Eleven girls go back to school
Eleven girls between the age of 13 and 16 from Mushahar community in Saptari had stopped going to school many years ago. Following some of their friends who dropped out of the school, the girls lost interest in education. Their parents did not protest as having them at home meant an extra hand to help in earning a living.
A regular monitoring visit to the area showed that the majority of girls who were not in school belonged to the mothers who were part of Save the Children supported farming group. The group carried out an intensive interaction in the village to learn what is stopping these girls from going back to school.
The girls said that they had been away from school for so long that they were hesitant to start from grade one. They found it embarrassing to be in the same classroom as their younger neighbors. Some of them did not have proper uniforms or school supplies. In addition to that, the parents shared that the loss of crop in last year’s flood left a severe dent in their income, making it more challenging to send their children back to school.
As a solution, Save the Children provided the girls with two pairs of school uniform, a set of stationeries and a tuition class for six months to bridge the gap in their studies. Meanwhile, their parents encouraged them to work hard and fostered an environment at home to enable them to focus on school.
At the tuition classes, the girls are thriving – the tutor is making them feel comfortable and learning language and mathematics. “Though I was hesitant in the beginning, I am now comfortable in school as nobody made fun of us”, says Punita, who wants to be a teacher.
The girls are also the members of a child club in which they are learning about child rights, child protection, importance of saving and other life skills. “The sessions are interesting. One of my favorite sessions so far is the one where we learnt to understand ourselves”, says Lalita.
The girls are now enrolled in grade four as per the decision of the school authority. With the school’s support and the special tuition class to help them, the girls are expected to catch up on years of missed classes.
Sponsorship Program is an effective way to achieve lasting, positive change in the lives of children and their families. The program aims to ensure that children are educated and healthy through the use of a proven approach to design, implementation and measurement, known as “The Common Approach to Sponsorship-funded Programming” or “the Common Approach” (the acronym “CASP” is also used). It has four subthemes: Basic Education (BE), Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), School Health and Nutrition (SHN) and Adolescent Development/ Livelihood (AD/Livelihood).