The benefits of girls’ education come mainly from secondary school. Concern has grown globally about persistent weak learning in secondary school and dropouts particularly of girls.
In 2013 EGG signed an MOU with Government in Uttarakhand and started working in Government secondary schools in two disadvantaged Districts: USN and Hardwar. This effort built on strong earlier successes EGG had in elementary schools in Uttarakhand and Rajasthan (see below). To implement its program, EGG partnered with an Indian NGO, Educate Girls Globally Foundation (EGGF).
Soon girls who had never spoken publicly before soon stood up for education.
EGG in USN District:
In 2013 EGG first launched in 50 secondary schools with some 25,000 students. Nearly 70 percent of our current students are girls — parents often send boys to private school when they can. In 2013 many girls still dropped out and married early, which is less common now in EGG schools.
EGG pursues its model, prioritizing strong Girls’ Parliaments while building community support and strengthening SMCs so that girls can learn.
IMPACT: Enrollment climbed, learning surged, and girls became leaders.
More Girls Stay in School: EGG program schools retained nearly 99% of girls enrolled in Grades 10-12, versus the statewide rate of about 90%.
Huge Learning Gains:
*By 2017, 94% of students in EGG program schools passed national 12th grade exams versus two-thirds in nonEGG schools
*When EGG started four years earlier, only three-fifths of students passed.
*Almost 60% of girls In EGG program schools got extra help from teachers, about twice the proportion in nonEGG schools.
Girls’ Parliaments Lead:
*Girls’ Parliaments met in all schools and took off, gaining widespread community support for their achievements.
*Promoted enrollment and attendance.
*Increased learning by encouraging cooperation with teachers and use of books, computers, and science labs.
*Spoke out on violence and joined with SMCs and police to improve safety.
*Discouraged child marriage.
*Shattering precedent, advocated publicly for girls’ education.
To address persistent health issues, EGG started a hand washing program in 25 schools run by Girls’ Parliaments. EGG offered information and hand-washing stations with liquid soap, better toilet facilities, and trash cans.
*Hand-washing proved so popular that schools ran out of soap.
*Health practices changed. Two-thirds of students learned to wash hands regularly (perhaps more if they had not run out of soap), up from one-tenth.
*Schools not participating in this program started their own, and the District began providing soap in all schools.
*Girls improved menstrual management and came to school more regularly.
Stronger community support:
School Management Committees (SMCs) in EGG schools in Uttarakhand accomplished far more than in non-EGG schools.
*SMCs in EGG program schools competed 640 Whole School Development Plans, five times as many as in nonEGG control schools.
*SMCs improved bathrooms and acquired more books and computers, so that EGG schools were better equipped than non-EGG schools.
*SMCs promoted good school management and worked closely with teachers.
*SMCs encouraged parents to make sure their children had time to study.
Cost: EGG’s program in USN in Uttrakhand cost roughly $5 per student per year. Government contributed teacher time and facilities.
EGG in HARDWAR DISTRICT
In 2015 EGG started work in 50 secondary schools in Hardwar District, a poor and culturally conservative area. Progress was slower, but after two years’ effort, Hardwar is changing.
EGG has pursued its basic model. Building community support for educating girls proved difficult as early marriage and female seclusion are more widespread. Many girls drop out of school. Meetings were held for several months before consensus was reached. SMCs were also weaker. But change is coming. Most schools have Girls’ Parliaments and take steps to support girls’ education. More girls are enrolling. Some girls from Hardwar attended USN’s Girls’ Parliament Conference. Shortly after USN asked EGG to start in all its schools, Hardwar asked the same thing! Thus EGG could expand to over 500,000 students. But EGG has decided to focus now on establishing the program solidly in Hardwar’s first 50 schools.