New Delhi : Over 15,000 young women have been enrolled at 15 community-based Digital Learning Centres — an initiative launched in November 2015 to provide access to quality education and prevent adolescent girls from dropping out of schools in urban slum clusters of Delhi and NCR.
The centres help the women learn in the comfort of their own backyard without travelling long distances and fear for their safety, said a spokesperson of Plan India, an NGO that runs the project in collaboration with Ericsson.
Under the programme, girls aged between 15 and 25 years are being educated using Information and Communications Technology on subjects like English, mathematics and sciences apart from human rights, gender, personality development, and reproductive health. They also get pre-vocational career counselling.
The centres are located in resettlement colonies in Dwarka, Holambi Kalan and Rangpuri Pahadi and are part of the Delhi government’s Chunauti 2018 Scheme that aims to improve the scholastic levels of weaker students in the capital.
Each of the 15 centres has a facilitator — an educator who helps manage the large digital board through which a teacher interacts simultaneously with children in all the centres.
Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India, said: “Plan India has been implementing programmes that engage, equip and enable girls of all ages to acquire adequate skills and knowledge to succeed in life. This innovative partnership will help young women from our communities access best-in-class learning opportunities within their own communities.”
Plan India said child protection is a key priority at all the Digital Learning Centres where education is imparted adhering to strict policies and procedures.
To make the programme more popular, enrolment drives are being conducted in a sustained manner. So far, 46,000 parents and community members have been sensitised on the importance of girls’ education through community meetings and parents’ orientation sessions. Girls who have studied here have a changed mindset and are willing to pursue further studies, the spokesperson said.
When 15-year-old Nidhi joined a digital learning centre near Dwarka in April last year, she was scared of exams because of fear of failure. But no longer now.
“I have learnt to be focused towards my education due to which I got marks more than my expectation. Now I don’t have any regret in leaving my private tuitions for Digital Learning Centres. I like this learning methodology and will keep coming here to learn more,” Nidhi said, according to Plan India.