Our learning centres in India work with Dalit children to support their learning and enable them to integrate back into government schools, where they can continue their education. Read about how they've been doing just that in recent months.
As members of the lowest rank of Indian society, Dalits in India face discrimination at almost every level, from access to education and medical facilities to restrictions on where they can live and what jobs they can have.
Dalit children often struggle to access government schools; where they can face discrimination from their peers as well as teachers. As a result, they find it hard to keep up with their studies. Often their parents can’t afford to send them to school, or they are forced to drop out to work and support their families.
Through our partner organisation, we support 31 learning centres for over 1,000 Dalit children in and around Patna. These centres are safe spaces, which offer supplementary education and support for children who have either dropped out of mainstream school, or are struggling to keep up in class.
If for any reason they might have stopped their education; I would appeal to them to join our centre and restart their education.
Education is very important for a girl to establish herself and grow. I am very much committed that my centre should function regularly without any issues. So I also go around with my teacher when she goes around the Mohalla to call the children for classes.
I take interest in getting children together to play after the class hours. I enjoy playing together. It also helps in building better and stronger friendships among the children when they play games together".
Children like Puja, attend our centres, which are safe, colourful spaces, where they are not only taught subjects like maths and Hindi, but also learn about their rights. The idea of these learning centres is that the children can eventually graduate back into mainstream school to continue their studies.
In the last few months, we were thrilled to learn that 77 learners have graduated from the learning centres. 13 students were admitted to the local government school, and 28 were admitted to various private schools in the area.
The remaining 36 students that have graduated from the centres were already registered in school, but came to our learning centres for extra support so they could keep up in class.
The work of the learning centres has been so successful in two communities - Stalin Nagar and Banskothi, that all of their children have now been admitted to mainstream school.
As government school provision for younger children in these areas has improved, our learning centres will now be relocated to areas where the need is greater.
View the slideshow below to see our learning centres in action...