Education for Adolscent Girls
Disha has a rich and varied experience in promoting education through a number of interventions. Over the years, the organisation has implemented programmes on adult literacy, improvement of elementary education, total literacy campaign in partnership with the Government of India and education for adolescent Muslim girls which is now the highlight of its education initiatives.
Ten villages are selected every three years to enable (mainly) Muslim girls pursue basic primary curriculum and finish it in three years so that they can join mainstream secondary education in state schools, if they wish to do so. Between 2009-12, approximately 366 girls enrolled in Disha’s 10 education centres across 10 villages, finishing their primary education. Most of the girls are in the age group 12 to 18, predominantly from Muslim communities and have never had any formal or other education in their lives.
This also involves positively engaging parents and the community in order to create an enabling environment for girls.
Additionally, the examples of girls who have pursued higher education and made a difference in their lives now encourage parents to think positively about their daughter’s education. Meetings with parents are regularly organised at the education centres and information such as accessing social security, land rights and employment opportunities through MNREGA is disseminated.
For continuing education Disha has established rural libraries close to education centres for girls. More than 300 children and adults can access books, newspapers and other information from these libraries. Girls from education centres have made the most of this facility and availability of books has encouraged them to read and seek information beyond the prescribed curriculum books.