseling facilities
in the Region, there is a need to widen counseling services and also to promote peer counseling,
particularly in rural areas, to help them deal with stress, confusion and complexes of adolescents life.
10. HIV/AIDS is a serious threat to adolescents well-being. Adolescents fall prey to this malaise mainly
due to lack of information and counseling. This matter needs to be given high priority through
appropriate programs and interventions focused around adolescents sexual and reproductive health
while protecting human rights of HIV positive adolescent boys and girls
11. Adolescents migration in search of work is a known reality which must be responded through
development of appropriate strategies for protection of rights of migrants, their continuing
education, improved economic opportunities and vocational training. In each country , there should
be systematic mapping of employment requirements of these adolescents as well as avenues
available for them ensuring better collaboration amongst employment bureaus, labor exchanges
and institutions for vocational training.
12. Multi-faceted mobilization activities need to be undertaken with the community, such as formation
of womens and youth groups and sustained work with religious and tribal leaders to ensure that the
process of adolescents development is not hindered by socio- cultural factors.
13. This conference, which is an example of collaborative work between UNESCO and civil society,
has also underscored the importance of collaborative action among countries of South Asia. This
needs to be further pursued through implementation of multi-sectoral initiatives that have a Cross
Cutting Approach like UNESCOs Cross Cutting Theme Project in South Asia, on Education of
Adolescent Girls, Plan supported teen channel approaches that link education and livelihood in a
single continuum ensuring a continuous link between education and employment and similar such
holistic and integrated approaches , inter country study visits, collaborative action and provision of
opportunities for exchange of ideas and experiences among countries of South Asia.
14. Civil society has played a signicant role in identication and alleviation of the problems and
meeting specic needs of adolescents along with working for adolescents rights. Their sustained
involvement is essential for purposeful development and empowerment of adolescents.
15. Effective liaison between government and civil society and the judiciary, legal and health systems,
as well as other mechanisms of juvenile justice should be ensured. Adolescent jurisprudence should
be a feature of the work in the region as special laws and courts are needed to handle adolescent
crimes. This is essential to secure fair and just treatment for adolescents needing those services.
16. Governments in the region need to develop structures and mechanisms at various levels to legitimize
and create spaces for adolescents in the process of governance and on larger development issues.
17. There should be surveys, research and studies to collect, collate and made widely accessible gender
disaggregated and age specic data in respect of adolescents. It would be benecial if adolescents
participation is secured in this process. Also, collaboration amongst countries in the region should
be explored through institution such as SAARC University and similar such initiatives which are cross
country with regard to understanding Adolescents status, problems and responses to those in a
globalized world.
18. There should be a concrete Plan of Action for Adolescents in each Country with time bound targets
to achieve the development and learning needs of adolescents with scope for periodic review of
progress and corrective measures.
Finally, we strongly recommend that there should be a distinct policy for adolescents in the South Asian
Region to establish a framework for adequately responding to the learning and development needs
of adolescents. The policy should emphasize the rights and the contextual needs of adolescents with
enhanced scope of cultural underpinning and convergence among government departments and sectors
of economy.
Selected Best Practices
Disclaimer: The papers selected for best practices, references there in, are sole responsibility
of the author. UNESCO & Plan India do not claim any responsibility.
Doosra Dashak
CCT engagement (the Indian Experience)
(A rewarding collaboration for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls.)
Anil Bordia & Shubhangi Sharma
Adolescence is a critical transitional stage in a persons life, more so for girls. Marked by distinct physical,
psychological and emotional changes, this period also brings with it a plethora of relevant concerns, stresses and
challenges requiring responses which are contextual, relevant and enabling. At the same time, this age group
is also characterized by the growing advent of idealism, optimism, enthusiasm and zest to change the world. If
channelized properly, this group can be a vital source to address a host of social, cultural and economic challenges
faced by nations across the globe.
However, in most parts of the developing world the situation is far from satisfactory when it comes to dealing
with adolescents and addressing their concerns. Two distinct trends are visible when the issue of adolescents
development is examined. They are either overprotected and guarded, with all their actions scrutinized; or there
is a marked indifference, negligence, cynicism and apathy towards them. Furthermore, instead of considering them
responsible, productive future citizens, they are viewed with suspicion and distrust. This situation has caused major
concerns not only for adolescents but also for those who consider adolescents as harbingers of social change and
In the countries of South Asia adolescents bear a double burden - at one level, they are considered as adults and
deemed t to earn for the family. At another level they are looked upon as children requiring control, scrutiny and
guidance for all their actions. Girls are particularly disadvantaged. At the onset of puberty, they face the pressure
of early marriage leading to early pregnancy. Restrictions on their mobility, and low chances of schooling and
receiving other needed development opportunities places them in a vicious circle of marginalization which is hard
to break. An examination of the status of girls reveals that they are subjugated, suffer from gender discrimination
and inequality and are subject to multiple forms of violence, abuse, and exploitation, such as child labor and
However, across the world there are ample examples which demonstrate that with appropriate care, not only can
the barriers to adolescents development be removed but they can be supported to become active agents in the
process of social transformation.
Doosra Dashak
The Doosra Dashak Project in Rajasthan, initiated by the Foundation for Education and Development, a public
charitable Trust, was set up in 2001 in order to bring about changes in adolescents lives. Doosra Dashak literally
means second decade. The mission of the project is to work with individuals in the age group 11-20 years for
their holistic development and integrated education. Gender equity is Doosra Dashaks cornerstone. It permeates
all their strategies and processes of work. There is hardly any activity which does not include a conscious effort
towards empowerment of adolescent girls and fostering gender equity.
When the UNESCO cross-cutting theme (CCT) project accepted Doosra Dashak as a partner in 2002, it was already
implementing activities towards adolescents development in two remotely situated and backward blocks - Bap in
Jodhpur district and Kishanganj in Baran district - of Rajasthan. These sites are inhabited largely by very impoverished
communities - Muslims and Scheduled Castes in Bap Block and Sahariya, a primitive tribe, in Kishanganj Block. The
focus of the project was on out-of-school adolescent girls and boys living in remote and sparsely inhabited villages
in the area.
Currently, the project outreach extends to 9 blocks in Rajasthan, all of them under developed, marginalized and
with distinct sets of challenges. As one of the pioneering interventions in adolescents education and development,
the project has been able to create a ripple effect in many states of India. It has inspired a range of civil society
organizations to take up similar initiatives for adolescents, including designing contextually relevant interventions.
Doosra Dashak also engages in advocacy at various levels for policy interventions to regard adolescents as a distinct
age group and to focus attention on their learning and development needs.
The CCT-DD Engagement
The premise of the UNESCO cross cutting theme (CCT) project was to work with adolescent girls to help them break
the vicious cycle of poverty and become agents of social transformation. UNESCOs analysis was based on the fact
that lack of basic education and scientic knowledge, along with exclusion from technologies of communication
and information were at the root of girls and womens poverty and further marginalization. This matched well
with the assumptions and objectives of Doosra Dashak, and the project was revamped on the lines of the CCT
Project. The CCT project was carried out in both the above referred blocks and contextually relevant strategies to
engage with the adolescent girls were designed. Within the multi-dimensional, multi-level and inter-sectoral CCT
framework, the Doosra Dashak pilot intervention added a range of fresh initiatives into the implementation. These
were aimed at enabling the girls to come out of their household periphery and participate in the processes of their
own growth and development.
The rights-based approach adopted by the project redressed the deprivation and marginalization which were
integral to the lives of adolescent girls. The framework was put into concrete actionable interventions with a
wide-range of activities covering initial action for mobilization of the community followed by residential camps for
illiterate and school dropout girls. The process was strengthened by varied continuing education activities through
Prerna Kendra (motivational centers), joint adolescent forums, Gyan Vigyan Kendras ( Science & Communication
Centers) and Science Fairs. The technique of micro-planning was used to assess the progress of each participant on
a set of indicators and chalk out suitable future interventions for their growth.
All these initiatives were reinforced by close interaction and activities with the parents, the larger community, and
religious leaders. The idea was to prepare girls with required knowledge, skills and information so as to ensure not
only their own progress but also to enable them to contribute to the development of their families, their immediate
surroundings and the larger community. The project also attempted to break the socio- cultural prejudices persistent
against girls through engaging them in non conventional roles and responsibilities.
The most signicant conclusion which emerged from the experience of the CCT implementation was that once
adolescent girls become educated, begin to understand the impact of science in their lives and have accessed ICT,
they have the possibility of becoming effective agents of social change. Not only can they steer their own futures,
but they can also create circumstances for the improvement of the quality of life of rural women steeped in poverty.
It is this possibility of vicariously bringing about a transformation in the communitys situation which is, perhaps,
the most signicant promise of the CCT approach.
The activities delineated below were the key interventions with adolescent girls, which paved the way for their
holistic education and empowerment.
Strategies and interventions
Community Mobilization
Establishing rapport with the community was treated as of intrinsic value. This helped signicantly in harnessing
community support in securing girls participation in residential camps and ensuring their continuing education.
Building organizations of women was part of the process of community mobilization. Formation of strong womens
collective, Jagrat Mahila Sangathan (a collective of awakened women), in the Kishanganj block, and concerted
work with inuential religious leaders in Bap Block, were instrumental in securing the participation of older girls
in residential training program. The methods used for community mobilization were spending time in villages,
interacting with people, and organizing group meetings with men and women, local government representatives,
NGOs, government ofcials, etc. This was further strengthened by bringing the parents and other family members
to residential training programs and informing them about the diverse activities being carried out with and for
the adolescent girls. This approach helped in building a relationship of mutual trust and enhanced girls attendance
and participation in the camps.
Residential Camps
Residential camps of three to four months duration were the principal method of transacting a model of integrated
education. Girls are subject to caste constraints and tend to adapt to the subordination and gender discrimination,
which they see all around them. The residential training camps strengthened their collective identity and created
a sense of camaraderie. These camps were helpful in enabling adolescents get over the narrow limits imposed by
religion, caste and social status and inculcated in them an understanding of, and commitment to, human rights.
The curriculum emphasized literacy and numeracy skills and integrated these with life skills, health/ reproductive
health issues, building awareness of human rights and gender equity, civic and political education, legal literacy, etc.
50-55 girls participated in each camp. Some of the important gains from the camps were:
Enhanced capacity of adolescent girls to express themselves both orally and in writing.
All the girls lived together, rejecting the differences of caste, class and religion.
They gained an understanding of the values of democracy, secularism and human rights.
There was an improvement in their personal hygiene, understanding of health issues and environmental
They developed an understanding of micro credit and self-help groups.
In addition to the long duration residential camps, several short duration camps, also residential in nature, were
held for the induction of additional adolescent girls. After the residential camps were over, further need-based
training programs of short duration were organized. These training programs revolved around issues such as laws
affecting women, right to information, formation of self-help groups, etc.
Learning Centers
Once the adolescent girls entered the Projects fold, the emphasis was on continuous learning in any form, whether
it was through admission to a formal school, non-formal education centers, use of library or educational excursions.
Known by different names in different places such as Prerna Kendras (motivational centers), Ikhavelos, these
centers ensured continued learning and association of adolescents in various realms of learning. These were the
places for adolescent girls to gather, discuss and plan for their learning and talk about their relations with the
community. This was just like their own place, where they could have fun, learn and make future plans and explore
ways of bringing in other girls into the Project fold. These centers were a means of reinforcing and sustaining the
education of those who had gone through the long duration residential camps and were meant to sustain their
interest in new living and learning.
Adolescent Forums
These were also centers of continuing education for adolescent girls, of which trained boys were also members.
Some of the activities that were taken up by these forums were: conducting surveys of villages at the time of acute
drought to provide relief to the most vulnerable; helping the government health department to deal with a malaria
epidemic through testing blood samples and drug distribution; participating in polio eradication drives initiated by
the government; and conducting surveys of families living below the poverty line to ensure that their names were
included in the lists being prepared by the government. Collectively, these forums were active in taking up ghts
against social injustice and incidences of violation of human rights. They also took initiative in activities such as
village sanitation, opening of libraries and training program for peer adolescents.
Training in Livelihood Skills and Micro-Finance
The Project strategy for income generation was to enhance adolescent girls capacity through good quality
vocational training and assuring micro-nance. It included harnessing local resources and the application of science
and technology. In the implementation area there was a vast possibility of making scientic use of water, land,
forest areas and grasslands. The project enriched and conserved resources, while, at the same time providing
economic benets.
The basic approach to training in vocational skills was strengthening and building upon the existing skills that
the girls already had. During the project period a number of girls were trained in one or more of the following
crafts: traditional embroidery weaving, sewing and knitting - roof-tile-making, water testing, making puppets,
rexine-bag making, solar technology, etc. Co-operation was established with the National Primitive Tribes Technical
Training Centre, situated near Kishanganj, to provide adolescent girls with training in their chosen areas to enable
them to become capable of linking their skills with the market. An effort was also made, through joint forest
management, to develop credit-based program for sh culture, cultivation of medicinal plants and participation in
the governments scheme of social forestry.
Integration of Science and Communication with Education
From the beginning of the project, science education was an integral part of the residential program. This included
topics such as the human body and health and physiological processes (respiratory system. circulatory system,
etc.), health status (which was assessed through pathological examination), haemoglobin, dysentery, etc. The
study of water, its pollution and cleaning to make it potable, was a practical way to understand science. The training
of trainers was organized on a regular basis so as to improve the integration of science with the educational
processes, and to enhance their capacity. A denitive curriculum for the three-month residential training programs
was developed during the trainings. This ensured that the understanding of science was integrated with the entire
educational process.
Gyan Vigyan Kendras (Communication and Science Centers):
Two Gyan Vigyan Kendras (GVKs), were established, one in each block. The GVKs were also intended to serve
as multimedia centers. The goal was to set up decentralized institutions with strong community involvement at
the block and panchayat levels so as to enhance the spirit of enquiry amongst school-going and out-of-school
adolescents, as well as popularize science in the community. The specic purposes of GVKs/VKs were as follows:
to further the education of adolescents;
to develop a scientic temperament in the larger community so as to enable them to apply science to ensure
safe drinking water, sanitation, and nutrition;
to enable adolescents to understand basic health issues, nutrition, and environment through the application of
scientic method;
to develop basic computer literacy;
to encourage experimentation and enquiry ; and
to serve as multimedia centers using traditional forms of communication, such as puppetry and folklore, as well
as modern electronic technology radio, TV, VCP and computers.
The GVKs were also resource centers for strengthening science education in the activities of Adolescent Forums
and popularizing science in the community. Science fairs managed by the Gyan Vigyan Kendras and attended in
large numbers by adolescent participants, became another crucial tool for the popularization of science amongst
the community as well as the inculcation of a scientic temperament among adolescents.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Three kinds of monitoring mechanisms were used:
Micro-planning: This was a process of monitoring each participant (i.e., each beneciary). A beginning was
made by way of benchmark when an adolescent girl began her association with the Project. Her progress
was assessed at the end of the training and, thereafter, it was done quarterly. This tracking was done on 13
parameters, which comprised the essence of the Project. Through this technique, it was possible to ensure that
each person received opportunity for further development and attention for growth.
Activity-related Management Information system (MIS): This was done through formats which could provide
a two-way ow of information -from the state to block level and then to the village level and from village level
upwards to ensure transparency and maintain the quality of the Project.
Review and Planning Meetings: This method of evaluation involved periodic reviews and planning meetings
at each operational level - beginning from the cluster level, the block level and the state level. These meetings
related to the overall activities of the Project and provided a planning base for the future. Sandhan, the technical
resource agency, was closely involved in the process and the meetings were documented. Action research was
undertaken in respect of various aspects of the Project. This helped in mid-term revision and correction in
Key Learnings and the Way Forward
Though the project was executed in a comparatively small geographical area and was on the ground only for a
short span of 5 years, it was able to generate several notable results. These results can be seen in the form of direct
impact on the lives of the adolescents it worked with and also in terms of the ripple effect in the surrounding areas/
villages. It created a conducive atmosphere for further work with adolescents in general and girls in particular.
About 1500 girls and 1200 boys were trained in the 5 year period in 30 Panchayats and 160 villages of the
implementation area. 76 Adolescent Forums were formed, engaging additional adolescent boys and girls in
multifarious activities in village and community development. Quite a few adolescent girls were not only able
to continue their own learning but were also able to ensure more dignied lives for themselves, by overcoming
oppression and subjugation and coming out of exploitative relationships. Many of the girls trained at the time of
the CCT implementation took up the role of rural counselors, peer trainers, educators in residential camps and
supporters in the running of Gyan Vigyan Kendras and offshoots of GVKs (Vigyan Kendras) in villages. Nearly 180
girls emerged as grassroots activists. These young women are still in the forefront of struggles for the delivery of
basic services to village communities, for the implementation of laws which provide protection to the tribal people
and other communities which face deprivation and discrimination. These activists also take up issues of human
rights and other rights such as right to information, right to work, right to safe drinking water, etc.
The CCT project was discontinued after 2007. However a range of activities continued thereafter with new
dimensions added to the initial initiatives. The project was extended to 7 more blocks and several new villages
under the aegis of Doosra Dashak. This programme has been adopted by 17 other NGOs spread over 4 states.
The project offered critical learning in the area of adolescents education and development. Some of which are
briey described below:
Adolescents aged 1019 are a specic population group who need to be recognized as persons with their
own rights and needs, requiring intervention strategies for the fulllment of their creative potential as well as
to prepare them for their future life. In order for change to be sustained over a long period of time, the life of
adolescents needs to be seen as a continuum and the responses that are designed for them need to be holistic,
keeping in view their present as well as their future life, rather than piecemeal , sporadic and sector specic
A rights-based perspective, instead of a service delivery perspective, needs to be central to the interventions
aimed at adolescents. This enables adolescent girls to participate and engage in their own development
processes in a more meaningful manner instead of being mere recipients of knowledge , information and skills.
This requires a new perspective towards their learning and also requires appropriate materials, vocabulary and
Any intervention which is aimed at addressing adolescents concerns in a holistic manner needs to have an
understanding of its own limitations and strengths. There has to be a conscious understanding and scope for
engaging in partnership and collaboration with organizations and individuals with diverse sets of expertise. This
approach enables mid- term correction as well as graduation from one level of intervention to another level, all
the time responding to the needs of the learners.
Education is the key to all processes for social transformation. There is overwhelming evidence across the globe
to show that adolescents education must be multi-faceted, taking into account the fact that they are at the
threshold of family life, world of work and citizenship. Therefore, any effort towards the education of adolescent
should be holistic in nature and should enable them to take care of their lives as well as participate in the processes
of governance and bring about social transformation. This is possible through adoption of an interdisciplinary
approach to adolescent development rather than uni-dimensional interventions. Such education also needs to
be consistent with contextual realities within which adolescents live and interact.
Opportunities for continuing education are as important as initial trainings and activities. This is true for
adolescents in general but girls in particular, especially for the reinforcement of their learning. This is specially
to be kept in mind when the adolescent participants happen to be rst generation learners. However good the
initial educational program may be, its long-term impact depends on continuing education and opportunities
for the application of learning. This is particularly so in a predominantly non-literate environment. Therefore,
necessary attention must be paid to the provision of appropriate courses and other learning opportunities to
keep them engaged in the realm of learning.
A cadre of trained permanent trainers is essential in any educational process aimed at what the CCT project
aspired for. Such trainers are more likely to contribute signicantly to adolescents learning as well as their
emergence as condent, socially aware persons.
The micro nancial services for the girls should be offered subsequent to a range of empowering activities which
will enable them to take decisions on the kind of investment they would prefer to make, ensure the right usage
of the nances they have received and ensure that they keep meticulous records. Otherwise there are chances
for girls to remain merely conduits between micronance providers and their family rather than assuming the
role of a principal negotiator and decision maker.
Peer support and hand holding plays a major role in work with adolescents. Peers can serve as condants,
motivators and role models. Their role as peer counselors, as observed in the Indian experience, can also be
critical on issues on which adolescents hesitate to talk to their elders. This helps in dealing with age specic
confusion, dilemma, stress and apprehensions on minor matters.
Neglect, deprivation, restricted mobility leading to lack of proper education and learning opportunities, combined
with added household responsibility, throw adolescent girls in poor households into the grip of poverty. If not
checked and responded to in time, this grip acquires the shape of a vicious cycle. A deeper understanding of the
vicious cycle of poverty is especially needed in the group that works with adolescents belonging to marginalized
communities. Such understanding is crucial for designing inter-sectoral activities that have a denite bearing on
adolescents education and their enhanced capacities to break the cycle of poverty.
The deep layers that underscore marginalization need to be clearly understood and appreciated before initiating
work with adolescent girls. This includes a fuller comprehension of social deprivation, cultural marginalization
and economic impoverishment, combined with an understanding of gender specic disadvantages inherent in
their being born as girls in deprived families. Such knowledge is vital for the development of interdisciplinary
and rights based frameworks.
Work with the community in a sustainable manner requires sound understanding of community dynamics and
the role of different actors. This has to be combined with an understanding of what constitutes the community
as many a time representation of the powerful and inuential is understood as community participation further
isolating those who have always been at the periphery of mainstream society.
These interventions also require policy interfaces. It is therefore important to establish dialogue with the policy
making bodies at the federal and state levels and establish rapport with the executive machinery at the district
and local levels. A dynamic policy environment can serve as an enabler to draw attention towards adolescents
along with facilitating the sharing and dissemination of results at all levels.
A Partnership of Mutual Gain
Combined with several knowledge and information sharing meetings to develop a common vision of project
implementation, timely technical inputs and dynamic leadership at all levels, the CCT project offered each partner
an opportunity to contribute to the overall project implementation across South Asia. Doosra Dashak was also not
an exception and several of the salient features of project implementation in India were incorporated in the overall
project implementation as value addition. Some of the mutual gains are described below:
GVKs in Doosra Dashak were distinct in several senses. Firstly, these centers were very much grounded in the
community. Secondly, here science was not only seen as a subject but as a way of life, to build an attitude of
experimentation and reection to solve life problems. In all residential training programs as well as in activities
conducted at learning centers, science was treated as a transversal theme and GVKs were quite helpful in doing
this. This was the reason that GVKs became a vibrant centre of engagement in the community, helping in the
popularization of science and the inculcation of scientic attitude amongst adolescent participants. The GVKs
also emerged as a focal point for cooperation with the school system complementing science teaching in schools
by setting up experiments which were prescribed in school curriculum.
Though the focus of the CCT project was on girls, Doosra Dashak believed that it was equally important to
work with both boys and men if real social change was desired. There is no doubt that it is essential to create a
harmonious favorable environment for girls, but this can only be achieved if men are engaged in developing a
deeper understanding of gender inequalities and their role in perpetuating womens oppression. It was therefore
necessary to prepare men to break out of the stereotypical mould and take on new roles for themselves, which
in turn would facilitate girls empowerment.
The modality of all trainings being residential in nature was one of the key features of the CCT project
implementation in India. This was regarded as non-negotiable. The residential nature of the training was
instrumental in developing a sense of togetherness between girls and their instructors as well as a sense of
camaraderie amongst girls of different caste, class and religion. This modality also facilitated the imparting of an
integrated education program that combined literacy and numeracy, with life skills, local self governance, legal
literacy, reproductive health and an understanding that social and cultural norms are not set in stone but can
be changed. As the project proceeded, it was able to develop the rst ever holistic integrated curriculum for
adolescents. This was shared with NGOs across the country and was widely acclaimed.
Prerna Kendras (motivational centers) were conceived with the purpose of facilitating continuing education
of girls - not only those who participated in the initial training or residential camps but also those who were
enrolled in mainstream schools. In the case of the latter it substantiated their scholastic learning. These centers
became a place for women, young persons and other community members to interact among themselves and
resolve a wide variety of issues. These centers also were a vital link between school going children and those
who were not able to do so. Similar centers, known as reective learning centers, were set up in Pakistan under
the aegis of IDSP, the partner from that country, to inculcate reective skills amongst participants.
Finally, the most considerable contribution of CCT implementation in India and the simultaneous advocacy
undertaken by Doosra Dashak was that it drew the attention of government and civil society towards hitherto
neglected Goal 3 of EFA goals and was instrumental in bringing about a host of policy initiatives coupled with
civil society interventions across the country.
As an epoch-making beginning, Indias Planning Commission set up a Working Group on Adolescents in the context
of the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007). The report of this Working Group was a path-breaking document through
which Government of India recognized adolescents education and development as a priority area. Subsequently,
in the context of the 12th Five Year Plan (2007-2012) a Working Group on Adolescents Development was set up
under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and a Sub-group on Education of Adolescent Persons
under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Reports of these groups highlighted the importance of 11-20 age group, the fact that more than one-third of
persons in this age group were deprived of basic education and the worthwhileness of investment in this age group.
Each of these groups made recommendations for initiating large programs for adolescents development and their
education, not only through the Central Government but also through the State Governments.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was designated as the Nodal Ministry to coordinate and implement
interventions for Out of School Adolescents. The National Scheme for Youth and Adolescent Development was
launched recognizing adolescents as a distinct age group, thus enabling focused action for them.
Doosra Dashak: Original Concept Notes I, II &III, 2000
Doosra Dashak CCT Project Proposal, 2001
Progress Reports submitted to UNESCO Paris between year 2002-2007
Sharing Hopes- Shubhangi Sharma; March 2002
Knock on the Closed Doors, Shubhangi Sharma; August 2002
Empowering Adolescent Girls: Breaking the Poverty Cycle of Women , A UNESCO Pilot Project; October 2003
Educating Adolescent Girls : Beginning Afresh Shubhangi Sharma , Sept 2004
Education of Adolescents for Development in India - The Case of Doosra Dashak; Prof. Denzil Saldanha, 2007
Report of the Working Group on Adolescents, Planning Commission, GOI, 2000
Report of the Working Group on Adolescent Development, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, GOI, 2007
Report of the Sub-Group on Education of Adolescent Persons, Ministry of Human Resource Development, GOI
the Open Courtyard
collaborative child protection programme with the Railway Protection Force
Deep Purkayastha
In early 2003, the Divisional Security Commissioner of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Malda Division of
Eastern Railway in West Bengal, Mr Arul Jothi, started a school for children living on railway platforms inside the
RPF station at Malda Railway Station. Two RPF constables were given the responsibility of teaching the children for
a couple of hours during the daytime. A television was arranged for the children so that they could spend time in
the evening at the school. Every Saturday, Mr Jothis wife would cook a khichri meal for the children.
Praajak read about this school in a newspaper report and by the middle of the year extended technical support by
training the two constables in learning styles and teaching methods. This involvement increased over the next year
and by 2004 a collaborative venture was born.
The programme was named Muktangan which means an Open Courtyard. This was visualised as a Child
Protection Programme run by the Railway Protection Force, for children living and working on the railways, with
technical support from Praajak, a social development agency working for the rights of children and youth. By 2004,
the collaboration had been able to impact the lives of children to the extent that the RPF reported a signicant
decrease in juvenile crime in the railway station area.
In 2005, the RPF Act was amended and the RPF mission statement now included its commitment to help homeless
children living on railway platforms. Thus Muktangan was now the instrument through which the new Mission
Objective of RPF, which is to Remain vigilant to prevent trafcking in women and children and taking
appropriate action to rehabilitate destitute children found in railway areas, could be operationalised.
The Muktangan Programme reaches out to children who run away from home to escape neglect, abuse and
violence in their families and seek refuge in transport terminals like railway stations. Praajak has been working
with railway children since 2000 and has grown to believe that children on the railways could only be protected
through robust State interventions. In the case of railway children, this would mean the Department of Railways.
To Praajak, the RPF ofcerss spontaneous initiative in this regard could be the spark that was required to ensure
active participation by railways in the care, protection and rehabilitation of railway children.
Currently, Muktangan is operational in 3 Railway Zones, Eastern, South Eastern and Northeast Frontier Railways at
Malda (since 2003), Asansol (since 2005), Kharagpur (since 2004) and New Jalpaiguri (since 2009) railway stations
in West Bengal. These are the largest junction stations in these zones after Howrah and Sealdah.
The Muktangan model has 6 functional components:
The major activities of the Muktangan programme:
Outreach: Outreach is a major component of Muktangan. Through outreach the project reaches out to children in
distress and seeks to provide them with services for survival and protection.
Drop-in Centers: These are protected spaces that have been provided by the Railways through the RPF. Education
sessions, art and craft classes, movie shows, recreational activities like quiz, storytelling, dramatics and indoor
& outdoor games are held regularly as part of the drop-in-centre activities. All national and local festivals are
celebrated with great enthusiasm with the active involvement of civil society volunteers. The Drop-in Centre also
provides night shelters for children. The centres have bathing and toilet facilities provided by the Railways and
lockers for personal belongings.
Since its inception more than 1800 children have come into contact with the programme and accessed its
Gate keeping and Reunication: This component attempts to prevent the new runaway or abandoned children in
railway areas from entering a life on railway platforms. The programme also seeks to restore a child who has lived
on the railway station for some time to the family and reintegrate him with his community, or alternatively to place
him in a Childrens Home for his future rehabilitation. 240 children have been reunied with their families and 150
children have been placed in childrens homes since 2006 when the reunication programme was initiated under
Sanjha-Chulha: Sanjha-Chulha is the childrens community kitchen subsidised by Praajak. Children are encouraged
to contribute some money to the kitchen to foster a sense of dignity and self-respect. This also provides the
children an opportunity to develop skills like marketing, serving food, cooking and job responsibility. It prepares
them for reintegration into the larger community. Currently the kitchens at Asansol and Kharagpur receive support
under the Mid-Day Meal scheme of the government. The scheme is poised to start in Malda and New Jalpaiguri
in the new year. 943 children have accessed food through the Muktangan programme under the Mid-Day
Meal scheme.
Childrens Savings Initiative and the Child Mart is a savings initiative modeled on a formal bank with deposit
slips, withdrawal slips and pass-books to help children and protect their earnings and keep them safe It helps them
save money for economic rehabilitation and protects them from economic exploitation by others and wasteful
expenditure on harmful substances and gambling. The initiative also motivates children to save money, understand
the value of savings and familiarizes them with the functioning of a formal bank so that they can access formal
banks in the future. This programme is linked to Child Mart, which is an informal shop where children can buy
things at prices lower than the market rate. Children are also encouraged to save their money and invest it in small
businesses through the mart. Over the last 7 years, the volume of transaction by children has been almost
Rs. 7,00,000.
Trekking and Camping: Children are taken on regular trekking and camping trips as part of the programmes
psycho-social care programme. This consists of rock-climbing, low altitude trekking and camping in the wilderness.
Since its inititation in 2007, 77 children have participated in this activity.
Childrens Panchayat: Children participate in weekly meetings where they discuss their own issues and the services
they receive from the programme. A Childrens Panchayat has been set up at all the centers. Members are elected
democratically by vote.
Establishing a proper gate keeping programme in
the station premises in order to initiate early family
reintegration with the runaway / abandoned child
found in railway areas.
Promoting the establishment of childrens self-help
collectives for their empowerment through multiple
strategies including education, pycho social support
and vocational and business skills development.
Provision of basic infrastructure
through RPF like drop-in centres and
night shelters near the railway station.
Participation of trained and sensitized RPF
personnel in daily interventions with the children.
Sustaining the Muktangan programme through
greater involvement of civil society and mobilization of
Establishing referral systems
with government and non-
government agencies for various
Workshops: Regular Workshops are held to provide the children with life skills and build capacities to develop
self-help collectives amongst themselves. Workshops also help to develop their creativity and imagination through
various activites like art and craft, music, dance, poetry, storytelling and other psychosocial counseling techniques.
Vocational and business skills also form a major component of these workshops. So far 120 children for whom
going back to the family or placement in childrens homes was not an option, have been supported to set
up micro-businesses or placed in jobs.
Praajak has been able to develop a volunteer core in all the cities and towns where Muktangan operates. These
form a valuable resource mobilisation team. Over the last 3 years Praajaks resource collection team has been able to
generate resources of around Rs 10,00,000 for children. This is spent on clothes, medicines, educational materials,
blankets and mattresses and other material required by the children.
Praajaks advocacy programme aims to sustain the project through budgetary support from the Railway
Department as an RPF Community Policing Programme and afliating Muktangan to the Integrated Child
Protection Scheme.
Special issue on adolescence. American Psychologist. Volume 48 # 2 edited by Ruby Takanishi (Guest Editor) February 1993.
DAM is a multi-sectoral NGO in Bangladesh working with people for social and spiritual development of the human community since
1958. For details www.ahsaniamission.org.bd
According to Census 2001 (Provisional Report) about 10.5 per cent of the total population belong to this group
PFA and NAP Implementation in Bangladesh: Role of NGO, Salma Khan et al, NGO Coalition on Beijing Plus Five, 2002, Dhaka
BRAC, Beliefs and Superstitions on Menstruation in Rural Bangladesh, 1991, Dhaka
Breaking the cycle of poverty for women:
Empowering Adolescents for Social Transformation (EAST)
Ehsanur Rahman
Background and Introduction
Development psychologists have described adolescence as a period of psychological and social transition
between childhood and adulthood.
Unfortunately both boys and girls often nd themselves unable to cope with
the changes emanating from specic physiological growth during this time. Adolescence is a territory that both
adolescents and their parents nd perplexing and mysterious. Lack of knowledge/education and training and
proper guidance/counseling exposes adolescents to risky behaviors and increases their vulnerability. Depending
on the social, economic and cultural conditions, many adolescents become vulnerable to unsafe sex, sexual abuse,
early marriage, drug abuse, smoking and alcohol use, mental health disorders, eating disorders, depression, and
some other difculties. Unstable emotions can lead to crime and delinquency. Considering all these difculties this
period in an individuals life is described as a time of storm and stress.
Adolescent girls and boys represent an immense untapped potential which can be transformed into human capital
In this paper the programmatic approach of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM)
for working with adolescents, the
implementation strategies, and participation process for including adolescent girls and boys and the impact of the
programme on the lives of participants is described. Towards the end of the paper, a brief analysis is made of the
impact of the program at the community level and policy level, with evidence of how the process could bring about
changes in the mindset of the stakeholders. The replicable elements and lessons are highlighted.
Context: Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a developing country in South Asia. Adolescents aged 10 -18 years constitute an important
population group in the country.
Discrimination in family and social life, early marriage, dowry, domestic violence,
social isolation, lack of awareness of their rights, lack of decision making powers and autonomy are some major
socio-cultural adversities that adolescents in the country face.
Most adolescents have limited scope for acquiring
knowledge and skills for self-development. The majority of them are uninformed or insufciently informed about
reproductive health and contraception. Within the family they are dominated by older members, both male and
female. As a result, a growing number of socially, legally and economically marginalized adolescents, specially
girls, face various types of violence and exploitation. Adolescent girls from poor families are victims of double
vulnerabilities because they are girls and because they live in poverty.
A lack of access to education and health care, lack of gainful employment and lack of a voice in family and social
life characterize the lives of a majority of adolescent girls in Bangladesh. They enjoy little opportunity for self-
development and thus rank at the lowest echelon in a gender-based power hierarchy. The lack of recognition and
awareness regarding the special care that adolescence deserves perpetuates and leads to further deprivation.
Open discussions about menstruation is forbidden and considered a matter of shame
. Unsafe management of
menstruation thus becomes the norm and results in poor health in the short run and increases the risk of maternal
and infant mortality in the long run. Though this scenario holds for girls rather than boys, many of the taboos
around conversations on sexuality and sexual health are true for adolescent boys as well. It is therefore important
to open up access to education, health and gainful employment for all of them so that the quality of their lives can
be improved.
EAST Program
EAST stands for Empowering Adolescents to become agents of Social Transformation. The aim of this program is to
enhance the roles of adolescents as potential actors for social change and to make them a decisive population group.
It creates a psycho-social protection shield for adolescent girls and boys by raising awareness and empowering
them and building up adolescent chains at various levels of action. The program builds the communication and
participation capacity of adolescent girls and boys in the program areas. It also increases community support for
the role of the younger generation in social and economic development.
Experiential learning
The EAST program began with pilot initiatives in 2002-3 in 10 project sites covering 176 villages, as part of
UNESCOs regional project in South Asia for improving girls and womens livelihoods. To respond proactively to the
multi- dimensional problems faced by adolescent girls living in depressed rural areas, a broad based and coherent
set of activities was carried out which aimed at empowering 4500 girls in these project sites. The capacity building
program, developed in collaboration with national partners with proven experience in community development
issues, linked literacy and life skills to health and legal education, to information on application of science and
technology in daily life, to the use of ICTs in the rural context. The goal was to develop the abilities of young women
in communication, participation and interaction with the world outside their villages and to train them in income
generation and micro nance mechanisms.
In the following years, based on the experience of the pilot project, DAM developed a broad-based program
for empowerment of adolescents (both girls and boys) which aimed at a) increasing the levels of education of
adolescents b) increasing their knowledge on basic and reproductive health and safe reproductive health practices
c) preventing adolescents from engaging in social vices, and cultural practices such as early marriage d) enhancing
life skills of adolescents to enable greater participation in family and community related affairs e) establishing
a network through which adolescents would be able to articulate their issues f) developing entrepreneurial
capabilities of adolescent so as to enable them to engage in income generation activities g) creating a social
safety-net for adolescents. This program was implemented in seven districts in Bangladesh. In total, 11074
adolescents, of whom 8304 were girls, in the age range of 11 to 18 years, were the direct beneciaries of this
program, The indirect beneciaries were family members, and friends and community members. At the eld level
three interconnected program components facilitated implementation of actions. These were a) Education and
micronance, b) Communication and information services, and c) Popular science and technology.
The EAST program led to the following outcomes:
Increase in the educational levels of participants.
Interested adolescents went in for further education and were mainstreamed into nearby primary and high
Increase in knowledge on reproductive health, STD, HIV/AIDS, social rights and other social issues.
Adolescents who participated in the programme practiced safe menstruation management.
Adolescent entrepreneurs were developed.
Increased participation of adolescents in social mobilization.
Increased participation of adolescents in decision-making processes. A network of community learning centers
was established and adolescents were given the responsibility of organizing and managing the centers.
Adolescents raised and discussed issues that affected them with the local authorities.
Policy makers and other concerned authorities become proactive on adolescent issues.
Uniqueness of the EAST approach
The EAST program pursued an integrated approach combining Preventive approach, Participatory approach, and
Partnership approach. The Preventive Approach provided leverage against degeneration and loss of potential.
Vague or unscientic ideas, superstitions and traditional beliefs regarding the future role of girls takes shape during
adolescence and keeps women from realizing their potential. EAST acted during this critical stage of human
growth and development to use the untapped potential of the target group in the social transformation process.
The Preventive Approach facilitated the prevention of cultural and social practices like early marriage, dowry,
unsafe sex, sexual abuse, drug abuse, smoking and alcohol use, and eating disorders, both in the programme
participants life and also in the larger community. The Participatory approach created opportunities for active
involvement of the target group in planning and managing the activities; and nally, the Partnership approach
facilitated partnerships at all levels, with other local NGOs and national policy makers and planners.
The EAST approach adopted a community based implementation strategy. To ensure continuing support for
program activities, community mobilization was emphasized. Community based organizations were used as a
platform for program implementation and to facilitate linkage of support services from government and non-
government sectors. Monitoring of the eld level activities was conducted by the community using participatory
monitoring tools.
The multiplier effects of the EAST model is that it creates a deep impact from the community level up to policy
making level, as it changes or improves the attitude, behavior, practice and involvement of all the stakeholders
in the area. Observing the way the program protects and upholds the rights of adolescents in the areas, the
respective communities gradually go through a transformation in their attitudes, beliefs and practices related
to human rights and life skills. The involvement of government agencies, local government standing committee
members, and community level action groups in the program activities creates a positive impact leading to good
governance and to a shift in societys views on the role of adolescents.
Kishori Chitrapata (KC)
Empowering adolescenct girls through ICTs.
Gurumurthy Kasinathan
...we need to recall how difcult the life of adolescent girls in India is, and not just for the poorer strata of society.
Our culture poses formidable mental and social barriers to girls when they attain puberty. Some of these mental
blocks make it extremely difcult for education to do what it is supposed to - namely, boost condence in ones
abilities by developing a positive self-concept. Right from early childhood, girls are socialized to perceive matrimony
and motherhood as the ultimate goals of their life. A numbing array of rituals and customs is used to prepare girls
for the inescapability of leaving their natal homes and for a life of dependence and silent compliance
Prof. Krishna Kumar, former Director NCERT - Empowerment by verbal chicanery (http://www.thehindu.com/
Adolescence is a stage of high vulnerability for girls, with maximum family and social constraints. The mainstream
school system with its alienating curricular and pedagogical processes often fails them. What they need are
alternate models that focus on their empowerment through contextual and constructivist learning approaches. The
KC project of CCID, in Mysore (Karnataka), with the Kishori sanghas of Mahila Samakhya (MSK), uses video as a
curricular tool and weaves techno-social processes of learning; focusing on identity strengthening, understanding
and relating to local contexts, building networks of peer support, supporting the development of life skills as well
as a deeper understanding of contexts and possibilities.
Brief introduction
An adolescent girl in rural India is conspicuous by her complete absence in various developmental discourses. She
has to be a child or a woman to get noticed. The many deprivations that women face, begin during adolescence.
Girls are pulled out of schools, malnutrition manifests in health problems, and social norms dictated by patriarchal
interests are tacitly accepted. Though primary enrollment has achieved near universal levels, the high level of
dropout (where less than a third of students enrolling in class 1, reach class 10), means that the majority of children
fail to benet from the school system. Hence, education, considered a powerful tool for the socially vulnerable,
is at present not fully available to most adolescent girls. Programs that aim to empower adolescent girls through
education also sometimes suffer from disadvantages of processes similar to schools from which the girls have
dropped out a text heavy, decontextualised curriculum and rote based pedagogy.
The Kishori Chithrapata project aims to empower adolescent girls through a process of learning that is not limited
by script and in which kishoris construct curricular resources that are intimately linked to their immediate life
contexts and priorities.
Drawing on our experiences in community radio, video and computing and with sanghas
of MSK, in the Mahiti
Manthana project, ITfC in partnership with MSK, UNICEF and Sarva Shikshana Abhiyaan (SSA) launched the KC
Project in July 2009. The project works with around 75 kishoris in two village hubs - Attiguppe and Hosavaranchi
and the Mahila Shikshana Kendra, Hunsur, Mysore district of Karnataka.
addresses the learning
needs of out of school adolescent girls through innovative uses of video, radio
and computing technologies. The project takes a social constructivist approach to learning. Girls are encouraged,
individually and collectively, to explore, question and redene their social and cultural universe through these
technologies and to achieve the larger purpose of education the ability to creatively negotiate ones ecosystem
in order to fulll ones potential and aspirations.
Some KC specic goals are to:
1. Initiate kishori sanghas and build capacities for developing local audio, video and computer based content, in a
collaborative and spiral manner through constructivist learning processes
2. Contribute to the empowerment of kishoris through new empowering learning processes, social roles and skills
3. Use the content produced as well as related process for various local community development objectives -
including health related activities, basic legal and rights awareness, strengthening linkages with self-governance
bodies etc.
4. Advocacy for the absorption of techno-social / techno-pedagogical models developed in the KC project, in the
girls education and empowerment programs conducted by the state
Techno-Social or Techno-pedagogical refers to the project design and project methods. This is informed by a
deep understanding of developmental and educational principles and uses participatory social and pedagogical
In this method, technologies are not seen as stand alone remedies that need to be applied in decontextualised
and non-participatory manner as is often the case in ICTD projects, in which the technology interventions are
spearheaded by technology experts. Technology and Social change processes are not two independent strands
of the project, but are seen as a single interwoven strand. While developmental principles remain the bedrock
of the project, the new possibilities, both expected and unexpected from using ICTs, provide new opportunities
for interpreting and applying possibilities of change.
The project team consists of people deeply entrenched in developmental thinking and experiences with a deep
afnity and understanding of the changes that ICTs are bringing about in the evolving information or network
The project focused on digital camera and video technologies, taking advantage of the relative ease of use and
sharing, opportunity for creativity, amenability to inculcating a spirit of enquiry, supporting individual expression
as well as teamwork. The curriculum interwove social themes/topics with technical learning and took the kishoris
through a variety of issues relating to the self, family, friends, relations, and community. This was done through
lessons on digital photography and digital video. Initially the stress was more on video learning, moving gradually
to video aided learning, including widening their world view regarding adolescence (watching and discussing
Womens collectives
Kishori Chitrapata can be translated as images by adolescent girls.
Learning interpreted in a wider sense the Mahila Samakhya vision is empowerment through education, covering literacy, legal
literacy, livelihoods, health, political participation etc
adolescent girl initiatives through out the country), articulation around role models, understanding and examining
their perceptions of their bodies, and viewing their lives through a new lens by using video as a powerful method

to construct, store and share knowledge.
The pedagogy was largely experimental and experiential and integrated technical and social/pedagogical
components. Training videos, activities and games supplemented conceptual sessions. This helped keep the training
vibrant and interesting (whereas long lectures caused silences). The Kishoris looked forward to game based learning,
since they had not played games in years and knew that they would not be allowed to play outside the context
of the project (this is part of the control on their mobility and public appearances). The pedagogy was sensitive
to the diverse backgrounds and capacities of kishoris, helping each kishori in her unique journey of learning and
empowerment. The project used localised examples to explain technical words and demystied jargon
by allowing
the learners to come up with their own terminologies. Technology was never allowed to intimidate the learner or
overshadow the processes of learning. Using videos in training worked well. When the kishoris watched a video,
their understanding was quick, and their recall was higher. The videos were also an effective tool for those who
missed the training to quickly pick up the required skills and knowledge.
As mentioned earlier, adolescence is the period of maximum vulnerability
for girls. It is the time when they face
enormous social pressures and restrictions on their mobility, learning and development. Entrenched patriarchal
interests are keen that their submission not be challenged in any way and this makes working with adolescent girls
is difcult. Recognizing the social risks attached to this age group, signicant trust building measures were taken
with the parents of the kishoris in order to gain their commitment and to ensure that they did not feel threatened
by the projects implicit goals.
Thanks to the Mahiti Manthana project
, the sangha women emerged as a support
group for the adolescent girls. In the end the video could be used as a subversive technology because parents and
community members did not feel threatened by the kishoris engagement with new digital learning spaces.
Photo exhibitions were held in order to create visibility for the work done by the girls. They also built their self-
esteem and condence and created social acceptance for this kind of learning. The exhibitions were received with
much curiosity, enthusiasm and joy and helped to change the communitys perceptions of adolescents as weak,
vulnerable people who needed to be conned for their own good.
Outcomes. We didnt know our village was so beautiful !
The Kishoris created pictures and video resources for learning and empowerment and acquired the skills to read
photographs/videos and interpret their environment. For instance, they held a piece of mirror in their hands to create
an illusion, arranged owers, waded into water to get the height right etc. As an integral part of this process, they
picked up life skills - expressing their opinions and feelings, committing themselves to taking responsibility for their
own learning, starting to think about their own and others likes and dislikes and seeing new things with openness,
thus enhancing their understanding of themselves and the community they live in. The topics also included health
and hygiene, local geography and environment, resource mapping, local vocations, local government etc.
Text, a powerful method to store and share knowledge is often seen as the primary form of storing / sharing knowledge. However video
has an advantage of being accessible even to the text illiterate.
Using simple examples to illustrate a technical concept seemed to work. eg: lens is like the eye, frame is like a teviri (the boundary of a
See Prof Krishna Kumar quotation at the beginning, emphasising how this is the period during which they are coerced into accepting .. a
life of dependence and silent compliance
The powerful features of ICTs includes the elements of subserviseness and newness parents and community members see learning
video/photo making purely as a skill and accept the techno-social processes that cause exploration, critical reection, sharing and
collaborating, peer feedback etc, as a part of such learning
Prior to the KC project, ITfC worked along with Mahila Samakhya with the MS Sangha women, using community radio, community video
and community computing to support their learning and empowerment across the thematic areas of MS, including literacy, legal literacy,
health, livelihoods and local government. The Mahiti Manthana project was supported by Government of India and UNDP through the
National Institute of Smart Government (NISG).
An important outcome has been that kishoris have ventured out into the village and used the camera to look
at the streets of their village, and the men and women who inhabit these spaces. The presence and novelty of
the camera and their growing boldness seems to have validated this new found mobility. The kishoris also went
beyond their local connes and travelled to Mysore where they used their technical skills to seek exposure to the
city spaces as independant explorers (which they otherwise could have negotiated only in marginalised roles as
spouses). Such an exposure served as a strong learning experience, helping them gain an understanding of urban
settings and processes.
Any initiative becomes a movement only when people organise around common objectives and interests. The
kishoris have begun to build a sense of collective which is also consciously encouraged in the trainings. The
exhibitions have created spaces that allow the communities
in which the Kishoris live to interact with each other
at various levels celebrations, critical appreciation, a new engagement with art and acknowledgement of the
achievements of young girls, thereby building acceptance for such efforts. The interaction between villages during
the exhibitions has strengthened this process. Also it has marked a step towards empowerment in that it has helped
the kishoris negotiate with their families to visit other villages.
Finally, the trainings have enabled the kishoris to voice questions that were earlier trapped in their minds and to
individually as well as collectively think about these questions Why am I in this street? Why am I supposed to
marry now? Why are my parents anxious when I go out? What skills do I need to negotiate more space for myself?
Can I take on a vocation like my brother?
Challenges, lessons learned and the way forward
The project faces continuous and severe challenges including that of participants dropping out to get married,
intimidation from brothers, lack of interest, going to work because of the need for additional income in the
household, responsibilities at home including cooking, lling water, house maintenance, taking care of younger
siblings and/or sick people etc. The mobility of the girls is highly restricted and their interactions are limited to
members of their own households and their neighbors. This affects their joining the program. Caste is a severe
obstacle to building a sense of collective identity. Technical challenges such as a steady electric supply to power the
equipments was solved to some degree by using laptops.
A key learning from the project is that audio visual technology is extremely amenable to exploring opinions,
capturing ideas and consolidating concepts. A curriculum for video aided learning can support alternate learning
and empowerment processes for those who drop out of regular schools. Yet camera, video and audio are not as
easily accepted by the entire community as computers. This perception needs to be dealt with subtly, by making
the pedagogical value of the camera trainings explicit to both kishoris and the community. Acceptance from the
community is a signicant factor in enabling Kishoris to pursue learning avenues.
The way forward is to build on the socio-technical skills of the kishoris and explore a whole range of issues,
including identity, the strength of a collective etc. A detailed curriculum has been mapped for the program. This
will include audio visual content which will be shared locally through audio broadcasts on our radio program, Kelu
Sakhi and lms screened to the larger community. Increasing the project coverage and advocating the integration
of program learnings and resources into the formal education system, beginning with Mahila Shikshana Kendras,
KGBV, NPEGEL schools are longer term goals.
The community context of the KC project is the same of the MM project Mahila Samakhya works with poor dalit women and these
projects are situated in villages in rural parts of Mysore district.
Case Studies
1. Reetha from Hosavaranchi
Reetha dropped out of school in the 7th standard. Her familys perceptions about her were not positive. (peddi,
she is not intelligent). She came in with poor self condence, mortied that she could not easily read Kannada
and did not attempt writing at all. Initially, her peers made fun of her different
way of speaking. Our pedagogy,
sensitive to the diverse strengths of the participants, helped the group realize and acknowledge her contributions
to building the local technology jargon
. Today Reetha is a transformed young woman. When the bridge course
started with new Halevaranchi Kishoris, she took them around the village and introduced them. She declares I
will learn to read and write in 6 months. She took to computers before the others and started practicing Kannada
typing. When some Kishoris miss sessions she takes the initiative to help them catch up. She has blossomed to
become a creative and sensitive human being, eager to learn.
2. Electoral democracy and local government
When Gram Panchayat elections were announced, the Kishoris were asked to do a recording. The Kishoris prepared
the questionnaires and interviewed sangha women, after which they shared the following:
I did not know that there were different types of elections happening, I thought once in 5 years people gathered
at School to vote for the Government.
I have never voted though I am older than 18 years
Gram Panchayat elections are so important!
During this process they covered the streets where the dominant caste of the village lived. For the rst time in their
lives, they stepped into unknown streets and lmed the process. The Kishoris expressed astonishment that for the
rst time they had seen how big their village is, how many streets it has, and who all live in it. This topic served as
a useful lesson in the hows and whys of electoral representation and democratic principles and processes.
For video resources, visit
For more information about the KC project and CCID, visit www.ITforChange.net.
We presume homogenous learner groups and standard methods of learning. However it is proven that different learners tend to have
different learning styles and approaches. For instance, the theory of multiple intelligences of Howard Gardner suggests that different
learners lean more on specic set of intelligences for their learning, whereas traditional learning systems focus largely on one of them.
This disadvantages learners for whom, this is not the primary method of learning.
Just as learners have heterogenous learning styles, their contributions to the learning processes is also diverse. It is important to
acknowledge these diverse contributions, to move out of approaches that seek to value only a small set of contributions from bright
learners. The emphasis on peer learning in KC project helped the kishoris to understand and acknowledge the strengths and capacities of
one another
Responding to the Needs of out of school Adolescents-
Experiences of South Asian Countries:
A paper by Lehar (Mumbai) based on the work done by partner Lakshya in Patna, Bihar.
Havovi Wadia
Brief Prole of Lehar
Lehar is a support organisation that works with partner organisations to assist with writing, editing, communication
material, research based work, strategic interventions and approaches and training requirements. The organisation
was established in 2010 by a small team that is committed to building bridges and channels through writing,
research and practice, in two arenas:
Between Academic Approaches and Development Practice
Between grassroot organisations and national and international funders
The six goals that outline the EFA focus for the years between 2000 and 2015 were determined by 164 countries
in Dakar in 2000. Those six goals engage with early childhood education, free and compulsory education, needs of
out of school adolescents, adult literacy, gender parity and quality of education.
At the outset it is worth noting that goals 3 and 4 pertain not to the Right to Education but rather to a compensatory
requirement of basic literacy or employability skills for a generation that has been for some reason, denied the
Right to Education. It is important to accept at this stage, that adult literacy and work with adolescents focussing
on vocational training and similar skill building programmes, are essentially admissions of failure on the part of a
system, and may be seen as bandages that will help to ensure a minimum social cohesion and political and economic
stability in a section of the population that is often viewed with some amount of apprehension.
It is Lehars belief that the segment of the population that is being targeted in EFA Goal 3, should be understood
as a people deprived of its rights and therefore in need of redress from the state. In that sense, this goal may be
seen as a temporary one, that will no longer be required once goal two (free and compulsory education for all) is
In the current paper, Lehar seeks to present the work being done by Lakshya, a partner grassroots organisation in
Bihar. Lakshyas work is focussed in the Purnia and Vaishali districts of the state. The main focus of the organisation is
on issues pertaining to the lives of women, children, and other marginalised people. Over the years the organisation
has realised that the main issues in the region remain those of livelihood and unsafe migration. In this paper, we
present the initiatives and learnings of the organisation in the work done with out of school adolescents in Purnia
and Vaishali.
There are two approaches that Lakshya takes in its work with teenage children who are out of school. On the
one hand, in its centre, Koshish, it seeks to provide a safe space for children who live in the red light area in
Purnia. On the other it seeks to work with adolescents through Village Vigilance Committees and the Meena
Manch to empower children to play a constructive role in their communities. This work is based in Vaishali district.
In both districts Lakshya seeks to nd a workable model to then build a stronger network of similar actions and
interventions across the state.
1. Creating safe spaces for children:
In 2008 Lakshya started Koshish, a school for the children in Purnia who are currently excluded from mainstream
education. The need for this centre was realised when the organisation did a study on human trafcking in the area
earlier that year and realised that several children simply dont go to school, even though the school is barely a
kilometre away. This is because they face discrimination and stigma issues in the school. As a result, they spent all
day around their homes; this restriction to a certain kind of cultural exposure was pushing them almost inevitably
towards a role in the sex trade. In an attempt to create an alternative space for them, and acclimatise them to the
notion of schooling, Koshish was established. Here they could spend a few hours of their day and devote their
attention to more constructive and exploratory tasks. Over the past two years 60 children regularly attended the
school which has had not a single long term drop out so far!
While at the centre, children choose what they want to do during the day no xed timetable is set, and they can
opt to play, listen to a story, do some activities or some mathematics etc. The centre has some books, some indoor
games and a facilitator present to ensure that the children are engaged constructively during the time they spend
there. The idea at the centre is not so much to provide literacy skills or to educate the children as it is to show
them that there can be alternative ways of life, other than those they have been exposed to thus far. There is also
an attempt to encourage parents to gradually enrol their children in the nearby government school, so that they
acquire a formal education. So far 25 children have been enrolled in formal school.

The centre is a necessary space for children not just the 60 who attend it currently, but for the others as well,
who can see that the children enjoy coming to the centre and are able to learn something here. It serves the dual
purpose of enabling children to learn and grow and providing some hours for them in a space that is unthreatening
and constructive.
The children are now asking to be taught certain skills specically English skills, Computer skills and the use of
media like the internet and photography. Lakshya is exploring possibilities to be able to empower the children with
some of these skills.
2. Working with Adolescent Children to enable constructive citizenship
There are two other programmes that Lakshya runs with an explicitly adolescent and youth centred approach,
involving them in the process of taking ownership for the neighbourhood and engaging with various issues that
are pertinent to them.
i. Meena Manch: This is a group of adolescent girls from Vaishali district, who were trained by Lakshya to do
street plays on issues pertaining to their lives. The group consists of girls both in and out of school. The girls
have performed a play called Kahaan Gayee Muniya, about the vulnerability of girls to trafcking. The process
has also aimed at enabling the girls to speak up about issues impacting their lives. So far there have been 12
performances of the play in the village and also at spaces like the railway station, where the RPF has been very
supportive of the efforts of the organisation.
The organisation is now looking to form similar groups of girls in partnership with some schools in the district,
to ensure that messages about trafcking, unsafe migration and sex work reach as many people as possible.
Simultaneously the current group of girls in the Meena Manch is hoping to continue to perform the play in as
many spaces as are made available to them.
In this way, this group of adolescents, which are otherwise vulnerable to various other exploitative industries
due to their age and gender, has become a pressure group to prevent others of their age from becoming victims
of those with vested interests. Their impact on other girls in the community is considerable because of the fact
that they belong to the area and have backgrounds similar to those of their audience. This continuity allows for a
Lakshya has been interacting with teachers and trying to minimize the stigma that children face, especially from those in authority in
the school. This ongoing effort is resulting in the re-enrollment of some children.
credibility to be built around the messaging that ensures its effectiveness. Here is one concrete example of how
sustained rapport building and engagement with a stakeholder can give rise to an approach that is participatory,
people-centred and creative.
ii. Village Vigilance Committees: This is a relatively new initiative of the organisation. The attempt is to build
community based groups to perform monitoring functions to ensure that children in their neighbourhood are not
trafcked or absorbed into the sex trade. Currently there are ve such groups at the Panchayat level in Vaishali,
consisting primarily of young boys from marginalised communities who are now playing a role in spreading
awareness and building public opinion against trafcking.
This initiative has been painstakingly developed by rst establishing a rapport with members of the Panchayat
and conducting Capacity Enhancing sessions with them. Once their support for the issue was ensured, the team
began to look for youth and adolescents who could partner with the organisation to become the rst point of
contact in the community to act on issues such as trafcking, unsafe migration and other forms of exploitation
of children.
a. Persuading children and their families to make use of the centre or to participate in Meena Manch or Village
Vigilance Committees. There is a long process of preparation required before any kind of project or programme
can be initiated in the community. Lakshya has realised that this period of ground work is crucial to the efcacy
and sustainability of any programme. However in the early stages the level of frustration can be very high, as
people take a long time to trust the organisation and be willing to send their children for the activities.
b. Finding trained and dedicated staff for the centre, who are willing to withstand the pressure from vested interests
and the several challenges involved in ensuring that the children continue to come to the centre. This continues
to be a challenge especially areas far from Patna.
c. Creating engagement opportunities and Capacity Enhancing sessions with external resource persons Given the
location of the district it is difcult to create a programme that will involve guest faculty and trainers who can
expose children to different and interesting life options. The organisation is currently in the process of trying to
work towards a programme where the children at Koshish will be able to communicate with other children in the
country through the digital media in some form, to initiate spaces for dialogue as well as advocacy.
d. Extending the notion of safe space beyond the four walls of a centre is probably the greatest challenge. While
the children are at Koshish, Lakshya ensures that they are not threatened either by unruly older children/ people
in the area or by the pimps. However, beyond the purview of the centre, the children continue to inhabit spaces
where they are vulnerable to being trafcked, harassed and used by these elements.
In the experience of Lakshya, out of schools adolescents are the most vulnerable among children in the red light
areas in Purnia district. Their age, living circumstances and the lack of livelihood options makes them victims of
pimps and others who can make money by putting them into the sex trade. Often children are sold; some are
moved to other parts of Bihar, some across the border to Nepal and still others go to various other parts of the
We believe that there is urgent need for positive and constructive work to happen in this region, if one is to move
beyond responding to the current needs of out of school adolescents.
1. Concentrated attempts need to be made to bring children from marginalised communities into regular schools.
2. There need to be clear policy of non-acceptance when it comes to discrimination against these children due to
the work done by their mothers.
3. Mothers need to be encouraged to participate in PTA meetings so that they understand that they have an
important role to play in the education of their children.
4. Linked to schools, spaces need to be made available for children to study, play or simply spend time away from
the inuence of vested interests.
5. Adult Literacy programmes coupled with meaningful vocational training will go a long way to ensuring the
sustainability of any intervention with children and young people in this area.
The scope for work with this particular kind of adolescent population is tremendous. The reasons for their being
out of school are peculiar to them a fear of stigma, a belief in the inevitability of their lives, the lack of availability
of meaningful engagement with them, the lack of livelihood opportunities and positive role models are all push
factors pushing them out of school and towards the only way of life that they have been exposed to thus far. Even
as we engage with EFA Goal three, it is imperative that we keep in mind the larger goal of quality education for all,
thus ensuring that in time there are progressively fewer adolescents who are dropped out of school.
Promoting Rights Based Actions for Adolescents in India:
A Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health Programme in
Vulnerable Areas of West Bengal and Jharkhand
Indrani Bhattacharya
Universal access to quality Sexual and Reproductive Health [SRH] services and the ability to exercise sexual and
reproductive rights are essential for poverty reduction in any developing and under-developed country. Poverty and
negative SRH outcomes, including unwanted pregnancy, maternal and/or infant death and HIV and AIDS, operate
in a vicious cycle; the poor often have less access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, [SRH&R] services
and information. Their economic situation makes them vulnerable to at-risk behaviours, such as commercial sexual
exploitation. In turn, ill health, particularly HIV and AIDS makes people more vulnerable to extreme poverty and
can prevent them from contributing to the national economy and progress.
Despite huge economic development in recent years, India remains poor with extremely inequitable distribution of
resources. The countrys GDP per capita ($2,892) ranks 118 out of 177. There remains a substantial and persistent
disparity of opportunity in the education, health and economic prospects of women and young girls, particularly
those marginalised by virtue of gender based violence, early marriage or unsafe abortion, being out of school,
living on the streets, working as child labourers, or by engagement in unsafe sexual activities. There is further
marginalisation of scheduled castes and tribes, a group that is systematically discriminated against, and consequently
have signicantly poorer health indicators, including SRH. With the second largest number of people living with
HIV and AIDS in the world (5.1 million), high levels of stigma and discrimination, taboos around discussions on
matters related to sex and drug use, lack of correct knowledge, and gender inequities, India faces the potential for
rapid growth of the AIDS epidemic. Over 60% of all HIV cases in Asia live in India. According to the National AIDS
Control Organisations estimates, India had about 2.5 million HIV infected people in 2006. Other SRH indicators
are also causes for concern - every ve minutes an Indian woman dies from complications related to pregnancy and
childbirth, adding up to approximately 1,30,000 women deaths a year, resulting in a maternal mortality rate of 301
per 100,000 live births. These health problems result from low levels of knowledge of safe motherhood and SRH
issues and services. There are almost 350 million adolescent and young people (10 to 24 years) in India, representing
30% of the population. Sexual relations among many in this group are characterized by early debut (particularly
among females in the context of marriage), multiple partners and casual sexual relations (particularly among young
males), violence, and coercive / non-consensual sexual experiences. Unmarried adolescent girls are particularly
uninformed, as it is assumed that they are not having premarital sex, despite studies suggesting that up to 9%
of females and up to 30% of males 15-30 engage in premarital sexual activity. Studies exploring contraceptive
or condom use by the unmarried show that it is infrequent and irregular. Although consensual abortion is legal,
because of social stigma and censure associated with the procedure, unsafe or illegal abortion is highly prevalent
and results in extensive morbidity and mortalitys among adolescents.
These problems are further exacerbated when girls remain out of school and engage in different activities, like
domestic work, child labour, unsafe sexual activities with single or multiple partners.
CINI has been addressing these issues in West Bengal and Jharkhand, the states with extreme poverty and gender
inequality, through partnerships with the Government. There is a great need for improved knowledge of and
access to services in this area, as nearly 3/4 of the 45% of married women experiencing reproductive health
problems have not sought advice or treatment, and only 14% of women and 45% of men who have had a sexually
transmitted infection, have ever sought treatment.
CINI focuses all its work on enabling the creation of child and women friendly communities. Here the key actors are community, local
self government and service providers, who are trained, encouraged and facilitated to utilise the potential of participatory governance
processes for local development. The emphasis is on ensuring informed dialogue, negotiation and action that promotes the best interests
of children, adolescents, women and other marginalised groups. CINI acts as a facilitator in these processes, building capacities and
supporting the key actors.
Over decades, CINI has developed a Child and Woman Friendly Community [CWFC] approach, based on lessons
learned from life cycle based intervention models. CWFC is a rights based approach focusing on the rights of
children, adolescents and women, working to empower them within their own communities. It is rooted in the
organizational values of equity, non discrimination and inclusion, with four key guiding principles - Community
Ownership, Participatory Governance, Social Inclusion and Sustainability. It contributes to sustainable changes in
poverty and inequality levels and focuses on building partnerships that are child, adolescent and woman centred.
CWFC is envisaged as communities where children, adolescents and women can claim and achieve their rights in
the critical areas of education, protection, health and nutrition. Their voices, needs, priorities and aspirations are
reected in public policies and programmes.
In the interventions related to adolescent issues like reproductive and sexual health and rights and education, CINI
builds the capacities of adolescents and young people who are key change agents and advocates for their own
rights. This is done with the support of parents and other community members, local decision makers i.e. PRIs and
urban local bodies, as well as service providers.
The projects/programs
To contribute to the development of adolescent health, nutrition, education and protection related issues, CINI has
been implementing the following projects in both rural and urban areas of Jharkhand and West Bengal in India:
Sl No. Name of the Project Intervention Area Target Group
1. Promoting Rights-based Action to Improve Youth &
Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health including
12 districts of West
Bengal and Jharkhand
Adolescents and young people
[10-24 years of age]
2. Community Partnerships: Modelling A Rights Based
Approach to Addressing Young Peoples Sexual and
Reproductive Health and Rights (SRH&Rs)
12 districts of West
Bengal and Jharkhand
Same as above
3. Prevention of anaemia among Out of School
Adolescent Girls in West Bengal
2 districts of West
Adolescent out of school girls
aged 10-19 years
4. Attainment of Millennium Development Goals 3, 4,
5 and 6 through the adoption of Life Cycle approach
16 Wards of Diamond
Harbour Municipality
Adolescent girls and boys [10-
19 years]
5. Peer education and anemia prevention of out of
school and school going adolescents in urban slums
3 wards of Kolkata Same as above
6. Link Worker scheme for HIV and AIDS 4 districts of West
Adolescent girls and boys [10-
19 years] [along with others]
Strategies and intervention
Community-based behaviour change intervention through Peer Education strategy
Peer Education is a central method employed to achieve the specic objective of positive behaviour change. This
component ensures that the target groups of adolescents are actively involved in increasing their awareness and
knowledge and also facilitating behaviour change amongst their peers. It has been adopted for two key reasons;
rstly, on the rationale that peers can be a trusted and credible source of information. They share similar experiences
and social norms and are therefore better placed to provide relevant, meaningful, explicit and honest information.
Secondly, that peer education is, in itself, empowering. In working with their peers, adolescents become active
players in their own development rather than passive recipients of a set message. This results in positive changes
in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and condence.
Capacity building activities for these projects are structured in a cascading manner, where each and every adolescent
girl and boy is capacitated through peer educators. This strategy contributes to the mainstreaming of out of school
adolescents into schools.
Promotion of Drop-in-Centres the adolescent-friendly resource hub:
Drop in centers are village level [1 per 1000 population] spaces which provide safe spaces where adolescents feel
comfortable and can meet with their peers. Both school going and out of school adolescent girls and boys use
these spaces as information and recreation centers. These centers are the means for capturing the attention of
adolescents, allowing peer educators, youth advocates and CBOs to engage with children and young population
on SRH&R and HIV and AIDS issues. A variety of methods such as development of comic strips, drama, art, group
sessions and individual counseling is used. The drop in centers/ resource centers provide vulnerable adolescents
with access to positive structured health messages. These centers are managed by adolescents themselves with
support from the communities in which they are located.
Promotion of adolescent-friendly services:
A package of comprehensive gender sensitive and youth friendly SRH and HIV and AIDS services based on
NRHM protocols on youth friendly services has been promoted by CINI. These include information and counseling
on sexuality, safe sex and reproductive health, contraception and condom provision with an emphasis on dual
protection; HIV and AIDS; pregnancy testing and ante- and post-natal care, sexual violence and abuse counseling;
post abortion care; and referrals to other programmes or services of interest to youth. Emphasis has been placed,
in line with current accepted thinking, on integrating HIV and AIDS into existing SRH services and on integrating
SRH services into centers developed as stand alone HIV and AIDS service delivery outlets such as Voluntary
Counseling and Testing Centers. Rather than creating parallel structures, this strengthens the existing community
and government infrastructure, for example existing youth groups, schools, health sub-centers, ICDS centers and
different committees.
Youth-led advocacy:
A participatory, segmented advocacy strategy has been developed by adolescents and young people for
themselves in consultation with community members. Simultaneously, youth advocates are identied from among
adolescent peer educators who have received focused training on problem analysis. This is done in consultation
with communities, stakeholders and force-eld analysis and through developing segmented advocacy strategies.
These youth advocates play a key role in advocating for the SRH&R of adolescents in their communities, both
with their peers and at Gram Panchayat, District and State levels. This creates opportunities for young leaders to
exchange ideas and strategies and develops links between civic engagement and advocacy as an effective youth
development strategy.
The following structures have been created/strengthened at the village level in order to support youth
led advocacy:
Youth Adult Committees: Youth-Adult committees have been established to cover approximately 5000 people
in each area of implementation. This committee performs various roles and responsibilities like i) overseeing
the implementation of the outreach programme through peer educators and engaging with a broad range of
stakeholders and institutions ii) supporting peer educators in mobilizing and managing funds and conducting
community based activities, such as youth fairs, celebrations of special days and events, and iii) facilitating greater
youth involvement and participation in existing key public forums (e.g. youth health fairs) and promoting youth-
adult partnerships at all levels.
Adolescent Friendly Groups/Clubs: Local adolescent girls and boys form groups at para level, which in turn form
adolescent friendly clubs. Both out-of-school and school going adolescents are members of these groups and clubs
which contribute to the mainstreaming of drop-outs, spread positive messages on health, nutrition, education
and protection and advocacy for issues identied by the adolescents themselves with local government agencies,
service providers and parents and communities.
These structures represent CINIs commitment to translating adolescents right to participation into reality. Here,
groups of adolescents discuss issues that affect their lives. CINIs units provide support, particularly on issues like
rights and protection, preventing child labour, increasing school enrolment and retention. The adolescents track
school dropouts among their peers, highlight related issues and causes at school and at home that lead to dropouts
and follow up on the corrective measures to be undertaken to bring students back to school.
Linking and leveraging with government policies and programmes:
All the above mentioned programmes that address the need for health information and services among youth,
increased and equitable access to services , and the promotion of equality between males and females are linked
with existing Government policies and programes like the National Population Policy, (NPP), National AIDS
Prevention and Control Policy (NACP)III, National Policy for Empowerment of Women (NPEW) (2001), National
Health Policy (NHP)(2002), National Youth Policy (NYP) (2003), Eleventh Five Year Plan , and Reproductive and
Child Health II programme.
Outcomes of the intervention
Improved quality of and access to youth friendly sexual and reproductive health and HIV and AIDS services
across the prevention, care, treatment and support continuum.
Increased knowledge of life skills and awareness among vulnerable adolescent girls and boys about sexual and
reproductive health issues including HIV and AIDS.
Creation of an enabling environment at the community level for adolescents rights though participation of
adolescents (including out of school girls), parents, community and religious leaders in youth programmes.
Increase in the technical planning and management capacity of different NGOs and other stakeholders.
Strengthening of grassroots level adolescent networks that reach those who have previously been left out.
Increased convergence, linkage, partnership and leveraging with Government programmes and policies related
to adolescent health, nutrition, education and protection
Lessons learned, Challenges, and the way forward
Lessons Learned:
Greater participation and involvement of adolescent groups, youth-adult committee members, local self
government and service providers from different sectors in planning, implementation and community based
monitoring ensures community empowerment and ownership and is the key to the sustainability of the project
Interactive, participatory and reexive training programmes are key to knowledge and skill enhancement of
young people
Convergence of different stakeholders has increased the acceptance of the SRH needs of young people at the
community level
Separate youth friendly spaces/drop in centres for young boys and girls at the village level serve as youth
friendly information, entertainment and service delivery hubs. These centers, designed and managed by youth,
lead to participation by young people and ensures their sustainability
Socio-cultural norms/taboos prevent discussion on issues related to [SRH]. This makes it difcult to work on
issues of sexual and reproductive health [SRH] in traditional rural areas
Motivating adolescents to train as peer educators and then work as volunteers without any incentives
Frequent changes in local decision makers
Sustainability of the programme without any facilitating organization.
The Way Forward:
CINI has been implementing adolescent sexual and reproductive health education and rights interventions for the
past ten years. The organization has created a community based intervention model which is a comprehensive and
rights based one with emphasis on social inclusion. It does not seek to develop a parallel structure for adolescent
and youth programs but seeks to align with existing community based structures focusing on the direct involvement
of young people and advocacy for integration in the public health system.
The Population Foundation of India has done a Scalability Assessment Study of this model and has highly
recommended it as a scalable model in different areas of India. CINI has started replicating the model in different
areas of Jharkhand and West Bengal states of India in partnership with the Department of Health and Family Welfare,
Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Department of Youth Welfare, Department of
Panchayat and Rural Development, Department of Education, Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Department
of Municipal Affairs and other Line Departments
Case Studies
Rudas Story
Ruda Khatoon, 19, is a resident of Kashirampur village of Banganagar I Gram Panchayat of the Falta Block in South
24 Parganas district of West Bengal and is one of the most active peer educators. She dropped out of school after
completing class V. She has been associated with CINIs PRAYASH project supported by the European Commission
[EC] and Interact Worldwide [IWW] and has emerged as one of the key motivators in the community.
I remember the rst time I met CINI didi at a community meeting organized in our village. I attended the meeting
out of sheer curiosity, recalls Ruda. However, she did come back for the next community meeting organized for
young people. It was interesting to learn, through these meetings, how much we, especially girls, overlook health
and nutrition as anything serious, yet they play a dominant role in shaping our health and life ahead. I realized
that I was not the only one unaware of these issues but there were so many more like me, my friends, my sisters
and other girls in my neighbourhood. Then CINI didi asked us if we would like to join their programme as Peer
Educators (P.Es), an idea which I was quite willing to explore. So I joined even though I was shy to go out and talk
to other people, says Ruda.
It was difcult to convince Rudas parents to allow their daughter to join the programme. A P.E has to counsel her
fellow community members on issues related to health and nutrition and reproductive and sexual health (RSH) -
topics that are rarely discussed openly at public forums or discussed at length in the community. It took a series of
regular home visits and meetings with her parents, over six months, to nally convince them to let their daughter
join the programme.
Ruda received training on RSH, HIV and AIDS and adolescent health issues. During the training she learned
that though these issues were sensitive, they could be discussed publicly if handled and managed the right way.
In addition, she also learned about the rights of young people. A series of training sessions on life skills and
communication along with the constant guidance and support from CINI eld staff, helped Ruda to become
condent and strong. My friends tell me that I am a lot more condent, vocal and logical now than before, she
says. I can now easily talk about RSH issues to anyone and explain to them why we must never turn a blind eye
but instead treat it as a serious issue, theres nothing to be shy or hesitant about this. We could risk our futures if
RSH problems are not resolved.
Ruda has raised awareness among many girls and women in her community about their rights, health, common
SRH problems and the youth friendly services that were available to them. Through home visits and community
events she motivates the youth in her community to incorporate positive health behaviours such as maintenance
of hygiene (especially menstrual hygiene amongst girls), contraceptive use and adequate consumption of nutritious
food. Further, through one on one interaction, Ruda provides counseling support and provides information to them
about various services that are available to them. Ruda is now one of the key motivators and youth community
leaders in her community.
Ruda plans to continue being involved in the community development process. The amount of respect and love
that I now receive from my fellow community members is heartening. Being involved in this entire process has
helped me gain a vision and a new perspective towards life. Earlier I never thought of pursuing a career but now I
do. I dont want to merely get married and have children, I want to work. Despite initial opposition, my parents now
support me. I must thank PRAYASH, EC, IWW and CINI for their support and for making me realize my potential,
she concludes.
Chak De Football
The girls in the project areas have been complaining to CINI that the boys always have the privilege of playing
football and cricket openly in the play grounds of the villages. But when girls reach adolescence they face lots of
Nos. They can no longer run in the lanes, or play in public playing elds. They have to suppress their wishes in
front of their families.
In order to address this inequality, CINI, in active collaboration with YUWA INDIA, organized a girls football match
in its project area of the Falta block in South Twenty Four Parganas district of West Bengal . The project was funded
by the European Commission, and supported by Interact Worldwide. The aim of the programme was to reduce
gender inequalities at the grass roots level. Thirty young girls participated in the match which was held on 21st
December 2009. The girls were both school going and drop-outs from schools.
Initially none of the girls seemed interested in participating in the match.
They were afraid of the reaction of their families and also of the community.
CINI held discussions with parents groups and persuaded them to permit
the girls to play the match. Once this was done, the girls took the initiative
to x the eld for the match and arranged the other logistics such as inviting
the girls in the other Panchayats. Before starting the match, they decorated
the dais and the eld. One team was named the Green team and the other
was called the Blue team. After a long ght between the two teams, the
Green team snatched the winning trophy. The Joint Block Development
Ofcer of Falta block and the Sub-Inspector of Falta Police Station handed
the trophy to the winning team and each of the participants was given a
memento and a medal.
Barnali, a young 22 year old girl who lives in Chaluari village of Chaluari
Panchayat of Falta block described her experience in these words - we never
thought that CINI would give us an opportunity to enjoy a day like any of the
An Inclusive Education Programme for OOSA
Lessons from Sri Lanka.
Kamal Herath
Education in Sri Lanka is free and compulsory. The right to quality education has been recognized since the
1940s, many years before International Conventions were introduced. The state has provided compulsory general
education, free of charge for the last seven decades. The islands primary school net enrollment rate is as high as
97.5 percent. Some of the measures that directly facilitated availability and access to education are the provision of
free education from Grade 1 to University level (Kannangara Reforms of 1945), establishment of central schools in
every parliamentary electorate, introducing the Grade 5 scholarship examination and making the mother tongue
the medium of instruction in all the schools. The welfare measures include the provision of a free midday meal,
awarding bursaries to children of poor parents and providing uniforms and textbooks for all students.
The measures taken to improve access, quality and governance of education include the nationalization of all
schools. The educational reforms of 1972 introduced general education from grades 1 to 9 under a common
curriculum. With the introduction of the 13th Amendment to the constitution, education devolved to the provinces.
This was done in order to expedite educational reforms. However, policymaking, curriculum development and
donor-funded projects are within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education.
It is interesting to note here that some of the policy and educational reforms conducive to achieving the EFA goals
of universal primary/basic education, adult literacy, gender parity and equity and quality in education were in place
in the countrys educational framework even before the Dakar Framework for Action in 2000. For example the
education reforms of 1999 introduced competency based education. This is in line with the Education for All (EFA)
goals. However, the EFA Mid Decade Assessment that was carried out in 2008 shows gaps in the achievement of
the goals. Disparities and inequalities still persist and there are social groups, geographical areas and educational
areas that are in great need of support to achieve the EFA goals.
Junior secondary education in Sri Lanka is 4 years in duration, extending from grades 6 to 9 and covering children
ages 11-14 years. Out of the total number of 9714 government schools 7,228 (year 2006) provide education from
grades 6 to 9
. The large number of schools ensures availability and accessibility. A noteworthy feature in secondary
education is that the net enrolment rate is 88 per cent for boys and 91 per cent for girls (2005) but retention at the
end of junior secondary education is only 85 per-cent. Gender disaggregated data shows that more boys drop out
of schools than girls. Although textbooks, school uniforms and the midday meal are provided, the cost of stationery,
additional clothing, transport, pocket money, tuition fees and extra curricular activities places tremendous nancial
burdens on poor parents. In addition, the mismatch between the school curriculum and the examination system
and the competitiveness in education has given rise to a ourishing tuition industry that makes education even less
affordable for poor children. Male children from poor households who take on family responsibilities at an early
age cannot bear these hidden costs.
Although there is a school based assessment system to improve regular classroom instruction, this is ineffective
and there are no mechanisms for additional learning support except in selected schools that are deemed as model
schools. This results in poor academic performance which leads to absenteeism and poor retention. The majority
of the children who drop out are concentrated in areas affected by civil strife, the plantation sector, remote rural
communities, urban slums and shanties and shing communities. These children are absorbed as child labour in the
informal sector.
The number of students in the junior secondary cycle who attend the government schools was 1,319,996 in the year 2006.
The islands primary school net enrollment rate is as high as 97.5 percent. At present around 400,000 children
enter the formal education system annually. But about 80,000 (18 percent) students drop out before completing
the ordinary level (O/L) examinations. In 2007, out of 333,000 students who sat for six subjects or more in their
O/L examination, only 159,000 (48 percent) were qualied to proceed to the Advance Level (A/L) stage. The
same year, 60 percent of students failed the English paper in their O/L examinations and just over half failed in
mathematics and science. Recent studies have revealed that enrolment rate for quality ECCD services is less than
55% and the quality and sustainability of the programmes have not been evaluated. Only 46% of the children
acquire required readiness level when they enter the formal education system. Due to low readiness levels, children
are not competent to follow the standard curriculum at grade one. Due to this poor start, most of the children in
this area have fallen behind and are at risk of dropping out from school.
Project Location
Monaragala District is one of the second largest districts in Sri Lanka with a land area of 7,133 square kilometres and
one of the least developed areas other than the war affected North and East. The total population of the district
is approximately 420,000 with a population density of 49 and 73 respectively. There are many marginalized and
vulnerable groups, disadvantaged and excluded groups living in this area. According to national level data, around
30,000 children in school going age do not have access to the formal education system. In comparison with other
districts there is a signicant gap in the Monaragala district in accessing formal education system due to socio
economic disparities. School drop-out rates in both primary and secondary sections, are very high in this area. The
recent studies carried out by the National Education Research and Evaluation Centre, revealed that achievement
levels of primary cycle students and junior secondary cycle is very poor in the Monaragala district. Research has
shown that there are several reasons contributing to this problem, some among them include the poor standard
of education, rigid teaching methods, teacher deployment patterns and poor access to learning space, which
contribute to widening their knowledge gaps. Poor governance, unequal resource allocation and mismanagement
are other main issues in the sector. Compared with the urban schools, the per child budget allocation is very poor
in remote areas.
Mayuragama Grama Niladhari Division is situated in Monaragala District under the south east programme unit.
This is one of the most marginalized villages and is situated at the boundary line of Moneragal district. There are
250 families living in this division, comprising of 415 children. Most of the families are living as famers and some
are working as daily wage laborers. Plan Sri Lanka selected this location as its programme area in 2007 to ensure
childrens rights by addressing the above issues.
Identifying the problem
At the time Plan entered the village of Mayuragama, a large number of children were school drop outs. The
achievement level of the primary students (specially in basic mathematics and rst language ) was 43% and the
completion rate of compulsory education was at 80%. Plans Southeast Programme undertook a systematic
assessment of the situation and along with the education authorities was able to identify the types of schools in
the area that have high attendance rates and the reasons behind childrens absenteeism and drop out. Around 245
children in the catchment area were assessed to identify the depth of the issue. Out of 245 children,18 children had
never been to school and 98 children had not attended school regularly. More girls than boys had never been to
school and more boys than girls were school dropouts. There were more children in the 10-14 age group who were
out of school. The assessment revealed that poverty, the indifference of parents, unstable family environments,
engagement in paid employment in occupations such as domestic service and manual labour, school related
factors such as refusal to admit poor children or those without birth certicates, lack of facilities for children with
disabilities, harsh punishment and lack of transport facilities were all barriers to school attendance and retention.
Personal problems such as chronic ill-health, disability peer pressure and learning difculties also contributed to
non-schooling and drop out. The ndings indicated that multi-pronged strategies are necessary to ensure that all
children access their right to education.
The interventions were aligned to the existing Inclusive Education Approach and Plans CCCD approach which
focuses on childrens participation. The Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka follows a Child Friendly School frame
work to ensure the right to quality education for all the children in Sri Lanka. Due to various reasons, this CFS has
not been implemented at all levels. We wanted to improve the access, quality as well as governance within the
existing framework.
Main Interventions of the Programme
Based on the initial assessment, the following interventions were designed in order to achieve the expected targets.
The technical support and coordination was done by the Provincial Ministry of Education of Uva.
1. Informed provincial level education authorities on the identied issues and encouraged them to pay more
attention to the situation.
2. Developed special curriculum and other supplementary materials with technical support from the provincial
educational authorities.
3. Remedial actions were taken for the children who were out of school. These included:
a) Organizing extra classes for the children to bring them to expected age appropriate levels. Some classes were
conducted at community learning centers for the children who had never been to school. Specially trained
volunteer teachers conducted the classes with the supervision of formal school teachers. After six months
these children enrolled in the formal education system.
b) Providing teaching materials for the centers. Because some children had never been to school we had to
design educational materials suited to their needs.
c) Increasing parental involvement. High parental involvement was required to overcome the situation. The
community included a lot of single parent families. In order to change their attitude from one of indifference to
caring so as to improve their participation, specially designed activity based parents awareness programmes
were conducted.
d) Helping parents obtain birth certicates for the children whose births had not been registered.
4. As long term interventions, Plan established an inclusive and proactive learning environment inside the Mo/
Villooya school to minimize absenteeism and drop outs. This included:
a) Special training programmes for the teachers to strengthen their pedagogical and facilitation skills.
b) Training sessions for the Principal and sectional heads to enable them to identify the children at risk, especially
those who were slow learners, marginalized children, regular absentees and children with disabilities.
c) Extra classes inside the school premises for the children who had not reached mastery levels.
d) Programmes to improve parents involvement in the school governance especially in the decision making and
planning process.
The children who were out of school enrolled in the formal education system after acquiring competency levels.
This project was an eye opener for the provincial educational authorities who had never taken any action for the
out of school children until the implementation of this project.
Plan was able to strengthen the inclusive learning environment inside the schools to minimize absenteeism and
Plan Sri Lanka (PSL) has expanded the programme to other areas of the country. In coordination with PSLs
Child Protection programme, PSL is going to establish village level child protection committees with the technical
support of the National Child Protection Authority Sri Lanka. PSL expects to use this venue to identify the children
at risk of dropping out of school.
To prepare and train the community was a huge challenge for the programme. Most of the parents do not wish to
discuss their children at public forums.
Though the government of Sri Lanka has introduced a compulsory education policy to ensure the right to education
for all children, there is a lack of awareness on the part of families and a lack of will to administer the policy among
education ofcials.
Though the Ministry of Education has introduced the Child Friendly School frame work, it has not been implemented
at all levels.
Due to the poor economic back ground and educational levels of the parents, it is very difcult to maintain the
sustainability of the programmes.
Case Study
Nishantha (who is in the middle of the picture) shared his experiences:
I dropped out of school when I was in grade 8 as I could not
understand the lessons. For about 6 months, I worked as a labourer.
I joined this special education programme where I learned a lot
through different creative and practical activities, which motivated
me to attend school again. My lessons are not a challenge for me
As a teacher, I am very happy about the enormous efforts of Plan to
raise the education standards of our girls and boys. These children
are very special and most of them did not have a birth certicate.
Plan intervened in this connection and arranged with the authorities
for these children to be issued their birth certicates. These children
have an identity of their own now.
Plan and the Provincial Education Department are jointly continuing with the awareness programme for parents and
the villagers, on subjects such as the importance of education, childrens rights, and child protection. Furthermore,
the teachers were provided with special training through the introduction of various activities and new teaching
methods, to teach students in a very child-friendly manner. I consider our ability to brighten our childrens future
through the above programmes, as our good fortune.
Learning through creation
Empowering Adolescents to adopt
safe sexual behaviors using Theatre in Development
Madhura Dutta
Adolescents, i.e. boys and girls in the age group of 13 - 19 years are in a stage of life when they are experiencing
major psychological and physiological changes, discovering about life and relationships and are preparing for
adulthood. Social expectations on how they should behave and live with respect to socio cultural norms and
regulations coupled with a complete lack of information about sexual and reproductive health lead to an inability
to cope with the challenges of life. The wide range of adolescent issues and concerns include a lack of knowledge
on reproductive and sexual health problems along with low self esteem, peer pressure, lack of condence and poor
negotiation skills, especially among the marginalized and backward communities.
Project Overview
In order to improve the sexual and reproductive health status of slum dwellers in Bhubaneswar city, an initiative
was undertaken by banglanatak dot com in Dec 2008 to empower local adolescents and youth with knowledge
on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH), HIV/AIDS vulnerabilities and ways of leading a healthy and safe life. The
intervention, under Project Sakhyam by Lepra, targeted the critical issues of lack of awareness on the importance
of SRH and personal hygiene, safe sexual practices, problems related to early marriage of adolescent girls, prevalence
of high rates of abortion, and risks associated with unprotected sex with multiple partners and a lack of knowledge
about HIV/AIDS. The focus was on providing adolescents with authentic knowledge about the process of growing
up, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, sexual rights, and gender equity.
The high risk groups in this intervention included adolescents and youth in the age group of 12-25 years living in
four slums of Bhubaneshwar - Bharatpur, Saliasahi, Malisahi and Niladri Vihar. The majority of these adolescents
belonged to the poor, largely uneducated Oriya communities. The group also included members from Telugu and
Bengali speaking slum families. They were a mix of Hindus, Muslims and Christians and the majority were drop-outs
from school at the secondary level. Theatre in Development methods proved extremely effective in reaching out
to this population. The programme aimed at raising awareness on safe sexual practices and creating platforms for
discussing local problems and establishing linkages for access to proper health services. The intervention involved
and addressed about 5000 adolescents and youth.
Strategies and Approach
Participatory and edu-tainment based approaches (Theatre in Development methods) were used to help adolescents
overcome their shyness, their mental blocks, fears, myths, misconceptions, and apprehensions in discussing SRH
related issues. The approach also helped to break the silence about these issues within the community. Instilling a
sense of responsibility towards changing risky behaviour among adolescents and youth was the key to building a
community led action.
Community led awareness generation:
The adolescents and youth were sensitized on the issues of SRH and HIV/AIDS and trained in theatre based
communication so that they could carry out awareness campaigns within their communities. This non-threatening
and two way communication led to an involved contact with the target audience who could identify with the
problems shown in the theatre shows and thus internalized the messages better. The theatre shows also created
a platform for audience interaction. After the shows they could voice their concerns, and clarify their doubts.
Participation led to open discussions on the otherwise taboo issues of SRH and HIV/AIDS and also created greater
acceptability of the campaign.
Key messages included:
Causes of HIV/AIDS, behavior that is risky, myths and misconceptions.
Causes and symptoms of STI
Services available in the community for testing, counseling, care and support for SRH and HIV/AIDS
Principles of basic hygiene and healthy sexual behavior.
Stigma and its impact on individual lives.
Empowering adolescents and youth with knowledge and life skills:
Workshops in life skill development were organized with adolescent and youth groups so as to motivate them
to provide leadership in reducing HIV/AIDS vulnerabilities. Since discussing and clarifying SRH issues with
adolescents was a taboo in these slum communities, the workshops were designed to be theatre based activities.
Role-plays were used to inculcate an understanding of the problems and risks involved in the behavioral patterns
of adolescents. Ice breaking exercises enabled them to break out of their shyness and inhibitions. Through various
participatory exercises the workshop sessions addressed issues of adolescence concerns on SRH and HIV/AIDS,
healthy living, substance abuse, gender rights, effect of early marriage on reproductive health and health of children
and also dealt with attitudes regarding sexual practices. Life skill development activities addressed the importance
of self esteem and handling peer pressure and developed skills of self-expression, creativity, imagination, effective
communication, and condence. The workshops also addressed the role of adolescents and youth in promoting safe
sexual practices among their peers. In order to build community led action and based on the understanding that the
young in the communities will be the best advocates, culture based behaviour change communication tools which
they could use in the future were also shared.
Outcomes of the intervention
The participants enjoyed the friendly, relaxed and open learning environment which helped them to overcome
inhibitions and discuss HIV/AIDS, STI/RTI and related issues, even with their elders and also with people of the
opposite sex. The campaign led to improved awareness on HIV/AIDS and developed leadership at the grassroots
level to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The theatre shows created a public forum for discussion on SRH and HIV/AIDS which is usually difcult to achieve.
After the shows, no one hesitated to come forward and ask questions related to issues surrounding HIV/AIDS
The training of local youth in interactive theatre based campaigns led to the development of local resources for
campaign sustenance. The workshops claried the myths, misconceptions, doubts and queries of all the adolescent
participants. The participants said that after the workshop they felt that it was their responsibility to create
awareness for improved community health and well- being. During the discussion on RTI/STI, adolescent girls felt
that it was very important to build their knowledge base on taking care of their health and cultivating clean habits.
Post workshop, one of the participants stated that he was at risk before attending this workshop. Many of them
also said that they would advise their friends and peers to adopt safe practices to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The life skills approach provided the adolescents with needed competencies for human development and led
them to adopt positive behaviors that enabled them to deal effectively with the challenges of adolescent life. The
participatory learning environment was regarded as a very rewarding experience by most adolescents, affording
them an opportunity to build thinking, interpersonal, and presentation skills.
Today there are local adolescent and youth groups who continue to do theatre based awareness campaigns in their
slums thus reducing local vulnerabilities.
The young girls and women of the target slums continue to hold meetings on SRH related problems and issues
every month and also help others to access effective health services.
Challenges and the Way Forward
The intervention started with a baseline study of the local situation, its vulnerabilities and also identication of
the target population. The challenge was to mobilize adolescents and youth to come forward and participate in
an intervention on SRH and HIV/AIDS issues because the adults of the community strictly forbade the practice
of giving information on safe sexual practices to young girls and boys, in spite of the high level of vulnerability
among them. Trust building through regular interactions and sensitizing the guardian community was a challenge
that was overcome through the theatre based participatory communication strategy involving non-threatening
ways of learning and communicating. Based on discussions with the target population and with the leadership of
the informed and sensitized adolescent groups, a communication plan was drawn up on future action. Thus the
intervention created a sustainable mechanism of information and service delivery practices through empowering
local youth.
Vocational Training for Adolescents
Identication of the Problem
India has the largest population of youth in the world with more than 650 million below the age of 30. While 70
% of Indias population is under the age of 35, a mere 17 % of its youth are productive. Rapid economic growth,
combined with a huge unemployed youth population creates an environment for potential unrest. Indian youth
from low socio-economic backgrounds lack work skills and self management skills. This combination places them
on a life trajectory of chronic unemployment and vulnerability.
The adolescents participating in the vocational training project are primarily from poor and migrant families. With
low levels of education and skills, the majority of these families currently work as laborers on construction sites, as
petty traders and mobile vendors. Some of the women work as house maids, at times supported by their children
(particularly their daughters). The incomes that the adults earn are not sufcient to meet the basic needs of the
household, and thus the children in these families enter the workforce at a very young age. Girls very often take up
adult responsibilities within the family at an early age; taking care of younger children and/or working mainly as
domestic workers. Thus, these children/adolescents are placed in an exploitative and vulnerable situation at a very
young age. They become marginalized due to lack of education and skills. Girls in the Muslim community also face
the prospect of underage marriage.
CAP Foundation has identied the following causes for low high school completion and high drop out rates at the
post primary stage:
Financial compulsions of the family forces the older children to work at an early age to supplement the family
Inability of the existing education system in high schools to provide any link between academic certication and
their future career and livelihoods,
Lack of exibility in school working hours prevents older children from learning and earning
Lack of access to tutoring opportunities to overcome repeated academic failure in formal school examinations
Early marriage norms (especially for girls)
Lack of clean and proper sanitation facilities (especially for girls
Inability of many children to cope with the full time educational pressure. Poor attendance is the start of a
slippery slope towards dropping out of school.
Lack of government policies and programs to address the educational needs of these children
Description of the Project:
CAP Foundation is an innovative workforce development initiative demonstrating end-to-end solutions to link
learning and livelihood for disadvantaged young men and women. The Foundation offers academic, vocational
and occupational preparatory programs thorough in-school, out-of-school and post-school program interventions.
These include Bridge schools, Vocational Junior Colleges, Community Colleges, Degree Colleges and the CAP
Institute of Hotel Management.. The youth get qualitative learning and labour market oriented vocational training
opportunities that support their pathways to safe and positive futures. The CAP Foundation has an impressive
footprint in terms of its approach, face-to-face and e-learning training content and methodology, capacity building
of service providers, and job placement support to trainees.
The CAP Foundation specializes in working with the most deprived, vulnerable and difcult to reach sections of
adolescent young men and women in poor urban and semi-urban communities and has a very strong gender
perspective. In pursuit of its vision, CAPs programs and activities are spread across 13 states in India.
In Andhra Pradesh the CAP Foundation, in partnership with Plan India, operates in 32 suburban slum communities
in Shapurnagar and Balanagar areas located along the industrial belt in Qutbullapur and Kukatpally municipalities
of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Thirty seven percent of the families in the area live below the povery
line. The project communities are spread over a radius of approximately 6 kms from the project ofce along
the industrial belt. These communities are primarily inhabited by low-income migrant populations from Andhra
Pradesh and neighboring states. The key partners of CAP include bilateral and international agencies, a large range
of multi national corporate and business houses, government and not for prot organisations and local NGOs/
CBOs. The organization offers its services for both direct program implementation and capacity building of its local
partners for program implementation. CAP has been successful in connecting learning and livelihood for 2,00,000
adolescents and young people in last ve years
Project Strategies and Interventions
Academic Preparatory: The Teen Channel program, through its community learning centers, aims at reaching
adolescents between the ages 14- 18 years who have opted out of school or are potential drop-outs. This
program is specially designed for adolescents and provides an integrated learning program of academic support
for high school completion/certication along with life skills, pre-vocational education, basic computer skills and
opportunities for them to earn while they learn through apprenticeship and part time jobs. The model establishes
an enabling environment that engages their learning needs academic, vocational, and occupational. Thus it
addresses issues affecting the quality of their lives and their futures.
The Components of the Teen Channel Program are:
Academic certication
Life Skills
Basic computer skills
Spoken English
Career exploration
Workplace readiness
Part time placements/Apprenticeship / Job Shadowing
Business mentor network
Individual youth learning portfolio
What it means for the Teens?
Flexible timings
Life-Work -Education Balance
Learning at ones own pace ranging from 6 months to 2 years
Informed multiple options
Space for participation
CAP offers pre- vocational education modules for students in classes six to nine. This is geared towards regular
in school adolescents in government high schools. The modules are integrated with select concepts of academic
subjects and are available in digital form.
Vocational Preparatory: CAP Vocational Junior College imparts formal higher secondary vocational education
and training for adolescents and young people from disadvantaged communities who complete high school
and aspire for higher education with specialization in vocational streams. CAP currently has 3 vocational junior
colleges in Andhra Pradesh afliated to the Board of Intermediate Education, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad.
The interface with industry is an integral part of the programme which is linked to apprenticeship/on-the-job
training in various companies and offers placements after completion. Students gain practical knowledge and
skills through project work which is a part of the regular
courses at the college. They are encouraged to interact
with industry through guest lectures, industry visits, eld
visits, on the job training, tours, market surveys, career
exploration visits etc. Based on the labour market survey
conducted in the area the courses being offered in the
vocational colleges are: Computer Science Engineering,
Automobile Engineering technicians, Computer Graphics
and Animation, Hotel Operations, Accounts & Taxation.
Occupational Preparatory: Ek Mouka Employability Skill
Training program is a new economy livelihood promotion
training program, which is exclusively designed for school
dropouts/unemployed secondary school graduates/street
youth/retrenched workers/migrant youth/resettlement
community members from the poorest 15% of the Indian
Ek Mouka Employability Skill Training program operates
on a 3-tier institutional mechanism which formally
engages the private sector, government and civil societies. The Employability Training Centers (ETCs) across the
country provide access to market oriented employability and entrepreneurship training to the target groups. The
Employability Exchanges (EEs) are dynamic, sustainable livelihood hubs that provide for exchange of resources,
opportunities and competencies between businesses and communities.
Teen Channel Ek Mouka Continuum Learning Initiative: CAP has been offering the three agship innovative
programs as independent service delivery platforms. The need was for an integrated program delivery system to
offer multiple options for community based qualitative, sustainable and affordable learning opportunities that links
education and livelihoods for young people from economically disadvantaged urban communities. It was, therefore,
planned to initiate a pilot for demonstration of the continuum of services as a community based integrated model of
education and training t for replication and scaling up in a sustainable manner. MSDF responded to CAPs request
to support its Teen Channel-Ek Mouka Community Learning Initiative and supported ve centres in Andhra
Pradesh and three centres in Tamil Nadu.
CAP Community Colleges are an alternative system of education which aims to empower individuals through
appropriate skill development leading to gainful employment. Developed in collaboration with the local industry
and community, the project tailors programs to local needs and state-based requirements by using approaches that
will be most acceptable to workers in the given community. Community Collages generally have a 2-year curriculum
that either lead to an Associate Degree for transfer to an undergraduate college or to the students direct entry into
any occupation or trade. These colleges are a source of economic growth because they provide an educated and
skilled workforce that improves the quality of life for individual students, communities, and the nation.
The CAP Community College has registered with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as Multi
Campus community College. It offers 6 months Certicate Programs, 1 Year Diploma Programs and 2 Year Associate
Degree programs in as many as 35 different subjects across 6 sectors. Close to 12,500 Students have undergone
training through 11 campuses and Extension centers across 12 states since July 2009.
The key features of the CAP Community College Interventions
Credit transfer System based continuum learning for vertical mobility:
A student selected for the Program has the facility of credit transfer and a student can enter and exit at any level.
Thereafter, depending upon his/her interest she/he can continue further education by attending contact classes
prescribed by the college to complete the credits required for certication at Diploma / Associate Degree level
Provisions for Entry and exit at any level: A student has an opportunity to enter and exit at any level depending
upon eligibility. The eligibility criteria is exible enough to enable students from different age groups to enroll.
Flexible Learning: The program is based on a credit system for each course. This enables students to complete
courses and acquire credits by enrolling for either full time, part time or week end study.
Earning while learning: Students are provided with high quality skill training both theoretical and practical in
classroom settings. In addition all students are provided with on the job training and are provided with stipends
from the industry depending upon their performance.
Life-Work -Education Balance: The offering of various job oriented programs and exible learning options
enables them to balance life work education.
All the above programs include Life Skills Training Module, Work Readiness Module, Basic English & Communication
Skills, Industry Approved Curriculum, e- Learning, an active Business Mentor Network, On The Job Training, Job
Placement Support, and Alumni Support Services.
Outcomes of the intervention
Reaches out to the most difcult to reach adolescents and young people
Multiple entry and exit pathways for education work transition
Life-Work-Education balance
Learning while Earning
Support Siblings Education
Participation in decision making
In the last ve years, nearly 6000 adolescents have accessed the Teen Channel program with 76% of them
completing elementary and high school State Board examinations.
In the last ve years, nearly 645 adolescents/ youth have accessed the Vocational Training program of which 45
% of them opted for full time job placement and continued into higher education through distance learning, The
rest opted for regular higher education with part time jobs.
In addition, 1,20,065 youth have accessed the Ek Mouka Employability Skill training program of which 75% have
accepted the job placement
Challenges, lessons learnt and way forward
1. Scalability
2. Financial Sustainability
3. Post Placement / Graduates support to Alumni.
Project Prerana for
Out of School Adolescent Girls in Bikaner, Rajasthan:
A journey towards empowerment through education
Dr. Neelima Pandey and Rameshwar Lal
Many of the almost 23 million children under the age of 15 (40% of the total population of 56.5 million) who live
in the Indian state of Rajasthan, particularly girls, are routinely denied their right to protection from all forms of
abuse, neglect, exploitation and cruelty. Girls are also denied their right to education and nutritious food and even
to voicing their opinions on issues that affect them. One major concern for girls in Rajasthan is child marriage. In
1998, the average age of marriage in Rajasthan, was below 15 and 65% of all girls were married before they were
18 years old. Accompanying early marriage was early rst pregnancy: one-third of all married girls aged 15-19 had
had a child (NFHS 2, 1998-1999).
The Prerana Project was started in 1998 by Plan India and its NGO partners Urmuls Setu and Urmuls Seenant in
the villages of Lunkaransar and Bajju block of Bikaner District of Rajasthan. At this time it was not unusual in the
project area for a 15-year-old to deliver her second child.
Plan and Urmuls started working with the community, especially parents, because most of the girls, in their late
childhood, were sitting at home waiting to be married before they had even reached adolescence. The project
faced an arduous task in working against deep rooted patriarchal prejudices against educating girls and women.
The project succeeded in changing parents attitude to the extent that they agreed to send their daughters to
a ve to seven month long well designed, structured, residential camp where they were taught life skills, literacy
and a vocation. This was a landmark achievement and later these camps evolved into separate, safe and interactive
spaces for adolescent girls. These spaces became regular girls clubs called Kishori Prerana Manch. The decade
long journey of this project has resulted in signicant delays in the age of marriage. In Plan Urmuls partnership
program area, 27% of the girls get married before they turn 18 (Plan program baseline survey, 2009) as against
47% in the state (NFHS 2006). In addition 30% of the girls from these clubs have joined occupations, a situation
that was unheard of a decade ago. Some of them are working with the police department, some have become
ICDS facilitators some have become teachers in government schools, some are entrepreneurs and all of them are
empowered mothers who believe in their daughters education. In PlanUrmuls program area, the enrollment
of girls in primary education is almost 100%, and most adolescent girls are enrolled in secondary schools. They
are pursuing distance education and intend to pursue higher studies. The latest adolescent girls and parents
consultation report from the project area clearly reveals that the girls crave for a secondary school and college
in their vicinity. They want to study, and their parents want them to study. The only concern now is that higher
education centers are far away and the roads are insecure. Plan and Urmuls have now initiated child protection
programs in the area.
The Project
Plan India in partnership with URMUL Setu and URMUL Seemant in Rajasthan initiated a unique ve months
residential camp in 1998. The focus was to work with those girls who were out of school and waiting at home to
get married as soon as their parents could arrange a suitable match for them. The project covered 200 villages of
Lunkaransar and Bajju area in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan State in India. In over a decade the project has been
able to work directly with around 3000 adolescent girls.
Strategies and intervention of the project
To address the issue of the rights of out of schools girls in the villages the following strategy was adopted:
Education basic literacy with life skill education
Creation of safe spaces for girls
Girls Residential Camps- Balika Shivir
During 1998 to 2006 Plan Urmul held ve to seven months residential girls training camps for 1976 girls between
the age group of 12 to 20 years, who were living in rural areas and who were deprived of an education. These camps
were called Balika Shivir. They were structured bridge schools which prepared the girls to join the mainstream
government schools after nishing their training.
Changing attitudes of parents and community towards girls education and mobility outside their homes
Building trust amongst parents
Planning and running structured residential camps
Imparting education to the level of 5th standard through multi-grade teaching methods
Life skills education- reproductive health
Vocational skills- embroidery and stitching
Mainstreaming into regular schools
Follow up programs in the form of Life skills training at the village level
Strengthening of Kishori Prerna Manch (KPM) The Adolescent Girls Inspiration Forum.
The KPMs evolved following the success of the Balika Shivir program. The girls who were part of Balika Shivirs,
became regular participants of the follow up programs in their villages. Their persistence led to the development of
another group intervention for girls between the age group of 12 to 20 years. These groups served as safe spaces
where girls could come together, meet and hold discussions on issues that affected them. At the moment there are
58 such girls forums within Plan Urmuls project. Around 1200 girls are members of these groups. Over the past
one decade the project has changed the lives of around 3000 girls for the better. They entered Balika Shivirs in
their late childhood and graduated from Kishori Prerana Manch as informed and empowered women.
Broad interventions and some specic activities under this strategy
Empowering girls through changes in their attitudes and self-perception
Life Skills Training
Problem solving and analytical skill building
Village Libraries The Forum has set up libraries in the villages. Located at a public place in the village, it is
accessible to everyone including women.
Training in vocational skills such as embroidery, stitching and computers: These skills are helpful in boosting
their self condence and also gives girls the opportunity and choice to be self employed later.
Educational exposure tours for girls
Training in the use of Media Tools for expressing their collective concerns and views
Outcomes of the intervention
Results of Balika Shivirs
Between 1998 and 2004 the residential camps trained 2000 girls and all of them were mainstreamed into regular
schools at the 5th standard level. The government started its own Balika Shivirs and Plan and Urmuls stopped
running residential learning camps for improving girls enrollment in primary school because the government
adopted and scaled up that effort.
From 2005 to 2007, Plan and Urmuls started residential camps for improving girls enrollment in secondary school.
61 adolescent girls who were out of school were given training to the level of 8th standard. After they completed
the camp all the girls joined mainstream schools for further education. Some of the girls have gone on into higher
From 2005 to 2008, 115 girls who were out of school were trained up to the level of class 10 and 14 girls up to the
level of class 12 in the nine month residential training camps. After the camps these girls continued their schooling
in government schools. .
Key Achievements of KPM girls:
In the Famine Relief Program organized at the village level,
the girls helped in the relief work.
The alumni are working as Sanchalikas (organisers) in
Anganwadi Centers
They are facilitators of KPM groups for the next generation
They are working as Education friend for Government
School going children
They have become advocates of education and KPMs
In their own family, they have become strong advocates of
They teach children from class 1 to 5 in Marushala (Desert
schools) organized by URMUL.
Some of the girls are also involved in Income generation programs.
Impact of the total program over the past one decade
Delay in the age of marriage.
100% enrollment of girls in elementary education in these villages
Improved enrollment of girls in secondary education
Challenges, lessons learnt and way forward
The challenges faced by the program include:
Distances of secondary schools
Caste based abuse of girls
Lack of employment opportunities in the vicinity
Apathetic male attitude
Lack of process documentation
The decade long work on out of school girls in these areas needs to be backed up by research to establish the
efcacy of various interventions as a collective model. The project is planning such a research document in the
coming year.
Case Studies
Goga of village Sonpalsar belongs to the Meghwal tribe. She is from a
poor family. She has seven brothers and sisters and her father, who works
as a labourer, is the only earning member. She attended Balika shivir
and later completed classes 6 to 9 from the village school. There was
no high school in the village so she passed class 10 from URMULs nine
months camp. Before her association with Balika Shivir, only one brother
was going to school. But after her training there was a lot of behavioral
change in her. In her home she brought about a complete change in her
parents attitude towards education and now all the seven brothers and
sisters are going to school. She is the rst girl to pass class 10 in her
village. She is a role model in her village. She plays an important role
in the village by organizing Inspiration Forums for girls. The community
respects and listens to her.
Biki, studying in 8th class said: Through Kishori Prerna Manch, we came
to know about advocacy on child marriage, girls education, gender issues,
nutrition, sex education and female foeticide. It helped in strengthening
our knowledge and awareness about these issues
Breaking the Poverty Cycle of Women;
Empowering Adolescent Girls (Boys) to become agents of Social Transformation
Quratulain Bakhteari
An overview:
The majority of students nd the formal education system in Pakistan rigid, inexible and, irrelevant and therefore
many adolescents either do not enrol or drop out of school as early as 1st 2nd or 4th grade. A very large majority
get excluded in 8th, 9th or 10th grades. The adolescents or youth who do graduate do not qualify for jobs, nor
do they have any meaningful skills that will enable them to earn a livelihood. In order to address this issue, The
Institute for Development Studies and Practices launched a pilot project, with UNESCO support, in two communities
in Baluchistans provincial capital, Quetta.
Baluchistan is the largest province in Pakistan covering 43.6 percent of the total land mass in the country. The tribal,
mountainous, dry province has a population of 6.7 million people, the majority of whom are between the ages of
15 to 35 years, followed by those in the age group of 4 to 14 years. This means that the majority of Baluchistans
population is of school going age. However, its literacy rate is as low as 16. 5%. One estimate is that only 10 to
15 % of the enrolled school population completes grade 5. The situation is worse in the case of girls. Womens
literacy is very low and worsens in rural areas often reaching as low as 2 percent. The strong inuence of tribal
culture creates barriers for womens mobility and adversely impacts their access to education and health resources.
Project objectives
Providing an integrated capacity building program for empowering young women and enhancing their
capabilities so that they become agents of social transformation in their communities.
Creating a positive and supportive environment for girls and women so that they can participate actively in the
social, economic and cultural development of their communities.
Young women in two communities in Quetta, Baluchistan
were selected to lead the project. These women were
given training in self development and raising self esteem,
community mapping, conducting a baseline survey of their
area, and listing the out of school adolescents. The project
created a group of young faculty who could train others in
the following areas - literacy, life skills, health , legal rights,
micro nance, information and communication technology
and education, and learning to set up and manage their
business. Each centre enrolled 150 to 200 adolescent girls
between the ages of 9 to 19 years. 1200 to 1600 women
beneted indirectly from the programme.
The instructional materials were created by IDSPs faculty and the adolescents of the community. Each learning
cycle was for 18 months. The courses were designed and implemented in the two communities. 3000 adolescent
girls graduated from these centres over a period of two learning cycles. About 50% joined school in 5th grade.
The remaining participants developed traditional embroidery skills. Today these graduates have established their
own organizations that impart literacy and life skills. 300 young girls and women are engaged in entrepreneurial
work. Their situation has improved in their homes. They are now decision makers, their knowledge of life and their
rights has increased dramatically and their self esteem and self worth have improved. The positive outcome has
led IDSPs faculty and activists to extend the centres to other parts of the city. Four more learning and skills centres
have been established and a team of 10 facilitators has been trained to engage street children, and working and
vulnerable adolescents. In addition to literacy training, these centres offer hot showers, and material for personal
hygiene and care, doctors services for trauma and other illnesses, and sports and entertainment. Nutritional food
is given once a day. The personal care is a very powerful instrument in improving their personal hygiene. Their self
respect and health have improved. A cadre of facilitators and trainers has been created as a result of these centres.
Approximately 2000 adolescents have enrolled in these centres and
a majority of them are girls. In its third intervention, with support
from the government, IDSP extended the scale of the project to ve
districts of Baluchistan. 130 literacy and skill instructors were hired
from the communities. By Oct 2011, 4000 adolescents will graduate
from 50 community learning centres, and fty percent of them will
be girls.
Project goals:
Learning, demonstration and scaling up.
Creating leaders who will take ownership and ensure sustainability.
Educating government personnel and other stakeholders.
Engaging children and adolescents and creating spaces that suit their needs and circumstances.
Organizational space and formal institutions for children and adolescents have been established in 60 communities
in six districts in Baluchistan. The project has:
Created opportunities for young entrepreneurs.
Trained girls so that they can earn a livelihood.
Developed appropriate resources and methodology to expand and sustain the learning process in ood hit areas.
To date a total of approximately 4000 adolescents, both girls and boys, have graduated or are attending the
More than 50% have joined formal schools.
Excellent connection is made between learning and earning.
Need to ensure quality of the learning and empowering process.
There will always be a large majority who will not join the main stream education system or work in the formal
sector, therefore there is a need for IDSP to create structures of learning and earning that include village centres,
district level colleges and the university.
Need to create an effective assessment system.
Law and order issues and physical safety are the biggest challenges.
Case Studies
Amina Jan (Momin Abad)
Amina Jan is a 21 year old girl who belongs to a lower class family. All of her brothers are educated and one of them
is a teacher. Her sister is married. She was brought up in an environment where girls are considered unimportant.
At the time that she joined the RLV, she suffered from very low esteem as a result of constantly being told by her
family that she was ignorant and dim-witted and could never do anything right. The 10 months that she spent at
the learning centre brought a big change in her. She no longer sees herself as obtuse and dull. She has started
believing that she can learn. She has started to pay attention to her appearance and tries to be as neat and tidy as
she can be. Her family has also noted the change in her.
Khadija Syed Nasir (Momin Abad)
Khadija Nasir, a potential learner at the Mominabad Reective Center, is an interesting case study. She is married
and has two children a boy and a girl. Within a few days of enrolling in the centre, her husband divorced her, leaving
her without any means of nancial support. She took refuge in her mothers home. Khadijas mother was of the
opinion that a divorced girl should be housebound instead of leaving her children and engaging in activities outside
her home. IDSP staff and the learners and facilitators at the centre offered to take care of her children while she
attended her classes. They went to Khadijas home and convinced her mother that attending the classes would
ensure a better future for her and her children. Khadija was allowed to rejoin the Centre. The learners took turns
in caring for her children. Khadija was overjoyed to be back at the centre. However, recently her husband divorced
the woman he had left her for and remarried her. She has dropped out of the centre to take care of her home and
Responding to the Needs of out of - school Adolescents
Rajani Nair & Gouran Lal
Adolescence, a vital stage of growth and development, marks the period of transition from childhood to adulthood.
It is characterized by rapid physiological changes and maturation, thereby mandating sensible and informed
guidance for adolescents. The World Health Organization refers to life skills as, the ability for adaptive and positive
behavior that enables individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. These
skills help young adults make informed decisions, think critically and creatively, communicate effectively and build
healthy relationships.
Schools have been unable to provide the space and the environment to develop life skills due to their vision
of education as a means for primarily feeding into the job market. Having identied these gaps, organizations
like Pravah have researched, designed and implemented life skills programs for young people since 1993. Our
programs are driven by the perspective that instead of curing in the aftermath of social conicts, we should engage
constructively in preventing conicts. Thus, as future decision makers, youth need to internalize social responsibility
and active citizenship in their every day actions and engagements with the world. This cannot be actualized merely
through academic discourse in schools, but requires sustained intervention that is sensitive to the background and
learning needs of the students.
Our content, methodology and delivery of programs are relevant for diverse groups of students, ranging from out
of school to those in school. Special attention has been given to design that ensures engaged and reective
participation, aided by methodologies like theatre, lm screening, meditation, comics, puppetry and simulation
games. Our cadre of trained, committed and experienced facilitators is critical to ensuring qualitative interventions.
Though our primary target group is in school adolescents, we recognize that working with diverse groups adds
deeper perspective to our work. Our engagements with out of school adolescents has helped us understand
and identify gaps that need to be addressed in designing targeted interventions for adolescents in general and out
of school children in particular. Our key learnings from the experience of working with both these groups are:
a) though there exists a silo like approach of working with both the groups independently, a lot can be done by
taking the experiences of the out of - school children into classroom spaces while simultaneously taking the
classroom experiences to the out of - school spaces. The inability of interventionists to leverage the strengths
and learnings from both the groups has created two very different and separate worlds. Limited understanding
leads them to stereotype each other and carry this as baggage for the rest of their lives. Pravah has developed
and piloted the From Me To We program in order to diffuse these boundaries and bring them together in
common spaces.
b) Secondly, though there are individuals who are dedicated and passionate about the cause of working with
out - of - school children, there lies a gap between the intention and competency of these individuals, which
impacts their engagement and delivery of programs. Pravahs strengths in Instructional Design and Facilitation
has enabled it to develop and implement the Teachers Training and the Change Looms programs that focus
on capacity building of individuals engaged with various groups including out - of - school children.
Brief description of the programmes
From Me To We (FMTW)
The From Me to We curriculum on citizenship education, is delivered through intensive workshops in schools. The
intervention builds life skills in students. It teaches them to deal effectively with conicts and equips them with the
skills to become active citizens. As part of the curriculum students also implement social action projects. Through
this program we have reached out to more than ve thousand adolescents both in school and out- of school.
Our out of - school experience involves engagement with the youth groups of Tughlaqabad Field Centre of
Action India, participants from various vocational schools and centres at Balsahayog and an Open Workshop with
participants from both in school and out of school groups.
Teachers Training Program
The Teachers Training intervention (The World is My Classroom), works with school teachers to design citizenship
curricula within the existing educational framework, equips them to deliver these, and links the process of education
with social realities. The intervention creates opportunities for teachers to interact, share and learn from each other.
The program also supports individuals working with adolescents by providing fellowships and capacity building.
The program has trained fty teachers including twenty one facilitators from Sankalp, an NGO based in Rajasthan
that works with rural children.
Change Looms
Change Looms is a joint venture between Pravah and Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, supported by the Youth
and Civil Society Initiative of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and global Fund for Children. Change Looms is a support
program for young people who have started and are leading social initiatives. The goal of Change Looms is to
contribute to a movement of young people leading to social change. We do this by recognizing the efforts of young
social entrepreneurs and creating processes that deepen their understanding of how to bring about social change.
Through this program we have worked with thirty seven organizations so far including eight engaging with out -
of - school children.
Outcomes of the Interventions
Direct Intervention
The direct interventions with the out of school groups were successful in increasing the condence levels
of the participants and in developing their communication skills. The youth group at Tughlaqabad for instance,
shared with us that there was a marked decrease in inhibitions with respect to voicing their opinions and initiating
conversations. The group at Balsahyog shared an increase in comfort level with each other due to effective personal
sharing. Sessions on assertiveness gave the groups an alternative to aggressive conict resolution. On the social
action front the group at Tughlaqabad demonstrated increased gender sensitivity, an example being the boys
resolving to wash their own clothes and dishes instead of getting them washed by their mothers and sisters while
the girls resolved to participate in cricket matches.
What is noteworthy is that the outcomes of our engagement with in school adolescents are similar to those with
our OOSA groups. The participants in the in school programme expressed an increase in their level of condence
and their communication skills.
The difference in the backgrounds of the two groups creates a web of stereotypes. For e.g. one of the participants
from the out of school group, described all the members from afuent backgrounds as being arrogant and
insensitive, an opinion based on his experiences while living on the streets. Similarly for the in school children
described all those who dont attend schools as being violent and uneducated. Mixed workshops are very effective
in breaking such stereotypes.
Our pilot Open workshop brought together participants from both the groups. During the session on inclusiveness
and exclusiveness, we explored identity and peaceful coexistence, and discussed questions such as - can one
understand the nature of a person by observing their clothes, personality and the language of communication; does
money dene character and does one person represent a community? The discussions resulted in a distinct shift in
how members of the two groups viewed each other.
Some other concrete outcomes of the workshop were an understanding on the part of both the groups of the
importance and value of working in a team, the possibility for different identities to co exist, getting to know
more about oneself, and making friends with people they never thought they had anything in common with.
Indirect Intervention
Through our Teachers Training program we have conducted capacity building for twenty one teachers from Sankalp,
an NGO based in Kota, Rajasthan. The teachers have reported that some of the skills and techniques that they
have developed have enabled them to engage and enrol out of school adolescents into the formal education
system. They also reported that the Instructional Design and facilitation skills that they learned supported them in
structuring their interventions.
Through the Change Looms Program we have supported young people in organizational development and
networking. One of the Fellows, leading the organization Humara Footpath that works with street children in
Mumbai reported that the intervention helped her design sessions for team building within the team. She also
acknowledged the signicance of documentation, networking and creating a database for efcient functioning.
Similarly Milan an initiative in Delhi has reported that the support provided by Pravah has been successful in
developing condence in their lead team. Their meeting like - minded people along with structured guidance has
been critical in developing decision making skills.
Some Learnings and insights
The following are extracted from our experience of engaging with in school and out of - school children. We hope
they will be relevant for policy makers to factor into their strategies.
Since most of the out of school children that we have worked with have been deprived of a lot of opportunities
and have lived in challenging circumstances, their desire to learn something new that will make life meaningful
is welcomed. Their heightened openness to learn and desire to question brings a lot of excitement and energy
into the interventions, and challenges facilitators to constantly innovate new ways and means to keep this group
Interaction between the facilitators and the students provides a great learning opportunity for both to understand
each others perspectives. The facilitators can take these learnings to other diverse groups thereby enriching the
process for the latter.
A more regular communication between the out of school groups and the in school groups will provide a
great learning opportunity for both the groups
Since most of the OOSA have barely been exposed to the formal education system, holding their attention and
concentration is a challenge. Abstract concepts are difcult to explain and to understand. Their short attention
span and soaring energy levels asks for something that is high on action and involves less mental deliberation.
Hence the design has to cater to the above needs.
Following up with these groups of children is a challenging task. Revisiting them over a span of time and
checking on where they are, their struggles and triumphs in applying what they have learned are important.
Often this this is overlooked because of limited resources and manpower.
Most civil society interventions with the out of school children are in terms of vocational education and life
skills workshops, both of which are very necessary. Greater support in delivering academic inputs needs to be
provided to organizations working with out of school children. This will help lift the glass ceiling which limits
them from availing of certain employment opportunities.
Often the passion for engaging with this marginalized section cannot get translated into a profession for those
engaged in the social sector. Making such interventions nancially more remunerative will allow more people to
engage fruitfully with the sector.
Case Study
Bhaskar was one of the members from Karm Marg who participated in the Open FMTW workshop. The workshop
participants came from diverse backgrounds and initially Bhaskar interacted only with the members of his group .
However, in due course he was seen interacting with the members of the other groups as well. He freely expressed
his opinions and ideas and also challenged a lot of the members of the group on their stereotypes based on rst
impressions. Likewise he was also open to learning new things and challenging himself. During the session on
stereotypes Bhaskar shared his belief that all Muslims are terrorists. On being challenged by one of the students
from the community Bhaskar readily agreed that he needed to reect on some of his own stereotypes. He also
recognized that we often get affected by the stereotypes that people have of us and seldom reect on our
own stereotypes about other people. This deepened the interaction and the discussion. Towards the end of the
workshop Bhaskar demonstrated leadership qualities and the group also looked upto him as a leader. The workshop
made Bhaskar more open to a group of people whom he least interacted with and in turn his interactions made the
other members of the larger group more sensitive and open to a group whom they earlier were disdainful about.
Child Domestic Worker Project, West Bengal
Sanjeev Rai & Ritesh Datta
The context:
West Bengal is a notorious hub for trafcking of children for labour. The state has more than 850 thousand

children below the age of 14 years engaged in work for wages. A large number of them work as domestic help. In
addition to employment within the state, many children from the rural areas are trafcked for domestic work and
other exploitative forms of labour, including the commercial sex trade, to distant cities and towns in India. In the
last three years, more than 30,000 women (based on the ofcial police record; however the actual number is much
higher), many of them under 18 years old, were trafcked within West Bengal. No one knows where 22,000 of
these women and children are today. Some will have been pushed into the sex trade, others caught up in forced
organ donations, others forced into drug peddling and some into an isolated life of domestic work.
The Child Domestic Worker (CDW) Project:
Save the Childrens interventions with CDWs in the state was piloted in the year 2000-2002 on a small scale. This
was later expanded to a larger project across 6 districts in 2003. It was believed that through more inclusive,
improved, quality education (SC Study reveals that 86% of the children engaged in domestic work have either
never been to school or have dropped out at the primary level), linkages with poverty alleviation and livelihood
programmes and enhanced awareness and empowerment of children, their families and communities - the factors
that drive trafcking of children can be challenged.
Main Interventions
The CDW Project intervention works in parallel at the source (rural) and destination (urban) areas. In rural areas
the focus is on preventive work. Save the Children works with communities, schools, local governments, NGOs, and
youth organizations to build consensus against child domestic work and trafcking. It promotes community-based
child protection groups that work at the village level to address the issues of trafcking of children and also helps in
the rehabilitation of families and children withdrawn from work. It trains group members on the legal tools that are
available to deal with child trafcking and labour, provides information about different schemes of the government
on poverty alleviation, and facilitates their interaction with government ofcials of different departments in order
to create bridges with the government. The project has also educated government ofcials on the nature and scale
of trafcking and different cases of violation of laws that protect children.
In the urban areas, Save the Children works with the children who are working as domestic help and puts them on
the path of gradual repatriation by providing them with education and vocational training support so that they can
explore alternative means of livelihood. It also works towards challenging the demand for child domestic workers
by undertaking innovative campaigns involving school children, college students, media, local clubs, NGOs etc. It
holds consultations with the government and provides an interactive platform for the government and civil society
to discuss steps to curb child domestic work in the city of Kolkata
Census 2001 India, http://news.webindia123.com/news/articles/India/20080611/971758.htm
The components of this project include:
1. Education: Save the Children provides education support both in the source and destination areas, to children
in domestic work, children withdrawn from domestic work, and out of school vulnerable children. The goal is
to bring them back into the fold of mainstream education. The educational component includes transitional
education support, mainstreaming into formal school, coaching, and soft skills development.
2. Vocational Training: Vocational Training is imparted to children/families for their economic rehabilitation. It is
implemented in two stages. At the primary level children at the BCC/DICs are given pre-vocational training to
generate their interest in a particular trade or vocation. In the second stage children/family members are put
into a selected trade based on their interest and aptitude, so that they can earn their livelihood.
3. Advocacy: Advocacy is a key component of the project. It entails inuencing policy and public opinion on
trafcking and child domestic work. Save the Children works with the community, different government
departments (Police, Labour and Women and Child Development), media (electronic and print), educational
institutions (schools and colleges), local elected government (Panchayats and Municipal Bodies), elected
representatives, local institutions (Youth Organizations), NGOs, and industry bodies to sensitize them on the
issue and also have mechanisms in place within their institution to safeguard child rights.
4. Institutional Capacity Building: Institutional Capacity Building is carried out at four levels:
a. Local Partners: Save the Children collaborates with local NGOs, to gain access to infrastructural support and
to the local community. It builds capacity on the issues of child rights, advocacy, media and communications,
documentation, project management, and nancial management for the effective delivery of the programme.
b. Community-based Child Protection Groups: Community-based Child Protection Groups are promoted at
the village level with local people. They are action groups which play an active role in combating trafcking
of children, withdraw children engaged in domestic work from their village, and help in putting these children
back into schools.
c. Local Governance Members/Police/Media: Training is provided to these important stakeholders on forms
of trafcking, legal provisions regarding child labour and trafcking, child rights, protection of children from
different forms of abuse and law violations. It is expected that these people will work in collaboration with the
5. Research Study and Documentation: Save the children conducted an empirical study on the prevalence of
child domestic work in Kolkata through a survey of the number of child domestic workers and their status. In
addition, to ensure transparent and effective management of the programme, SC has developed a software
based comprehensive MIS system that can provide data on project progress, number of children reached, and
tracking of children reached through this project.
The Impact
Save the Children has been working in 30 wards of Kolkata for the past three years on providing educational and
vocational training services. Prior to this, the project was implemented in 50 villages in South 24 Parganas, 40
villages in North 24 Parganas, 30 villages in Maldah and 36 villages in Jalpaiguri from 2000 to 2006.
The main achievements of this intervention are:
In the period between 2004-2010 almost 4000 children have been withdrawn from hazardous domestic work
and reintegrated with their families in the rural areas.
Village Level Child Protection Committees have been formed in more than 100 villages and are functioning
effectively in combating the trafcking of children.
More than 4000 Out of School children and children withdrawn from work were put back into formal schools in
the rural area.
In urban areas so far 1200 children working as domestic help have been reached. Six hundred of these children
left the exploitative occupation and are now either in schools or pursuing alternative livelihoods.
Save the Children has played a key role through advocacy in getting the inclusion of child domestic work as a
hazardous occupation under the CLPRA amendment notication in 2006.
Save the Children has lobbied with the Central Board of Secondary education to issue circulars to all its afliated
schools in denouncing child domestic work practices among families of children studying in their afliated
schools. The Board has more than 10,000 afliated schools across India.
Several research studies on child domestic work and on trafcking of children were conducted by Save the
Children and ndings were widely disseminated.
Active volunteer support groups were promoted in more than 10 schools across Kolkata. The peer volunteers,
consisting of mainstream school students, play an active role in denouncing child domestic work practices.
Way Ahead
An alternative education curriculum that includes a vocational training component has been designed and is being
implemented in urban centres of Kolkata with the support of community and partner NGOs. Currently we provide
two vocational options (beauticians training and tailoring) but need more options to ensure sustainable livelihood
for girls.
Pathways to Empowerment of Adolescent Girls: Insights
from the UNESCO pilot project
Empowering Adolescent Girls to Become Agents of Social Transformation
Sayeeda Rahman
Executive Summary
The UNESCO cross cutting theme (CCT) project Empowering Adolescent Girls to Become Agents of Social
Transformation focused on marginalized adolescents girls, in the belief that if empowered during the critical
period of transition between childhood and adulthood, these girls can not only improve their lives and participate
in the development of their communities but can also play a signicant role in breaking the poverty cycle of women
in South Asia. The challenge was to nd effective pathways to reach out to neglected girls, identify their needs,
understand their constraints, provide relevant programmes to enhance their capabilities and create favourable
environments for their growth and development. This called for co-ordinated interdisciplinary, intersectoral and
multilevel interventions.
An intersectoral UNESCO team, in close collaboration with experienced local partners, designed a rights-based and
holistic programme framework for enhancing the capabilities of girls from disadvantaged groups, in order to develop their
potential as social transformation agents. The programme combined four interrelated and complementary components:
i) Education, skills training and micronance - linking literacy and life skills to health and legal
education, with access of older adolescents (15-18yrs) to micronancial services for income generation;
ii) Science - providing information on the impact and application of science and technology in daily life,
iii) Communication and Information - using traditional and modern tools, including ICTs, in the rural context to
enhance the abilities of adolescent girls in communication, participation and interaction, within and outside their
communities; and iv) Monitoring and Evaluation - introducing peer-group evaluation by youth NGOs to ensure that
due attention is paid to adolescents perception of progress and empowerment.
Taking the major international development targets, particularly those related to the Education for All (EFA)
objectives and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as the backdrop, the project sought to align global
and local concerns for concerted actions. The EFA Goal III call for ensuring the access of all young people to
appropriate learning and life skills programmes and the MDG targets related to poverty eradication, gender
equality, maternal health as well as HIV/AIDS and other major diseases, set the fundamentals for addressing
the learning and development needs of adolescent girls in South Asia, who are living in extreme poverty, facing
exclusion, discrimination and exploitation.
Over a period of six years (2002-2007)
the project was piloted in four South Asian countries, namely Bangladesh,
India Nepal and Pakistan, with each country developing its own delivery mode and timeline to match specic
local contexts and conditions. The various cross-cutting activities were complemented, in each project country, by
multilevel interventions, for community mobilisation, policy dialogue, knowledge sharing, advocacy and resource
Although modest in outreach, the project demonstrated how the untapped potential of adolescents can be
transformed into a driving force for their own personal growth and development as well as that of their communities.
It also revealed that with an adolescent-centred, holistic and interdisciplinary approach, girls from marginalised
and excluded groups can be protected from sexual exploitation, child marriage and pregnancy during this critical
The ofcial time frame was from 2002-2007 but some activities, particularly in Nepal continued over 2008
transition in the human growth sequence, and can be prepared for key adult roles such as citizen, worker, spouse
and parent. If adequately documented, the lessons learned from this project can serve to empower adolescent girls
in other countries and regions, to enable them to seek their rightful place in society, take effective control of their
lives, fully develop their potential, enhance their self-esteem and strengthen their livelihood base.
A brief overview of the project highlighting its salient features
I. Background & Rationale
Strategic focus on marginalised adolescent girls and eradication of poverty
Emphasising the need for the convergence of a wide variety of disciplines, skills and approaches for sustainable
solutions towards the eradication of extreme poverty, UNESCO launched an interdisciplinary and intersectoral
programme in 2002 to address it as a cross cutting theme. The project Empowering Adolescent Girls to Become
Agents of Social Transformation was designed and developed within this cross-cutting theme (CCT) framework, as
a strategy to break the poverty cycle of women in South Asia.
As poverty and gender discrimination persist in South Asia, adolescent girls from disadvantaged groups, continue
to face social and economic discrimination and lack access to basic services such as education and health care.
While many of them never enrol in schools, others drop out at primary or secondary level without acquiring basic
literacy skills and thereby have limited scope for learning and acquiring knowledge and skills for self-development.
Unaware of their rights, they become victims of child marriage and pregnancy, dowry, trafcking and domestic
violence. In family life, they are dominated, even coercively, by older members both male and female, and often
conned indoors with activities limited to household tasks. At the onset of puberty, when adolescents, especially
girls, need attention and care to understand the important biological, physical and psychological changes that
occur in their lives, neglect, deprivation and abuse combined with lack of education, skills and knowledge about
their rights make the adolescent girls of poor households particularly vulnerable. Unless addressed, the grip of
poverty becomes vicious and the vulnerability gets further rooted. On the other hand, if enabled to develop their
full potential through access to the required knowledge, skills and services, they can navigate successfully through
the transition, for example, from childhood to adulthood, from dependence to independence, and, participate in
their own development and that of their communities.
With a view to counter the alarming situation of poverty and discrimination of girls and women, the overall goal of
the project was to chart effective pathways for empowering marginalised adolescent girls. The objective was also to
generate a process of sustainable improvement in their lives through a rights-based comprehensive interdisciplinary
programme, backed by advocacy for a favourable policy framework.
A rights-based approach to address vulnerability and enhance capability
Looking upon poverty as a barrier to basic human rights, the project emphasised the rights-based perspective.
Through pilot interventions in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan it looked at marginalised girls as the central
element. The project demonstrated that not only is it opportune to target vulnerable adolescent girls caught in the
process of pauperisation, but it is also crucial to go beyond the narrow perspective of considering these vulnerable
girls only as people with needs and to recognise them primarily as people with high potential whose rights must
be defended for the well being of all.
Looking upon adolescent girls as a decisive population group, the project cast them as potential actors for social
change, who can think, act and react, and given the opportunity, reshape their lives and improve their environment.
As a rst step towards freeing them from the grip of poverty, activities were designed and directed towards
securing their basic human rights. They were made aware of their rights, for example, to education, health, decent
work, access to information, security and justice, and to benet from scientic progress. A rights-based capacity-
building programme including legal education was implemented at the project sites in order to bring about the
desired changes in the lives of girls and women living in poverty,
II Project development process and implementation (2002-2007)
A shared vision for effective programme development and delivery
The initial project framework was designed through extensive consultations within UNESCO by an intersectoral
team that included staff members from the Education, Science and Communication Sectors, as well as the Youth Co-
ordination Unit. It was then shared with the project implementing partners in each country, who in turn discussed
the project objective and activities with local communities, including adolescents, at each project site. In April
2002, a Project Planning and Programme Development Workshop was held in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India to reach a
shared understanding of the objective of the project, its programme framework and operational mode, the roles
and responsibilities of the partners, as well as the mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating its progress. The
workshop brought together the members of the UNESCO intersectoral team, the local partners, and representatives
of governments, NGO leaders and research institutes of the host country. The Jaipur workshop was a notable
example of participatory project development in the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration.
Continued consultations between the UNESCO team, implementing partners, international and national experts,
beneciary adolescents and local communities, facilitated contextualisation of the global perspectives on poverty
with the real situation of marginalisation, discrimination and violence against girls and women at the project
sites. Field visits, workshops and networking further fostered partnership. Collaboration among the partners was
crucial for developing a broad-based capacity-building programme which responded adequately to the needs of
adolescent girls living in poverty Thus an interdisciplinary framework with various cross-cutting activities was
jointly developed for enhancing the capabilities of adolescent girls from disadvantaged groups and to enable them
to become agents of social transformation.
A common interdisciplinary programme framework responding to adolescents needs
Given the presence of a high number of out-of-school adolescent girls in the four project countries, particularly in
the sites selected for the pilot interventions, the focus of the interdisciplinary programme was on adolescent girls
who had never enrolled in schools or who had dropped out before acquiring basic literacy skills. In fact, to date,
out-of school adolescents
constitute a largely forgotten group amongst the worlds illiterate population. Having
passed the age for primary schools, they are not covered by the worldwide efforts towards universal primary
education. Moreover, the learning needs and aptitudes of adolescents are different from the needs and aptitudes
of the children who are not able to enrol in primary schools. Nor do adolescents benet totally from adult literacy
programmes which are not designed for them. In line with the EFA Goal III, the project therefore sought to respond
to the learning needs of adolescent girls with an appropriate learning and life skills programme. In the complex
and deep-rooted context of poverty, an interdisciplinary approach seemed more appropriate than uni-dimensional
interventions in critical areas such as education, health or science. Therefore, while a comprehensive literacy and
life skills programme was at the heart of the interdisciplinary framework, it was complemented by education in
science, communication and information technology with access to micronancial services. The main components
of adolescents capacity building programme were:
1. Education was mandatory for all adolescents who joined the programme. It combined basic and advanced
literacy, health and legal education with training in vocational skills, income generation and micronancial services.
In parallel, adolescents forums were organised for both girls and boys, facilitating their interaction through
discussions on a wide variety of issues such as their rights and personal development, their responsibilities in
society and in the community. Opportunities for continued learning were supported through linkages between
formal and non-formal education (NFE), in the form of advanced courses for adolescents to enter secondary
schools or continue NFE.
2. The science component was developed as an essential tool for girls and womens development and it became the
driving force for drawing the communitys interest. A science education programme was specically developed
for strengthening basic knowledge in science and technology. A sub-regional network of scientists, created in
According to The EFA Global Monitoring Report (GMR) 2011, worldwide 74 million adolescents were out-of-school in 2008,
June 2002, provided guidelines for developing the non-formal science curriculum and its popularisation process.
It focused, as per local needs, on basic health, safe water, renewable energy and agriculture. Activities were
devised to raise the awareness of the communities on the impact of science in their day-to-day lives.
3. Initially, the activities related to communication & information technology supported and strengthened the
education and science components. Gradually activities were developed to use both new and traditional media
technologies (from puppet shows to videos, radio and computers) as learning tools to enhance adolescents
communication skills. Use of local communication tools and access to ICT have been combined to preserve
tradition and to narrow the digital divide.
Programme delivery variations to match local contexts
The interdisciplinary programme framework designed jointly by the core project team
was implemented by the
local partners with variation based on the locally assessed needs of adolescent girls and the real conditions of their
lives. Similarly, the local partners developed the delivery modes suited for each country to reach out to adolescent
girls living in depressed rural areas and/or urban slums.
In Bangladesh, the pilot initiative was implemented in two sites in Narshingdi and Tangail Districts. Nari Maitree
and Dhaka Ahsania Mission, the local partners set up Ganokendras or Community Learning Centres (CLCs) as
the nucleus of the programme. These CLCs carried out the mandatory education programme, provided information
on human rights and training in vocational, entrepreneurial and income-generation skills. In addition, health
communication sessions were organised in the CLCs to disseminate information on reproductive-health as well as
STD/RTI, HIV/AIDS and other common diseases. With the support of clinical assistants. paramedics, and social
workers at the community level, CLCs also provided antenatal care, general primary treatment and immunisation
services. Higher level multipurpose science, communication, and information centres such as Community Resource
Centres and Centres for Knowledge and Science or Gyan Vigyan Kendras (GVKs) were also set up to provide ICT
access and to function as libraries, as well as technical resource and training centres to further strengthen the CLCs
and ensure their sustainability.
In India pilot interventions were implemented in Kishanganj block in Baran District and Bap block in Johdhpur
District in Rajasthan, where physical distances are considerable. Due to the geographical remoteness of these areas,
the Foundation for Education and Development (FED), UNESCOs partner for this project, organised a series of long
and short duration residential camps at the project sites to bring the girls together to provide them opportunities
for strengthening collective identity and offering spaces for reecting on, questioning and understanding long-
held social beliefs. These camps integrated education (which emphasised quality literacy and numeracy) with life
skills, reproductive health, raising awareness of human rights and gender equity, civic and political education and
legal literacy. They were also organised to provide further needs-based training programmes of a short-duration,
revolving around issues such as laws affecting girls and women, the right to information, and formation of self-
help groups. Motivational Centres or Prerna Kendras were created where beneciaries came together to discuss
and plan for their learning, work and relations with the community. Gyan Vigyan Kendras (GVKs) were set up for
popularising science and strengthening science education. The GVKs also served as centres to provide information
on communication technology. In addition, Adolescent Forums were created for organising activities such as science
fairs, village sanitation, opening libraries and training for peer adolescents.
In Nepal, the project was implemented in Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Kanchanpur and Udayapur districts by the
Centre for Legal Research and Resource Development (CeLRRd). The CLCs in Nepal operated as multipurpose
community centres for providing support services for all the interventions in the areas of education, science and
communication and information technology. The District Education Ofcers and schoolteachers helped in nding
spaces for NFE class, in the schools or in the community. These classes consisted of educational programmes
which included literacy sessions, information on basic human rights and child rights, information on trafcking
and violence against women and girls, legal literacy, health education and training in life skills, income-generation
and micronance. Orientation programmes for guardians were also organised. Womens Paralegal Committees
Composed of the UNESCO intersectoral team and the project implementing partners.
which were part of Village Development Committees (VDCs) were motivated to play a role in providing day to day
support, particularly for NFE classes. Radio programmes were developed and broadcast weekly and short television
lms were developed for mobile TV shows targeted at adolescent girls.
In Pakistan, the project was implemented by the Institute of Development Studies and Practices (IDSP) in
Mominabad and Sabeel in Quetta, in the poor and underdeveloped province of Baluchistan. The principal
implementation mechanism in Pakistan was the Reective Learning Centres (RLCs), established in each of the
two sites. In addition to basic education, adolescent learners were introduced to issues such as gender, science
and technology, life skills, leadership and management skills, computers and home management. In particular,
reective skills among the learners were developed; health and legal counselling were provided to the girls on
a regular basis. Through this approach the learners were encouraged to become active participants, rather than
passive recipients, of the services. IDSP invited the Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) to carry out the science and
communication programme through a multidisciplinary science team. The PSF prepared the science materials for
the RLC, arranged science exhibitions in the community and prepared science caravans to travel to the rural
areas to sensitise people and popularise scientic issues.
Training of trainers was a crucial component which each partner developed with care and caution as the success
of the programme depended on how well the teachers were able to gain the adolescents condence for effective
teaching-learning. Also, at the request of adolescent girls and community members, adolescent boys were integrated
in the programme at all the project sites.
Multilevel interventions for creating a supportive environment
Simultaneous multilevel interventions enabled the project to ensure a favourable environment for adolescents
development. At the local levels community members were consulted and sensitised about the project and were
mobilised to participate actively in various cross cutting activities. Regular dialogues were maintained with the local
authorities to keep them informed about progress. Policy makers at national levels were invited to policy dialogues
and workshops to reect on appropriate policies to respond to the specic needs of adolescents, with a focus on
marginalised girls. Related ministries such as Education, Science and Technology, Women and Child welfare, as well
as Youth, have been sensitised for inter-ministerial collaboration for girls and womens development. Moreover,
while networks of experts were formed at the sub-regional level to support the interdisciplinary programme, at the
global level lessons were shared for advocacy and resource mobilisation. Finally, partner youth NGOs were invited
to introduce peer-group evaluation to ensure those adolescents aspirations and perception of their development
are well reected in the project documents.
III. Lessons learned and the way forward
From the experience of this pilot project implemented simultaneously over a period of six years, in four South
Asian countries, it can be reiterated that investment in marginalised adolescent girls, if planned and carried out
effectively, brings high socio-economic returns. It not only contributes to human development in any given
country, but by enabling marginalised girls to develop their potential, it prevents them from falling deeper into
the poverty trap and instead contribute towards breaking the cycle of poverty in which women live their lives.
Further, through adolescent-centred, holistic and multisectoral programmes the project demonstrated how: i) out-
of-school adolescent girls from disadvantaged population groups can be reached and; ii) their basic learning and
development needs can be met.
The project revealed that to empower marginalised adolescent girls it is important to: 1) examine the complex
nature of marginalisation experienced by them by virtue of their age, gender, class, religion and caste; 2) identify and
partner with local organisations with experience in gender and development; 3) adopt a participatory, partnership-
based and policy-oriented approach; 4) orient NFE to ensure their access to quality learning and life skills and link
NFE with formal education for continued learning options; 5) develop an interdisciplinary learning and life skills
programme integrating science and technology to prepare them to face the 21st century challenges; 6) make them
aware of their rights; 7) create community-based girl-friendly learning spaces; 8) include adolescents boys; 9)
involve local communities and local governments; 10) carry out multi-level interventions for creating a favourable
environment; 11) foster inter-ministerial and multisectoral dialogues for favourable policies 12) design and develop
adolescents education, health and vocational skills as integral parts of national policies 13) involve youth NGOs
and promote peer-group motoring and evaluation; and 14) support research for adequate adolescent specic data.
The project reached out to over 8000 adolescent girls living in depressed rural areas or urban peripheral slums.
It also sensitised nearly 25, 000 community members towards creating a favourable environment for effective
implementation of the various cross cutting activities carried out locally for enhancing adolescents capabilities.
Although in terms of numbers it may seem modest, particularly in the context of highly populated countries of South
Asia, signicant changes were noted in the behaviour and attitudes of the girls with regard to learning, defending
their rights and improving their lives. Today, as educated and informed adolescents, they are participating actively
in their communities, voicing their concerns, seeking services and leading the community in development matters.
Despite notable progress in gender equality and girls and womens development, neglect and marginalisation of
adolescent girls persists, particularly in South Asia. Out of the 74 million out-of-school adolescents in 2008
, over
50% were girls and nearly 28 % were in South and West Asia. In order to accelerate actions to urgently redress
this situation, it is crucial to document and consolidate learning from good practices. From the increasing number
of pilot interventions in this area, it is clear that expertise exists and ample ground work is being done. The focus
should now be on policies and guidelines to speed the scaling up of successful pilot initiatives and expand the
programmes to maximise their outreach. Further, these policies and future programmes should be developed
through collaborative initiatives among national and international agencies. Finally, the EFA Goal III and the MDGs
I, II & III provide platforms for inter-ministerial and multi-partner collaboration. The way forward is to initiate
in each country in South Asia, programmes which respond adequately to marginalised adolescents, particularly
adolescent girls development needs. This should include relevant education and training, complemented by science
and ICTs, life skills, health-care and employment opportunities.
GMR 2011, page 54 & GMR 2010, page 74
Education of Adolescents
in the Tribal Areas of Jharkhand
Shubhra Dwivedy
There have been massive efforts and investments in the last decade to fulll the goal of universal elementary
education and literacy. The Jharkhand State youth policy is now present in black and white. There is also an
increasing realization about the importance of the age group 9-20 years which comprises about 22% of the
population. Most marriages take place during this age in the eastern states. In Jharkhand the vicious circle of
low literacy- chronic unemployment-perpetuating poverty, is being broken by extremist groups which offer an
attractive opening to the frustrated youth. The tentacles of extremist war groups have now spread into 22 out of
the 24 districts of Jharkhand including the eld areas of SEEDS. Despite the obvious and urgent need for attention
to it, there have been very few programmes for this age group in the state of Jharkhand.
Whether we are addressing poverty, healthcare, population control, unemployment or human rights, there is no
better place to start than in the corridors of education since it is the means to a better life. Our approach focuses on
the socio-economic-cultural aspects, such as consciousness raising, education through community empowerment
techniques, formation of adolescent collectives-particularly for securing the rights of those in the deprived
communities, nurturing youth who are potential transformational leaders and providers of livelihood security for
themselves and their families.
Introduction of the Project
Education is not only the acquisition of knowledge but also the development of the learners personality, the
application of what s/he has learned and the inculcation of values. Our focus has been on basic education that
helps the learners attain knowledge, skills and values, especially those that are related to their lives and the
environment in their villages. Those who have the potential are guided towards better opportunities that will
improve their lives. The newly constituted youth forums play a large role in the social change and economic
development of the area.
SEEDS runs education programmes which cover about 1000 illiterate and dropout adolescents in 44 villages in
the two southernmost districts of Jharkhand viz. Seraikela-Kharsawan and East Singhbhum. Nearly 85% of the
learners are girls and about 90% of the total learners belong to eight scheduled tribes including three primitive
tribe groups. Families living below the poverty line constitute 79% of the total families in the project area.
Strategies and Interventions
Integrated approach to education
Gender equity
Learner centeredness
Locally relevant and culturally appropriate learning
Multi- level participation
The main interventions include
Village learning centers with exi timings: 54 centers with nearly 1000 adolescent learners are functioning.
Two months residential camps for basic education and skill development
Youth resource centres in the village clusters: There are 10 YRCs in 10 different villages which provide ample
opportunity to youth for continuing their education, knowledge and skills.
Training in life skills, advocacy and livelihood skills: These include:
Life Skills - Personal skills like self awareness, personality development, communication, time management,
decision making, leadership and team building, problem solving, understanding of reproductive and sexual
Advocacy skills like social and negotiation skills, organization and collective action skills, and accessing information
and knowledge
Livelihood Skills -Developing an understanding about poverty and basic needs, the knowledge and means to
generate an income for sustainable livelihood and vocational training
Adolescent groups and adolescent forums: There are 70 village level adolescent groups which save money,
participate in community work and some advocate for their rights (PDS, mid day meals in schools/anganwadi
Youth fellowships: 25 rural fellows are pursuing minor research on various topics (traditional food, equipments,
crops, games, markets, oils, natural bers, implementation of government schemes etc) with a view to revive the
best practices and local wisdom and make the community aware of and adapt these traditional local practices to
changing times.
Education Resource Centers: These centers play a key role in material development, training, monitoring ,
networking with CSOs and publications.
Outcomes of the Intervention
About 500 adolescent learners (including 380 girls) have benetted from the camps. There was tremendous
improvement in basic education language and numeracy skills. All the adolescents (over 90% tribals) learned to
speak, read and write in Hindi. About 25% of the camp children enrolled in government schools in classes II-VIII.
The learners have developed strong leadership qualities. On returning home from the camp they took the initiative
of holding meetings with adolescent/youth groups in their villages. They conducted village cleanliness drives and
made soakage pits at public hand pump sites.
Their communication skills have improved and they exude a lot of condence. In the absence of qualied village
teachers to teach at the learning centers, four of the adolescents who had participated in the camps have become
teachers and they are proving to be good teachers despite not having formal schooling or teacher training.
Nearly 80% of the tribal learners have learned to speak simple Hindi with a local accent. 169 learners have enrolled
in government schools (in classes 2nd to 9th)out of which 78 (46%) go to school regularly, 50 (30%) are irregular
and 41 (24%)have dropped out. Domestic work, working in brick kilns, and as contract labour in factories, are the
reasons for their dropping out. The ones who are irregular are largely disinterested in studying.
There is a distinct adherence to good practices by most of the learners and their family members who are applying
the learned knowledge in their daily lives. Some of these include sending their children to school/ learning centre;
practicing personal hygiene; developing kitchen gardens and channelizing domestic waste water; reduction in
malaria and diarrhea; consulting medical practitioners instead of witch doctors; male members sharing in the
household chores; following the minimum age of marriage especially for girls; reduction/stoppage of alcohol and
rice beer (handia) intake.
Training on advocacy has developed an understanding of their rights and spurred rights based action by adolescent
forums (Gram Shakti Yuva Manch) especially on issues of food security. They are creating community awareness
and acting jointly to streamline the public distribution system, the mid-day meal scheme in schools, attendance and
punctuality of school teachers and nutritional inputs for children, adolescent girls and lactating/pregnant women
through Anganwari centres.
Challenges Lessons Learnt A Way Forward
We have been facing four major challenges in the sphere of implementation which are as follows:
a) Extremist Activities
During the last one year our mobility has been restricted in the western area of the project comprising of 11 interior
villages due to activities by militant groups. The area is the hotbed of extremist groups and a Central Reserve
Police Force company with nearly 150 personnel are camping there. Most of the youth in the area are under close
observation including some of our teachers. Getting fed up of the harassment by the extremists at night and the
para military forces during the day, a few of our promising teachers have left their villages. This has hampered
regular functioning of the Geyan Talma.
During the last one year bandhs were called by extremist groups and a few by political parties on 52 days. This has
hampered the progress of the programme.
b) Absenteeism due to Drought
This year there has been decient rainfall for the second successive year resulting in minimal agricultural work in
the villages. Consequently the adolescent workforce have left the villages to work as contract labour in factories
and other places. This phenomenon is hampering the attendance of adolescents in some of the centers.
c) Low Education Level of Teachers
The low numbers and poor quality of educated youth in our villages necessitates intensive and recurrent training
and regular monitoring of teaching personnel. Keeping in mind the very poor standard of teaching in rural
government schools, of which these teachers are the products, we cannot expect quick results. However their
openness, exibility and willingness to learn and teach is an asset while training them to be effective teachers.
d) Erratic Attendance and Non Retention of
Mainstreamed Learners in Schools
Nearly 20% of the learners of the geyan talma have enrolled in government schools in the last one year. A recent
survey shows that 24% of those enrolled have dropped out and 30% do not attend regularly. The main reasons are
work and disinterest in school studies. The attendance of nearly 40% learners are erratic in the talma too.
Lessons Learned
In order to ensure that the local teachers continue with the programme, it is important to balance the local teachers
potential to absorb the training inputs, with the appropriate teaching/learning processes.
A teacher who is a member of the community, even though less educated, largely proves better than a qualied
Learning processes need to be adapted to the local situation irrespective of the time it takes.
Mainstreaming all adolescents will not become a reality until the formal school offers an appropriate curriculum
and an attractive learning environment
It is best to integrate life skills and livelihood skills with basic education for adolescents.
A Way Forward
An adolescent education programme will become successful only with a community managed continuing education
system that will sustain the learnings and skills imbibed by the participants.
An inter institutional networking among organizations working with adolescents will strengthen the cause and will
enable organizations to reach most of the out of school adolescents.
Story of Change
Daughters of Village Headman Transform Their Family
The Geyan Talma and the two months residential camps have transformed my family. Your programme and my
three daughters are responsible for this. These feelings were expressed by 60 year old Mr. Jodeya Hansda, the
tribal headman of remote Jankipur village. He further states that he has learned punctuality, cleanliness of the
home, personal hygiene and respect for others from his daughters. I have four daughters and I have never sent
any of them to school. But now I realize the importance of education. Now, I am proud of my daughters. Hope I live
long enough to ensure that my grandchildren go to school right from the beginning.
Girls Freedom has been conceptualized for the purposes of this paper as education leading to increased women/
sense of condence, self-worth;
ability to make informed decisions/choices about their lives;
ability to access resources, opportunities to improve the quality of their lives,
ability to inuence the direction of change; to create social and economic space for themselves and those
around them
An analysis of the low social and literacy indicators for Rajasthan led to the setting up of a short term residential
camp for girls in Tonk district. The girls were introduced to primary education and all of them completed at least up
to class III level. They also learned some essential skills for life. However, these changes did not affect the external
social mores. It became clear that primary level education was necessary but not sufcient to bring full freedom to
the girls. Several external factors would have to change to achieve this.
Rajasthan has low social indicators and literacy rates for women. Retrogressive social norms ensure that women
and girls occupy a marginalized position in society. The female sex ratio is 922 females per 1000 males
. The mean
age of marriage for girls in Rajasthan was 16.6 years in 2001. In some areas like Tonk, Barmer and Jhalawar girls are
married as early as 12 years of age. Some reports claim that in Tonk in 2006, about 80% of girls, roughly 31,000,
were estimated to have been married below the age of 18 years.
The male literacy rate stood at 75.70% in 2001 compared with 43.90 for females. Despite some improvement
under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), the retention of girls and their learning achievement requires attention. There
are large numbers of adolescent girls who have not completed primary education either because they have never
been enrolled or have dropped out early.
An analysis of the situation led to setting up a Girls Residential Education Camp in Tonk District to provide learning
opportunities for girls aged 9-14 years. A door-to-door survey to identify such girls in select villages of Tonk was
followed by community mobilization.
The data for this report was collected through a detailed questionnaire and individual and focus group interviews
which were conducted in Hindi. The views of the organizers, district education authorities and of the teachers were
also considered.
The Capability Approach
and the Education of Adolescent Girls:
A Case Study from Rajasthan
Shushmita Dutt
National Family Health Survey-2, Rajasthan, 1998-99, NHDR 2002.
Girls Residential Camp
A Girls Residential Camp (with a capacity of 100) as an Alternate
Learning Strategy (ALS) was started to introduce primary learning and
skills for life to out-of-school girls. The ultimate objective was to ensure
that girls continued their education in formal schools. The camp was
also a model for the state to replicate.
The ALS was selected because it provides learning opportunities and
integrates life skills into the curriculum. The evaluations of some major
ALS interventions show that about 60% of the girls in these courses
acquired basic reading and writing skills and were able to join the
regular schools to continue their education.
The majority of the girls enrolled in the camp were between 12-13 years. There were 38 girls who were already
married. Some of these girls had been sent to the camp by their parents but there were also cases where some of
the married girls had been sent by their parents-in-law. This seems to indicate that family members, even marital
families, were able to understand the potential gains of the camp.
A girl student, who joined the camp, in her home with her family.
Photographs courtsey Manisha Jani.
Girls at the camp.
Social Prole of the Girls
Caste No. of Girls
Scheduled Caste 17
Scheduled Tribe 18
Other Backward Castes 34
Minority/Muslim 1
Others 31
Total 101
The girls used rough language when they joined the camp. The teachers made a great deal of effort to teach them
decorum in their behavior and speech. The participatory methods of teaching, individualized student attention and
a fundamental re-conceptualization of the student-teacher relationship were key-tools employed at the residential
camp. The teachers did not use corporal or other forms of punishment. There was no discrimination or practice of
untouchability within the camp. The girls played together and shared rooms, books, food and water.
The girls visited the local post ofce, primary health centre and banks to learn how the institutions function. They
were taken on bus and train rides and encouraged to plan their trips and buy their own tickets. They were taught
about health and nutrition and were able to plan meals, purchase and store food and keep accounts.
The most important session of the day was the Chetna Satra or Awakening Session. The concepts of rights,
responsibilities, equality before law and individual freedom were discussed and debated. Sensitive subjects like
rape, dowry, dowry deaths and atrocities committed on women were deliberated. These discussions helped the
girls reect on the position and situation of women and girls in society.
The subject of early marriage was discussed from a legal, social and health standpoint to understand how this cuts
short physical, mental, academic and development opportunities for both girls and boys. Parents and guardians
were invited to participate in these sessions. Lady doctors were invited to provide professional insights on Family
planning and HIV AIDS.
The issue of personal hygiene was discussed at length and repeated through out the camp duration. This issue had
practical implications for camp life and was addressed carefully in detail.
The results of the academic assessment carried out at the end of the camp in 2006 indicated some encouraging
Evaluation of Girls at Class III, IV and V level:
Class V Class IV Class III Class
Percentage of total girls
who were evaluated and
38% 42% 20%
Age of the girls at the level 12-16 years 12-14 years 9-12
Lessons Learned
A review of the lessons learned from the camp showed that all the key objectives of the camp had been met.
One hundred and one girls completed the residential camp and all the girls completed at least class III level of
learning. The parents and other community members were particularly appreciative of the manifold life skills that
were introduced at the camp. The academic help provided to the girls was welcomed and acknowledged. Some
camp inputs were not strictly measurable but greatly valued by the guardians and parents. These included health,
hygiene, nutrition information, use of more polite speech and language, awareness and use of civil manners. The
girls at the camp learned to make their voices heard in their families and the community. They were able to make
small decisions for themselves. They did not shy away from strangers as they did when they joined the camp.
However, the girls education made no changes in the core attitude of the parents and guardians about the
restrictive social mores that surrounded the girls. It was clear from discussions with the parents that these would
not be relaxed in any way. The girls were not yet sufciently independent in their thinking to challenge these social
The education of the girls though necessary was not sufcient to bring about full freedom. Therefore, the
results of the camp were analysed using the Capability Approach
The Way Forward
The Capability Approach and the Education of Adolescent Girls in India
The Capability Approach is a conceptual framework developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum in order
to evaluate social states in terms of human well-being. It emphasizes functional capabilities (such as the ability to
live a healthy life, engage in economic and community activities); these are construed in terms of the substantive
freedoms people value (happiness, desire-fullment or choice) or access to resources (income, possessions).
The Capability Approach emphasizes fundamental entitlements like nutrition, health, education etc; and the
conditions that affect these entitlements like the social, economic, cultural, environmental and political environment.
Nussbaum points to three sets of factors that inuence personal choices.
1. Personal factors (such as physical condition, literacy, competencies etc)
2. Socio-structural and cultural factors (such as social norms, gender roles, power relations, discriminatory practices
3. Institutional factors (such as welfare and educational arrangements, collective provisions etc.).

Andersen Sabine et al. 2006. Education and Welfare: A Pedagogical Perspective on the Capability Approach. University of Bielefeld. P 23
The responsibility of the state is to empower individuals and build capability through investments in skills and
knowledge. In the context of the adolescent girls, additional economic and social resources are required if they are
1. complete their education, pick up additional skills (for income generation and otherwise)
2. inuence their life choices regarding marriage, child bearing, place of residence
3. enrich their quality of life (eg better health, expanded economic opportunities).
Girls well being cannot spring exclusively from their being educated upto the primary level. In order to access full
freedom, the girls require support from an
inclusive economic environment
enabling social attitudes of the community and family
effective governance structures
The girls require space in the economic arena to turn their capabilities to monetary gains, for accessing basic
nutrition, better health and at least secondary education. The supports required by adolescent girls are as listed by
I. Robeyns
- resources (income), non-monetary products (care, domestic work, voluntary work),
- public goods and services, e.g. child care facilities, high quality education.
- social; institutions, e.g. fair and efcient legal system,
- the communitys culture, e.g. attitudes towards working mothers, parttime working fathers,
The framework below indicates the stepwise process to be followed to ensure effective freedom for adolescent
Framework for ensuring Girls Freedom through Education.
Functional level Essential level Effective level
1. Possess sense of
condence, self-worth
Girls are valued by family and
immediate community
Girls have a secure and identied place in the larger
community; local Panchayati Raj Institutions, state and
national political framework.
2. Possess understanding
and the ability to make
personal decision,
Girls can and do make choices
about education, freedom of
movement, personal behaviour
Girls can and do make personal choices about issues
that affect their life eg marriage, child bearing, working
3. Possess access to
resources, opportunities
to improve the quality of
their lives
Girls have access to and use
functioning public health,
education, nancial and
economic empowerment
Girls have access to and use sufcient income (fair
wages, no economic vulnerability), good health,
education, nancial and economic empowerment.
4. Possess the ability to
inuence the direction of
change to create social
and economic space for
Girls have the knowledge and
understanding to initiate change
in social attitudes/values in small
circles of family and community
Girls have the knowledge and understanding to initiate
social change in larger society, enlarging space for
marginalised in economic environment ; inuence policy
for womens effective equality
Unless the State and society assume responsibility towards these girls, they will be unable to convert their knowledge
and skills towards greater opportunity, well being and better quality of life.
Robeyns,Ingrid. 2005. The Capability Approach and Welfare Politics University of Amsterdam.P 5.
Case Study
A Breath of Fresh Air
Asha Meena, an 11 year old girl, came to the camp as an untidy child who hated
to bathe, wash her hair, brush her teeth or wash her clothes. She had dropped
out of school because she said school did not interest her. Her language was
rude and abusive.
The stay at the camp helped her to change her ways and learn to use more
acceptable language. Soon she persuaded her parents to buy her a new set of
salwar kameez. Within a short time she had turned into an articulate, vibrant
new person. She became so attached to everyone at the camp that she refused
to go home even for festivals. She persuaded her family that she needed to stay
at the camp during vacations in order to complete her studies.
Asha at the Camp.
Prole of the Authors
Mr. Anil Bordia is the formerly Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Government of India and the formerly
Chairperson of Lok Jumbish Project which was implemented in Rajasthan until 2010. Besides being an administrator
of exceptional insights and caliber, he is known as an educationist of high repute, respected world wide for his
innovative ideas and worth mentioning initiatives in the eld of Education. Mr. Bordia was bestowed with the 3
highest Civilian Award Padma Bhushan in year 2009 for his untiring services in the eld of Education and Social
Development. He presently resides in Jaipur, Rajasthan and is the Chairperson and Managing Trustee of Foundation
for Education and Development which is implementing Doosra Dashak project in Rajasthan, a pioneering effort
for the Education and development of Adolescents and young person in the age group of 11-19 years. He can be
contacted at his email ID anilbordia@doosradashak.in.
Mr. Deep Purkayastha is the founder-director of Praajak, an organization committed to the establishment of the
rights of children and young people in India based in Kolkata. He is an Ashoka Fellow, and has been instrumental in
establishing a child protection model for children found on railway stations in collaboration with paramilitary forces
like the Railway Protection Force (RPF). This project, called Muktangan has been instrumental in inuencing the
decision of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights to recommend to the Department of railways
to set up Child Protection Programmes with the active involvement of the railways in eleven major stations in India.
Deep is also uses art as a healing and therapeutic paradigm and works to use the narratives of children to guide
them through theatre, dance and movement. He can be contacted at his email ID raktadeep@gmail.com.
Mr. Ehsanur Rahman is Executive Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission in Bangladesh. Working in the eld of
non-formal education over last twenty ve years, he contributed vividly in macro planning and also capacity
enhancement of various level non-formal education personnel in Asia and Africa. Mr. Rahman is an active promoter
of the Community Learning Centre approach as a strategy for empowerment of the poor, particularly the women
and girls. He can be contacted at his email ID ehsan1155@gmail.com.
Ms. Gouran Lal is currently working as a consultant at Pravah. Her association with Pravah goes back to 16
years where she has been one of the founding members and there on resumed her role as a volunteer here. After
completing her graduation in Economics, Gouran has done her post graduation in hotel management, a B Ed and
later a Post Graduation in International Law and Human Rights. She has a varied experience in education, as well as
media sector. She believes that working at Pravah has given her a space to share, receive and enjoy the work she
truly respects. She can be contacted at her email ID gouran.lal@pravah.org.
Mr. Gurumurthy Kasinathan is Founder and Director of IT for Change, a NGO based in Bangalore (India). He
works on program, research and advocacy aspects in the domains of Education, Public Software and Internet
Governance at IT for Change. Gurumurthy is also a visiting faculty at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences where
he teachers Education Leadership and Management in their post graduate program in Elementary Education. He is
founder and secretary of the Centre for Leadership and Management in Public Services, a NGO formed to work
on issues of individual and institutional capacity building in government and non governmental organizations. He
is also on the governing board of Hengasaru Hakkina Sangha, a NGO working on legal rights for women. He can
be contacted at his email ID Guru@ITforChange.net.
Ms. Havovi Wadia is part of the founding team of Lehar and is simultaneously working towards a doctorate in
Childhood Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She has an enduring interest in understanding childhoods
and working for the rights of children. Some of her writing can be read on infochangeindia.org. She can be contacted
at havoviw@gmail.com.
Dr. Indrani Bhattacharyya is a social scientist working in the development sector for last 15 years. She has done
her Ph.D in social anthropology and led many programmes on child, adolescent and maternal health and nutrition
as well as participatory governance and community partnership. Currently she is working as Assistant Director for
Adolescent Resource Centre in Child In Need Institute [CINI] in Kolkata and leading programmes on adolescents
and young populations health, nutrition, education and protection rights and entitlements including sexual and
reproductive health issues. She can be contacted at her email ID Indrani@cinindia.org or bcindrani@gmail.com.
Mr. Kamal Herath has done his masters in Sociology and has a diploma in Early Childhood and primary education.
He has over 15 years of experience in the education sector. He is presently the National Advisor-Education with
Plan Sri Lanka and is based in Colombo. He can be contacted at his email ID kamal.herath@plan-international.org.
Ms. Madhura Dutta is a Masters in Sociology from Calcutta University and Masters in Sustainable Development
from Staffordshire University, U.K. She is also a PhD Scholar at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and has
over nine years of experience of working with rural and urban poor across India on issues ranging from child
protection, gender rights, health, livelihood generation, sanitation, bio-conservation, etc. She currently works in a
social enterprise Banglanatak dot com which works for fostering pro-poor growth using culture based approaches
for development. She is based in Delhi and can be contacted at her email ID madhura@banglanatak.com.
Mr. Murali is the focal point person of livelihood in CAP Foundation in Hyderabad. The CAP Foundation is a
registered Trust, and was initiated as an innovative public private partnership to demonstrate a model to address
poverty alleviation through linking learning and livelihood needs of working children and disadvantaged youth at
risk to equitable qualitative learning and promising labour market oriented vocational training opportunities. You
can contact Murali or CAP Foundation at the email ID Caphyd.pu@planindia.org.
Dr. Neelima Pandey is a qualied psychologist. She is presently working in Plan International (India Chapter) as
Senior Programme Manager and is based in Delhi. Her email address is Neelima.pandey@planindia.org.
Dr. Quratul Ain Bakhteari grew up in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Karachi after the creation of Pakistan in
1947. After completing her B.A. degree, she helped new refugees coming from Bangladesh by providing them with
basic health care and education. Later, she earned a masters degree and Ph.D. and established 2,000 government
girls primary schools in rural Baluchistan, resulting in the enrollment of 200,000 girls - a record in Pakistans history.
Frustrated with a lack of efcacy in internationally sponsored development projects, she wrote a concept paper
that became the blueprint for Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP) and was funded by The Asia
Foundation for 3 years. She formulated curriculum, recruited and trained faculty and formally launched IDSP in
1999. Dr. Bakhteari has received many awards such as Pakistan Jaycees Award for Outstanding Performance in Field
of Social Work, 1984, Pakistan Jaycees Award for Outstanding Performance in Field of Womens Development,
1986, Matushita Memorial Award for International Year of Shelter for the homeless, Tokyo, 1987, Academy for
Educational Development, Washington, Best Project Development Staff Member Award, 1996 to name a few. She
can be contacted at her email ID quratulain@idsp.org.pk.
Ms. Rajani Nair currently works with Pravah in Delhi where she designs and facilitates journeys for adolescents
through rural camps and workshops. She completed both her Bachelors and Masters in Political Science from
Delhi University. While pursuing her Masters she also volunteered with NGOs in Delhi and she had interned with
the Pravah initiative in Jaipur where she was actively involved in the start -up process of the organization. She
participates in the education sector and its initiatives in various capacities. She is trained in facilitating workshops
on comics- a medium for engaging with people on various issues. She feels that she has grown in perspective and
understanding through her engagement with Pravah. She can be contacted at her email ID rajani.nair@pravah.org.
Mr. Rameshwar Lal has 30 years of experience in the development sector. He is the Secretary of Urmul Setu
Sansthan in Lunkaransar, Rajasthan. He can be contacted at Lunkaransar.pu@planindia.org.
Mr. Ritesh Datta is a Business Development Manager with Save the Children, India (West Bengal ofce). He has
been working on employability skills development and developing sustainable enterprise for the last 4 years. He
can be contacted at his email ID r.datta@savethechildren.in.
Mr. Sanjeev Rai is the National Manager-Education with Save the Children, India and has been working
in the development sector for last 12 years. Sanjeev has had experience of working with media houses and
academic institutes and pursuing his doctoral research on children of Nepal. He can be contacted at his email ID
Ms. Sayeeda Rahman is a native of Bangladesh with an academic background in International Relations, Political
Science and Development Economics. She has been working in UNESCO for more than twenty years. She joined
the Education Sector of UNESCO in 2000 and worked in the areas of Basic Education, Literacy and Non-formal
Education, Teacher Education and Education for Sustainable Development. Presently she is a programme specialist
in the Section for Literacy and Non-Formal Education. Between 2002-2008, she headed an inter-sectoral team in
the development, implementation and follow up of the UNESCO cross-cutting theme project in South Asia entitled
Breaking the poverty cycle of women: Empowering Adolescent Girls to become Agents of Social Transformation).
She can be contacted at her email ID S.Rahman@unesco.org.
Ms. Shubhangi Sharma is presently based at UNESCO New Delhi. She was the Director, Doosra Dashak,
Foundation for Education & Development from 2001 until 2006, during when CCT project was implemented in
India with Doosra Dashak as a partner organization, before moving to Delhi to work with Oxfam Trust as Director,
Programs. She can be contacted at her email ID s.sharma@unesco.org.
Dr. Shubhra Dwivedy has done her post graduation, MPhil and PhD in Regional Development from the Jawaharlal
Nehru University in New Delhi.. She worked for over four years as Consultant (Non Formal Education and Early
Childhood Care and Learning) and Project Ofcer in the Bihar Education Project in the early nineties. From 1996
onwards she heads the NGO Socio Economic and Education Development Society, popularly known as SEEDS
in Jamshedpur. Dr Dwivedy is Board member in a number of organizations. She is an IFPLP Fellow of the Public
Health Institute, San Francisco. Among other recognitions, she has been conferred the Paul Harris Fellowship by
Rotary International. She can be contacted at her email ID sdwivedy@gmail.com or seeds@xlri.ac.in.
Ms. Shushmita Chatterji Dutt has been closely associated with the process of education in the South Asia for
over 25 years. Her areas of interest are special educational efforts for the marginalized sections of society and the
education of girls. She has experience of working at the ground level and also contributing to policy discussions.
She has worked with children of urban slums and street children and led policy formulation for girls education in
India. She has designed educational content for adolescent girls and helped to bring national focus on the transition
of girls from Elementary level to Secondary level. She can be contacted at her email ID shushmita_d@hotmail.com.
South Asian Regional Conference
Organized by UNESCO and Plan India
Responding to the Learning and Development Needs of Out of School Adolescents
Experiences of South Asian Countries ,01-03 March 2011,
The Theatre, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Tuesday, 1st March 2011
The South Asian Conference on the Learning and Developmental Needs of Out of School
Adolescents aims at bringing focus to the concerns and issues related to this age group. The
conference will also provide a platform to deliberate upon further action that needs to be
undertaken within the South Asian countries to accelerate the process towards the achieve-
ment of Goal III under the six EFA goals by offering concrete recommendations through
identication of gaps and systemic issues hindering attention to adolescents.
Registration 09:30 10:15 Hrs
10:30 10:40 hrs Welcome Address- Mr. Armoogum Parsura-
men, Director and UNESCO Representative
for Bhutan Maldives and Sri Lanka
10:40 10:50 hrs Adolescent Education a priority to address:
Message from Ms. Mmantsetsa Marope, Di-
rector, Division for Basic to Higher Education
and Learning, Education Sector, UNESCO,
10:50 11:00 hrs Working with Adolescents: Plans priorities:
Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director,
Plan India
11:00 11:15 hrs Inaugural Address Chief Guest: Shri. Kapil
Sibal, Honorable Minister, MHRD and Addi-
tional Charge of Communication and infor-
mation Technology, New Delhi
11:15 11:20 hrs Vote of Thanks on behalf of UNESCO and
Plan India : Shubhangi Sharma
11:20 11:35 Hrs TEA/COFFEE BREAK
SESSION I Chair: Mr. Anil Bordia, Chairperson, FED, Rajasthan
11:40 11:50 hrs Adolescents Status in South Asia: Ms. Vimala
Ramachandran, ERU, New Delhi
11:50 - 12:05 hrs Methodologies of Identifying Out-of-school
Adolescents/ children and developing pro-
les, Shailendra Sigdel, UNESCO Institute for
12:05 13: 15 hrs Country Perspectives: Sharing from Bangladesh,
Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives
and India
Sri-lanka - Ms. G.Y Wijesooriya, Deputy
Director of Education, Non Formal Edu-
cation, Ministry of Education and Mrs.
A.L.P. Weerasinghe, Deputy Director of
Education, North Western Province
Bangladesh: Mr. Rezaul Quader, Director
General of Bureau of Non-Formal Educa-
Bhutan: Ms. Jamyang Cheoden, Deputy
Secretary General, NATCOM, Bhutan &
Mrs. Tashi Pelzom, Chief Program Of-
cer from the Department of Youth and
Sports, Ministry of Education
Nepal: Mr. Deepak Sharma, Ministry of
Education, Government of Nepal
Pakistan: Mr. Shafqat Ali, Assistant
Educational Adviser, Curriculum Wing,
Ministry of Education, Government of
Pakistan & Mr. Syed Tajamal Hussain ,
Deputy Educational Adviser, Curriculum
Wing, Ministry of Education, Govern-
ment of Pakistan, Islamabad
Maldives: Ms. Jameela Ali Khalid -
Secretary General, Maldives National
Commission for UNESCO & Mr Mohamed
Hashim - Executive Ofcer, Maldives
India: Mr. Sailesh
13:30 14:00 Hrs LUNCH BREAK
Amaltas, Rudraksh, Kadamba hall (The Theatre)
14:00 16:00 hrs Mainstreaming Adolescents Lessons Learnt
from ongoing approaches and interventions
Break Away Sessions
Group I: Inculcating Life Skills amongst Ado-
lescents and Basic Literacy
Amod Kanth (PRAYAS)
Sehba Hussain (BETI Foundation)
Mirna Guha (SANJOG)
Pallavi Patel (CHETNA)
Rajani Nair & Guran Lal (Pravah)
Raja Rajeshwari (Dr. Reddys Foundation)
Kamal Herath (Plan Sri Lanka)
Amit Kumar (IGNOU)
Sushmita Dutt
Gurumurthy Kashinathan (IT For Change)
Hasrat Anjjumend UP (Grassroots)
Chair: Mr. Amod K Kanth, INDIA and
Dr. Sehba Hussain, India
Group II : Inculcating Life Skills amongst
Adolescents and Basic Literacy
Poornima (NIRANTAR)
Jaya and Geeta Narayan (UNFPA
Asheema Singh (NIOS)
Urmila Sarkar (UNICEF)
Binay Pattanayak (UNICEF)
Froagh Ahmed Jami (CARE)
Shubhra Dwivedy (SEEDS)
Pritha Ghosh
Sangita Puhan and Pankaj (CYSD/Plan)
Chair: Ms. Urmila Sarkar, INDIA
16:00-16:15 Hrs TEA COFFEE BREAK
16:15-17:15 Reporting to the larger group followed by
Chair Pakistan: Mr. Rezaul Quader, Bangladesh
Wednesday, 2nd March 2011
09:00 09:30 hrs Brief Sharing of the Previous day proceed-
ing, tasks before groups
09:30 11:45 hrs Approaches to Address Adolescents Con-
cerns within the Framework of Rights
break away sessions
Theme III Gender Equity and Empowerment:
Working with boys and men Girls groups
Suniti Neogi (CARE)
Aradhana Yadav (UNOPS)
Neelima Pandey and Rameshwar Lal (Plan
Chair : Ms. Sehba Hussain, India
Theme IV: Favorable Environment, safer
spaces and Freedom from Exploitation:
Sexual violence, Harassment in cyber space
Trafcking, Protection issues of adolescents
in difcult circumstances
Indrani Sinha (SANLAAP)
Sanjeev Rai (Save the Children)
Indrani Bhattacharya/ Manidipa Ghosh (CINI)
Deep Purkayastha (Muktangan)
Chair : Ms. Jameela Ali Khalid, Maldives
and Ms. Shushmita Dutt, India
Theme V: Democratic Participation Engag-
ing with Adolescents on issues related to
Governance and
Accountability: Participation in governance
Social audit, formation of Citizen groups
Youth clubs/forums, etc.
Ragini Sahai (University of Delhi)
Havovi Wadia (Lehar)
Kavita Ratna (Concern For Working Children)
Theme VI: Adolescents Sexuality, Repro-
ductive Health and HIV/AIDS : Adolescents
Reproductive and sexual health; HIV/AIDS
related education
Sadhna Jain
Madhura Dutta (Bangla Natak)
Uma Ainapure (SAVE Foundation)
Upma (Urivi Vikram Trust)
Chair : Mr. Anjan Kumar Dahal, Nepal
11:30 11:45 Hrs TEA/COFFEE BREAK
11:45 13:00 hrs Reporting to the larger group
followed by discussions/comments.
13:00 14:00 HRS LUNCH BREAK
Theme VII: Holistic Programs for Cross
Cutting Issues: An Example of Human-Rights
based Multi Sectoral Framework for Adoles-
cents Empowerment
Interdisciplinary and Multi-Sectoral Collabo-
ration: the relevance and the need: Presenta-
tion form Ms. Sayeeda Rahman, Team Leader,
UNESCO, CCT, project: (2000 2008)
Overview presentation presented by Ms.
Shubhangi Sharma (UNESCO, New Delhi)
Presentation by CCT Partners from Nepal,
Bangladesh, and India
Mr. Anjan Kumar Dahal (CeLRRd, Nepal)
Ms. Shabnam Aziz and Mr. Murari Lal
thanvi (Doosra Dashak, INDIA)
Mr. Ehsanur Rahaman (Dhaka Ahansia
Mission, Bangladesh)
Chair: Ms. Dipta Bhog, India
Theme VIII (a): Challenges of Employability
and well as specic skills
Market oriented Vocational Training:
Curriculum and relevance incorporating
generic skills as approaches
Placements and employability
P.B. Sajeev (Aide-et-Action)
Vineeta Joshi
Ram Pratap Singh & Murli (CAP)
Dr. P. Shivkumar (Rajiv Gandhi National Insti-
tute of Youth Development)
Prof. Ubaidullah (SV University, Tirupathi)
Chair: Mr. Vishwanath Koliwad, India
Theme VIII (b): Challenges of Employability
and well as specic skills
Market oriented Vocational Training:
Curriculum and relevance incorporating
generic skills as approaches
Placements and employability
Pawan kumar Gupta (SIDH)
V.S. Mehrotra (PSSCIVE)
Anjali Agarwal (SRC)
Gopika Bakshi (YP Foundation)
Lakshmi Hariharan (SHRUSHTI)
Chair: Dr. K.B. Subramaniam, India and
Ms. Jamyeng Cheoden, Bhutan
16:00-16:15 Hrs TEA COFFEE BREAK

Reporting to the larger group followed by
Thursday, 3rd March 2011
(Magnolia, Willow, Maple Halls IHC)
09:30 11:00 HRS Culling Out Policy and Programme Priorities:
Group work to deliberate on a way ahead
Working on key recommendations to be
submitted to the respective Governments
in Member States
Priorities for Civil Society Organizations
to work on engage in work with out of
School Adolescents
Facilitative strategies to be adopted by
Governments to promote civil society
work with adolescents
Group I Chaired By Ms. Jameela Ali Khalid, Maldives
Group II Chaired By Mr. Ehsanur Rahman
11:00 11:30 Hrs TEA/COFFEE BREAK
11:30 13:00 hrs Finalizing 10 key recommendations for re-
sponding to the 21st century learning needs
of Adolescents.
Chair Mr. Anil Bordia, Chairperson, FED,
13:00 14:00 Hrs LUNCH BREAK
14:00 14:10 hrs Presenting key recommendations: Ms. Shub-
hangi Sharma, UNESCO New Delhi and Ms
Randeep Kaur, Plan India
14:10 14:15 hrs Some observations on the three day pro-
ceedings : Ms. Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive
Director, Plan India
14:15 14:30 hrs Response from the Government; Shri Jagmo-
han Singh Raju, Joint Secretary and Director
General NLMA, MHRD
14:30 14:40 hrs Response from the Government: Mr. A.K.
Upadhyay, Secretary (Youth Affairs)
14:40 14:50 hrs Response from the Government: Ms. Anshu
Vaish Secretary (SE&L), Department of
School Education & Literacy, MHRD
15:00 15:10 hrs Way forward and Vote of Thanks by Shri Ar-
moogum Parsuramen, Director and UNESCO
Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives
and Sri-Lanka
List of Participants
S.No. Title Name of Participants Organization/Department/
1 Ms A.L.P. Weerasinghe Deputy Director of Education, North
Western Province, Sri Lanka
2 Mr A.K. Upadhyay Secretary (Youth Affairs),MHRD India
3 Dr Amit Kumar Shrivastava School of Good Governance, Bhopal India
4 Mr Anil Bordia FED, Rajasthan India
5 Ms Anjali Agarwal State Resource Centre, Indore India
6 Mr Anjan Kumar Dahal CeLRRd Nepal
7 Ms Anshu Vaish MHRD India
8 Ms Aradhana Yadav UNOPS - Norway India Partnership
Initiativ, Jaipur
9 Ms Asheema Singh National Institute of Open Schooling India
10 Ms Ashraf Patel Pravah India
11 Mr D.M.C. Dissanayake Plan Srilanka Srilanka
12 Mr Deep Purakayastha PRAJAAK India
13 Mr Deepak Sharma Ministry of Education. Kathmandu Nepal
14 Ms Dipta Bhog NIRANTAR India
15 Mr Ehsansur Rahman Dhaka Ahsania Mission Bangladesh
16 Mr Farog Ahmed Jami Care India India
17 Ms G.Y Wijesooriya Deputy Director of Education, Non
Formal Education, Ministry of Edu-
cation, Srilanka
18 Ms Geeta Narayan United Nations Population Fund India
19 Ms Gopika Bakshi The YP Foundation, New Delhi India
20 Mr Gurmurthy Kasinathan IT for Change (ITfC), Bengaluru India
21 Mr Hasrat Ajjumend Grass root India Trust, Delhi India
22 Ms Havovi Wadia Lehar, Mumbai India
23 Ms Indrani Bhattacharya Child in Need Institute (CINI) India
24 Ms Indrani Sinha Sanlaap India
25 Ms Jameela Ali Khalid Maldives National Commission For
26 Ms JamyengCheoden Bhutan National Commission For
27 Ms Jaya United Nations Population Fund India
28 Dr K. Sekar NIMHANS, Bengaluru India
29 Mr K.B Subramaniam Pandit Sunderlal Sharma Central
Institute of Vocational Education
30 Mr Kamal Herath Plan Srilanka Srilanka
31 Ms Kavita Ratna Concerned for working children India
32 Ms Lakshmi Hariharan Srushti, Bengaluru India
S.No. Title Name of Participants Organization/Department/
33 Ms Madhu Ranjan United Sates Agency for Interna-
tional Development New Delhi/
34 Ms Madhura Dutta banglanatak dot com, Delhi India
35 Ms Manidipa Ghosh Child in Need Institute (CINI) India
36 Ms Mirna Guha Sanjog, kolkata India
37 Mr Mohamed Hashim Executive Ofcer, Maldives poly-
technic. Maldives
38 Mr Murali CAP Hyderadabad India
39 Mr Murari Lal Thanvi Doosra Dashak India
40 Ms Nivedita Gupta Social Statistics Division, Ministry of
Statistics & P.I. , Govt. of India
41 Dr P. Sivakumar RGNIYD, Chennai India
42 Mr P.B.Sajeev Aide et Action International - South
Asia, Chennai
43 Ms Pallavi Patel CHETNA India
44 Mr Pankaj CYSD India
45 Mr Pawan Gupta Society for Integrated Development
of Himalayas (SIDH)
46 Ms Pritha Ghosh India
47 Ms Ragini Sahai Department of Applied Science &
Humanities, Galgotia College of
Engineering & Technology, Delhi
48 Ms Raja Rajeshwari Reddy Foundation India
49 Mr Rameshwar Lal Urmul Lunkaransar India
50 Mr Rezaul Quader Director General, Bureu of Non for-
mal education, Ministry of primary
and mass education, Dhaka Bangla-
51 Dr S. Tajamal Hussain Shah Deputy Educational Adviser Minis-
try of Education, Islamabad
52 Ms Sadhna Jain Department of Family and Child
Welfare, Aditi Mahavidyalaya, Uni-
versity of Delhi, Delhi
53 Ms Sangita Puhan Plan India (South India ofce) India
54 Mr Sanjeev Rai SAVE THE CHILDREN India
55 Ms Sehba Hussain BETI Foundation India
56 Ms Shabnam Aziz Doosra Dashak India
57 Mr Shafqat Ali, Assistant Educational Adviser, Minis-
try of Education, Islamabad
58 Md Shahidul Islam Deputy Secretary, MOE, Dhaka Bangladesh
59 Ms Shailaja Vincent Plan India (South India ofce) India
60 Ms Shanti Menon ERU India
S.No. Title Name of Participants Organization/Department/
61 Ms Shereen Akhter UNESCO Dhaka Ofce Bangladesh
62 Dr Shubhra Dwivedi Socio Economic and Education De-
velopment Society (SEEDS)
63 Ms Shushmita Dutt Raipur India
64 Ms Suman Sachdeva Care India India
65 Ms Suniti Neogy CARE INDIA India
66 Mr Tap Raj Pant UNESCO Ofce in Kathmandu Nepal
67 Ms Tashi Pelzam Bhutan National Commission For
68 Mr Ubaidullah India
69 Ms Uma Ainapure SAVE Foundation, Sangli Maharash-
70 Ms Upma Urivi Vikram National Center for
71 Ms Urmila Sarkar UNICEF India Country Ofce India
72 Dr Vanita Nayak Mukherjee Ford Foundation India
73 Ms Vimala Ramachandran Educational Research Unit India
74 Mr Vishnath Koliwad Family Planning Association of India
75 Mr Armoogum Parsuramen UNESCO - New Delhi India
76 Ms Bhagyashri Dengle Plan India - Delhi ofce India
77 Dr. Shubhangi Sharma UNESCO - New Delhi India
78 Ms Randeep Kaur Plan India - Delhi ofce India
79 Ms Alison Macbeth UNESCO - New Delhi India
80 Ms Nidhi Chawla UNESCO - New Delhi India
81 Ms Shreya Baruah UNESCO - New Delhi India
82 Ms Lily Vishwanathan Plan India - Delhi ofce India
83 Ms S. Sandhya Plan India - Delhi ofce India
84 Ms Shompa Mohanty Plan India - Delhi ofce India
85 Ms Rituparna Bose Plan India - Delhi ofce India
86 Ms Poonam Rajput Plan India - Delhi ofce India
87 Ms Anubhuti Patra Plan India - Delhi ofce India
88 Ms Neelima Pandey Plan India - Delhi ofce India
89 Mr Pravin Jha Plan India - Delhi ofce India
90 Ms Vineeta Sirohi NUEPA India
91 Ms Rajani Pravah India
S.No. Title Name of Participants Organization/Department/
92 Mr. Shailendra Sigdal UNESCO India
93 Mr. Mohammad Ahsan CEDPA India
94 Mr. Vijay P. Goel MHRD India
95 Mr. Sanjay MHRD India
96 Ms. Sanjana Das Child Fund India
97 Mr. Venkatesh UNICEF India Country Ofce India
98 Mr. Binay Pattanayak UNICEF India Country Ofce India
99 Mr. Ritesh Datta SAVE THE CHILDREN India
100 Mr. R.K. Srinivasan Plan India - Delhi ofce India
101 Mr. Vibhuti Pandey Plan India - Delhi ofce India
102 Dr. Colin Yarham HEPI India
103 Mr. S.K. Goyel UNESCO Chronicle India
104 Dr. V.S. Mehrohtra PSSCIVE India
105 Mr. Vedprakash Gautam Plan India - Delhi ofce India
106 Ms. Nidhi Sen Public Interest Foundation India
107 Ms. Clair Noronha Collaborative Research and
108 Mr. Amit Chakraborty Plan India-Delhi ofce India
109 Mr. Gordhan Singh Plan India-Delhi ofce India
110 Ms. Chhavi Vora Consultant India
I3 March ZII
NeweIhi, India
SeIected Best Practices, Report ol the Conlerence
and Recommendations
United Nations
Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization
South Asian RegionaI Conlerence
South Asian RegionaI Conlerence
Responding to the needs ol 0ut 0l SchooI AdoIescents
xperiences ol South Asian Countries
Responding to the needs ol 0ut 0l SchooI AdoIescents
xperiences ol South Asian Countries
P|an India
F-12, Kai|ash Ce|eny, New De|hi - 110048
Tel . 1-11-46558484
Fax . 1-11-4655844J
Email . lanindiaQlanindia.org
Website . www.lanindia.org
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