Oct 11, 2016

Wheels Global Foundation and Pratham Partner to Promote Girls' Education in India


An alarming 80% of girls in India leave school before completing eighth grade, due to persisting socioeconomic and cultural norms.  A grant from the WHEELS Global Foundation will help Pratham enhance our Second Chance program, which assists female school dropouts over the age of 14 in completing their secondary school education and earning their 10th Standard diploma, through the provision of digital learning resources.

Presently, Pratham operates 33 centers connected to 200 learning sites in nine Indian states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana) aimed at supporting female dropouts. The WHEELS partnership will introduce digital learning solutions in five of these states, reaching 1,700 students. Laptops and tablets pre-loaded with Pratham content in the areas of science, math and English as well as “Spoken Tutorials,” a digital educational tool, will be made accessible to students at Pratham learning sites, which typically cater to 25-30 students, and loaned to groups of students so they can access class lessons on their own time and at their own pace, while also becoming familiar with digital technology in general.

“We are honored to have the support of the WHEELS Global Foundation. By augmenting the girls’ education program with access to interactive and engaging digital content, we hope to provide them with a more robust learning experience and improve outcomes,” said the head of Pratham’s Second Chance program Renu Seth, who is in the US to promote girls’ education. Seth added that the technology will also help develop Pratham’s infrastructure: “We spend an inordinate amount of time and resources building capacity. There is a high demand for teachers in rural areas who can teach secondary school content but attrition is also high. Having the technology in place to support teaching training is an added benefit and will greatly improve Pratham’s ability to support these young women.”

The Second Chance program offers females an alternative education model that engages them in a safe, supportive environment and helps them obtain their diploma, improving their prospects for higher education and employment. Since its inception in 2011, the program has impacted the lives of more than 18,000 girls and women, with pass percentages for enrollees reaching 88% in the 2015-16 school year. “We are thrilled to partner with Pratham on their Second Chance initiative to assist the young dropout girls,” says Hiten Ghosh, President of WHEELS. “Using digital teaching tools allows the young adults to learn at their own pace, which is important,” he adds.

Learn more about the Second Chance program.