FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHEELS GLOBAL FOUNDATION (WGF) AND PRATHAM PARTNER
TO PROMOTE GIRLS EDUCATION IN INDIA
Pratham’s Second Chance Program Assists Female School Dropouts through the Provision of Digital Learning
WASHINGTON, DC — October 17, 2016, WHEELS Global Foundation, a nonprofit organization that is a pioneer in applying technology to uplift rural communities, and Pratham, one of India’s largest educational nonprofits, which provides quality education to underprivileged children, announced a partnership to promote girls' education in underserved communities in five states in India.
An alarming 80% of girls in India leave school before completing eighth grade, due to persisting socioeconomic and cultural norms. The WGF grant will help enhance Pratham’s Second Chance program, which assists female school dropouts over the age of 14 in completing their secondary school education and earning their 10th Standard diploma, through the provision of digital learning resources.
Presently, Pratham operates 33 centers connected to 200 learning sites in nine Indian states: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana, aimed at supporting female dropouts. The partnership will introduce digital learning solutions in five of these states, reaching 1,700 students. Laptops and tablets with pre-loaded Pratham content in the areas of Science, Math and English as well as “Spoken Tutorials,” a digital educational tool which will be made accessible to students at Pratham learning sites, which typically caters to 25-30 students, and loaned to groups of students so they can access class lessons on their own time and at their own pace, while also becoming familiar with digital technology in general.
“We are honored to have the support of the WHEELS Global Foundation. By augmenting the girls’ education program with access to interactive and engaging digital content, we hope to provide them with a more robust learning experience and improve outcomes,” said Head of Pratham’s Second Chance program Renu Seth, who is in the US to promote girls’ education. Seth added that the technology will also help develop Pratham’s infrastructure: “We spend an inordinate amount of time and resources building capacity. There is a high demand for teachers in rural areas who can teach secondary school content but attrition is also high. Having the technology in place to support teaching training is an added benefit and will greatly improve Pratham’s ability to support these young women.”
The Second Chance program offers females an alternative education model that engages them in a safe, supportive environment and helps them obtain their diploma, improving their prospects for higher education and employment. Since its inception in 2011, the program has impacted the lives of more than 18,000 girls and women, with pass percentages for enrollees reaching 88% in the 2015-16 school years. "We are thrilled to partner with Pratham on their Second Chance initiative to assist the young dropout girls,” says Hiten Ghosh, President of WGF. “Using digital teaching tools allows the young adults to learn at their own pace, which is important,” he adds.
Learn more about the Second Chance program at www.prathamusa.org/program/girls-education/.
About WHEELS Global Foundation (WGF): WHEELS Global Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that provides technological solutions to global challenges in six areas; water, health, education, energy, lifestyles, and sustainability. The non-profit organization’s recent successes include striking water at 675’ after months of drilling for clean water in Tamliyar village in Barmer district of Rajasthan, India. They have provided clean drinking water to over 50,000 rural villagers in India thus far, transforming 14 acres of barren land into a productive land of abundance and delivering healthcare monitoring to 60,000 households working with their collaborator Sevak Foundation. They have also been able to provide sanitary toilets to villagers with the help of their partner; Habitat for Humanity – India Builds. For information on how to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit: www.WHEELSGlobalFoundation.org
Established in the slums of Mumbai in 1995, Pratham is now one of India’s largest non-governmental education organizations, having affected the lives of more than 45 million underprivileged children in the past two decades. To achieve its mission of “every child in school and learning well,” Pratham develops practical solutions to address gaps in the education system and works in collaboration with India’s governments, communities, educators and industry to increase learning outcomes and influence education policy.
Pratham USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a consistent four-star rating from Charity Navigator that seeks to raise awareness and mobilize financial resources for its work in India. For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit prathamusa.org.
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