Sheela* was very young when her parents left their village to look for work in the city. They have a small farm in the village but it hardly generated any income to sustain the family of eight members. So they left Sheela and her younger sister along with their grand-parents and took the eldest and youngest along.
After they left, Sheela did go to school for a few weeks but subsequently became irregular because she had to take care of her younger sister and help her grandparents with household chores and menial tasks at the farm. Although, her school was hardly 100 meters away, she dropped-out while in Grade 3.
An Educate Girls’ Field Coordinator named Geetika identified Sheela as an out of school girl during a door-to-door survey. To convince families of out of school girls and emphasise on the many benefits of educating girls, Educate Girls’ team makes several home visits. But in Sheela’s case, it was a bigger challenge, since they had to convince her grandparents who belonged to an older generation. They did not believe in the power of education and did not consider it important for the future, especially for girls. “Our children have survived, ‘WE’ have survived without an education so our grandchildren can most certainly survive without it!” says Sheela’s grandfather.
After many failed attempts to convince her grandparents, Geetika took the help of the school teacher and the community. After everybody’s combines efforts, they finally agreed to send Sheela to school and she was enrolled in Grade 5 in accordance to her age.
Although returning to school was fun for Sheela, catching up with studies had become difficult. She had completely lost touch with her studies and found it difficult to cope up. With her friends now in higher grades, she felt a little out of place. This is when Geetika came to her rescue. She paid special attention to her and taught her using the Gyan Ka Pitara kit. It has various tools that helped her gain her foundational skills, and also made it fun while learning.
When Sheela was re-enrolled, her Grades were C, D and C in Hindi, English and Math respectively (As per a baseline evaluation conducted by the organisation). She had trouble recognising alphabets in English, reading words in Hindi and recognising double-digit numbers. But after several months of hard work and teaching through the GKP kit, she is now able to read words in English, form and read sentences in Hindi and do addition in Math. Her Grades have now improved to, B, C and B in Hindi, English and Math respectively. **
*name changed to protect the identity of the minor.
**Baseline and Endline assessments are conducted internally by Educate Girls