We created this program recognising that many research projects have shown there is a learning gap in many Government schools. Children learning at grade 5 are only able to complete grade 3 work and so on.
Further there has been an alarming % of failures at grade-10 board exam level across Haryana and we have started with primary school classes as that’s where the problems start. Haryana government recently established a ‘zero tolerance for cheating’ in exams and which has shocked the system that was long used to passing children on basis of payments.
The program has been designed with input from NUEPA and DIET Gurgaon. We are base-lining the educational levels of 150 children in 5 government schools in collaboration with the government of Haryana.
We have hired 5 female year 12 graduates, from the villages the program is operating in. These young women have been served by our Blossom Bus program for some years and after which they have broken many barriers and glass ceilings along the way to become the first to complete year 12 and some of these girls are now in College!
We have established the EQU+ program as a pilot study with the intention of presenting the results to the government of Haryana to inform the rolling out of a program at scale. A program like this is required for ensuring all children are being brought up to standard and there is provision for it in the RTE Act, recognising there will be a lot of gaps in the government school system while it is getting back into shape after being left to atrophy for some 20 years and since the government centralized control of education.
Results of this pilot will be collated after March 31, 2017 after which White Lotus Trust will publish the results for dissemination among our colleagues and RTE activists.
Tata Trust and Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) Fund White Lotus Trust as one of six across India selected for our work in Gender Empowerment programs.
From 30 of the most eminent Civil Society Organisations across India, White Lotus Trust was chosen as one of 6 to receive the grant, “Based on their significant contributions and factors such as high quality of work, and despite their recent entry, their enthusiasm towards achievement of their goals in their chosen project.
Prof Jaqueline Bhaba Professor of Practice of Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health and FXB Director of Research – 2016