BHUBANESWAR: An innovative project to provide quality
education to 3,600 girls in Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) in the State was launched by international voluntary organisation
CARE India in partnership with STEMCOR group here on Saturday.
The project - Leaders of Tomorrow - will be launched in 36 KGBVs, 26 in Mayurbhanj and 10 in Keonjhar, in association with Orissa Primary
Education Programme Authority (OPEPA).
The initiative proposes to work with the teachers and the management committees in KGBV schools, increase their understanding of the vulnerabilities
of marginalised girl children, strengthen linkages between local communities
and the schools. Director, State chapter of CARE, Basant Mohanty said
objective of the project was to increase the number of girls completing primary schools by ensuring quality education in KGBVs and promote girls’
leadership by encouraging their participation in extracurricular and civic activities.
He said female literacy rate in places like Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj is very low. “Major reasons behind low literacy rate are poor economic background, large family size, girls assisting mothers in household chores, distance of
school from villages, teachers’ absenteeism, language problem and lack of accommodation,” he said.
The project which would be in force till 2014, will be managed
by an eight-member team. The programme officer based at Mayurbhanj will coordinate field-level activities and four-member technical team will provide support to teachers.
Terming the project a laudable initiative by CARE, OPEPA State Project Director Krishna Gopal Mohapatra said there was a need to document
and evaluate innovative approaches to improve the quality of education of KGBV students from a rights-based perspective.
“There is also a need to address socio-cultural issues through intensive engagement with parents and community leaders to promote child rights
and the long-term benefits of education,” he said. Leaders of Tomorrow is the third initiative of CARE in Orissa under its Girls’ Education Programme.