PROOF OF CONCEPT: EGG’s first large-scale program was in elementary schools in Pali District in Rajasthan, a poor and highly traditional state. Its exceptional results showed EGG’s model does work to transform schools, engage communities and girls themselves, and empower girls to learn and lead.
The program in Rajasthan grew quickly. EGG signed an MOU with Government and started the program in 50 schools in 2005. After promising results, Government asked EGG to expand to 500 elementary schools in 2007 and to all Pali’s 2342 schools in 2009. EGG’s Program Director, Anjula Tyagi, designed the program and managed it until she went to graduate school in 2006. EGG then hired Safeena Husain as EGG’s Program Director.
The program followed EGG’s basic model. Hundreds of community meetings were held, SMCs were elected and carried out projects, and Bal Sabhas (Girls’ Parliaments for elementary schools) began. Enrollment and attendance improved, but learning remained weak, as teachers relied on rote learning. EGG added an innovation: a pilot in 30 schools offering teachers three months’ training in creative learning techniques (CLT).
To implement the program as it expanded, EGG partnered with a new Indian NGO, the Foundation to Educate Girls Globally (FEGG). FEGG’s capacity gradually expanded. It now operates independently as Educate Girls (EG)(www.educategirls.ngo) led by Safeena Husain.
IMPACT: Almost all girls enrolled and learning spiked. After two years, in 2009 EGG evaluated its program in 500 elementary schools with 37,000 girls.
*90% of out-of-school girls enrolled.
*Enrollment in EGG schools reached 98% versus 90% in nonEGG schools.
*Math scores with “Creative Learning Techniques” doubled, from 26% to 57% of students who could do simple sums and subtractions.
*Half achieved math competence, versus one-fifth in nonEGG schools.
*Reading in Hindi and English also spiked.
*School Management Committees in EGG schools completed 280 Whole School Development Plans, versus 83 in non-EGG schools, and their contributions grew seven-fold.
EGG’s program costs about $2 per child per year.