With an aim to decrease dropout rate among adolescent girl students,the state government in collaboration with Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (Yashada) has launched a new scheme. The scheme titled Kishori Utkarsha Manch aims to empower girls studying in Classes VIII to X.
The innovative scheme developed by Yashada will be implemented in all the government-run schools.
Officials said Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has already implemented the scheme in its schools while Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is all set to launch it in a month.
PCMC started implementing the scheme from July. Currently,we are trying to find out problems faced by students and counseling them. Yashada is helping us in training teachers. Soon,we will introduce self-defense classes and vocational training, said Uttara Kamble,Education Officer,Secondary Education,PCMC.
The scheme intends to spread awareness of gender equality among girls and teachers besides \overall personality development of the girl students. The scheme divided into three phases will be on across the year.
PCMC has also roped NGOs to implement the scheme effectively.
We have formed groups that include a counselor and a field worker. These groups visit each school twice a week and interact with girls. They tell us their problems and we try to address them, said Ratna Yashwante,Director,NGO Lokmangal Foundation.
In many cases,we found out that parents have a negative attitude towards girls education even today. Most of the times,due to household work,they are asked to discontinue studies. Other major reasons include financial constraints,eve-teasing,insulting statements by male teachers,coming of age problems,etc, added Yashwante.
There are 18 schools in the area and 200 teachers.
Currently,we are giving counseling to girls. We are giving them tips on stress management and will start self-defence courses during summer and winter vacations. Vocational education will also be undertaken soon, said Yashwante.
Yashwante said in cases where there is a parental pressure on girls to discontinue education,they try to convince parents to let their ward continue studies. We are hoping to see a decrease in drop out rates among girls but it will take at least three years to analyse the outcome of the initiative, added Yashwante.
PMC Education Officer Meenakshi Raut said,This is a very good initiative. A meeting between PMC and Zilla Parishad officials was held to discuss the implementation of the scheme . We will implement the scheme in a month. The self-defence programme for girls will start by September.