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NetIP Scholarship for Girl Students 2009

We thank NetIP-NY Chapter for their support to Lend-A-Hand India's Girls Scholarship Program for job and life skills training during 2009. Below is the brief report on how the grant was used and reactions from some of the beneficiaries. (Download the report)



Background:
NetIP New York chapter, in 2009, supported Lend-a-Hand India's Job and Life Skill development Program - Project PLAN 100. Project PLAN 100 is about equipping boys and girls from 100 rural high schools with job and life skills. The curriculum consists of four sections viz. Engineering, Energy and Environment, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and Home and Health. The method of teaching is interactive and based on practical and projects in the school and around the community where they live. The boys and girls in grade 8th to grade 10th participate in the program.

During 2009, with support from NetIP, Lend A Hand India offered scholarship for 310 girl students from six rural schools in Maharashtra, namely

- Kolheshvar High School, Tandulwadi
- Tribal Residential School, Pachgaon
- Tribal Residential School, Lohara
- Yadavbaba High School, Shindavane
- Shardatai Pawar High Scool, Kem " Hirkani High School, Gawadewadi

The girls form approximately 45% of the class enrolment.

The need for Girls Scholarships program:
The distinguishing factor in this program is, it is gender neutral. Traditionally, girls and especially those in the rural areas, are deprived of vocational education due to prevalence of gender biases stemming from the age old concepts of 'man's work and woman's work'. Rural girls face various socio-economic barriers which restricts their educational opportunities. If given a chance, high drop out rates due to puberty, economic backwardness, dropping out to care for younger siblings or housework create obstacles in their development.

Research shows that providing skill based vocational education to girls can equip them with skills which in turn will increase their employability. Moreover, skill based vocational training can enable them to come out of the traditional gendered ideas of work and place them on equal footing with boys.

Though, skill based vocational education has been introduced in many parts of the world and in India for girls, arguably it focuses on fields which are traditionally stereotyped as suitable for women. Such gender stereotyping is common and through this only 'softer' courses such as tailoring, cooking or baking, knitting, food processing are accessible to girls. Plan 100 program breaks these gender myths and offers the girls more scientific, technological skills which are job oriented.

Impact:

Lend-A-Hand, through various ongoing interactions with the students, has been observing visible impact of the program among the girls. They are confident and they can learn and do all those things in the class that boys can do, they demonstrate their newly learned skills at home and thereby evoke appreciation and admiration from the parents and neighbors. Participation in the program has helped open wider options for future learning. Some are trying to negotiate their way with the parents later on about the choice of education they want to make, etc.

Following are some first hand reactions of the girls undergoing the program:


Name: Shahista Majid, Class: 8th grade
"I really like what I learn in this program and I enjoy a lot during our classes. I made hanger and shoe rack in the fabrication shop. I came to Engineering Section from Home and Health Section and also tried my hand at welding. I really like all the four sections of course."

Name: Puja Nikhar, Class: 8th grade
"I really enjoy learning new things in this class. In Home and Health section I enjoyed the tailoring classes and also made Peanut Candy with my classmates. When I went to the Engineering Section, I was a bit afraid of the welding session. I didn't know that you can weld any two things together by using welding. There was one girl in my class who was also very frightened of welding, but now that same girl teaches us."

Name: Jyoti Madhu Randhumale, Class: 8th Grade
"I really like this program. We get to learn so many new things in this subject. Our sir and Madam show us lot of practicals and I really enjoy it. I got to learn how to do farming. Also, we had a practical of Blood Group testing and I got to check my own Blood Group. In home and health section together we made many tasty food items "

Name: Poonam Pandurang Wilat, Class: 9th Grade
"I like the program because our teachers teach us really well. My favourite subject is Home and Health because we get to learn to cook many things. I made those things own my own. We get to learn about trees and how much time it takes for different seeds to grow in the Agriculture section which I find very interesting"

Name: Madhuri Vasant Vekhande, Class: 9th Grade
"This program was introduced in our school in 8th grade. I like it a lot. I got to learn about different trades and we made a lot of new things through practicals and help of our teacher. I really like the Home and Health sections and Electronics, agriculture and animal husbandry. I feel that you should include one more topic in Home and Health section i.e. Mehendi Designing (Hennah application with designs)"

Name: Smita Ganesh Patil, Class: 8th Grade
"When I was first told that we are going to learn a new subject I had no clue of what it is. Now after learning a lot of things I now understand what it is. I had lot of fun during the first introductory class. My curiosity increased with each class and I got to know the things which I did not know earlier. I got the opportunity to handle those things which I had not even seen earlier'.

I still thought think that there are a lot of trades that we should be taught. I would like to learn about Beauty Parlour, Tailoring, and also how to increase production in agriculture. I understand that it is the age of science so I would like to know science behind different mysteries. I think we need to have more equipment in the class so we can have more practicals. I would like to thank my teachers for teaching us these subjects"

Name: Monali Methwale, Class: 9th Grade
"I was curious about the program before it started and was waiting for the classes to start. When it finally began, I was very happy that I got to handle a lot of new things. We have four sections but it is the Home and Health section that I enjoy the most. I made many new food items which I had not prepared before. In the engineering section I repaired a ceiling fan. I think this program will be very helpful for me in my life "

Name: Bhagyashri Vikas Namsatkar, Class: 9th Grade
"I really like this subject including the four sections under it. I especially like the Engineering Section. When we were taken to engineering section, I tried my hand at all the practicals. We also have a topic on Computers and my teacher, Mr. Parkhi taught us computers really well. Now I can operate computer properly. I also have one complaint like other classmates that sometimes our practicals are not conducted when electricity is available; and when there is no electricity our teachers tell us that we cannot conduct practicals without it.

I would like to do more practicals. I have learned electrification and wiring in the Energy and Environment Section. My house has a lot of rats and they create menace and break the wires in the house. As I have already learned wiring, I repair it on my own. I also repaired my table fan. I think I could do all this just because I learnt it all in this class"

Name: Shehnaz Suleman Tadavi, Class: 9th Grade
"Our school has started this program to introduce us to the technology. For us girls, subjects such as Home and Health, Energy and Environment and Agriculture and Animal Husbandry are really helpful at domestic level. In Home and Health, we get to learn about different food items and how to make them. Through this, we made Nankatai (Short Bread), Peanut Candy, and Biscuits.

I remember that we were so afraid of testing the electric current. I used to fear that it might give me a shock. But now I am happy to tell you that I can test the current on my own. I think this kind of knowledge is helpful for us in our lives and that's why I really like program"

Name: Samina Asman Tadavi, Class: 9th Grade
"When I went to the Energy and Environment Section; my teacher asked me if I knew how to do wiring of the ceiling fan. I said no to which he replied that we were going to learn that in our class. I thought to myself that will I be able to learn something like that and how will he teach us something so difficult. But after he taught us the wiring techniques, I started paying more attention to the other subjects.

One day, I was returning home from the class and I had the big notebook in my hand. One friend form my village who saw me with the notebook enquired what it was. I told her that I had attended Energy and Environment class and I had jotted down notes in my notebook. When I told her about what all we learn in this program; she was quite surprised and full of disbelief. She said if you know electrical work and repairing then come home with me and repair my Battery which is not working properly. I took up her challenge and went to her house with her. I checked her battery by opening it completely. I found out that it was quite all right from inside and there was no fault in it. Then I checked its bulb and realized that the bulb needed to be changed. I took her to a nearby shop and bought the bulb. After changing the bulb, the battery started working again. My friend then really praised me and all her doubts about my ability got cleared. I really like this program. Madam, please come back to our school to talk to us"

Name: Fareeda Ismail Tadvi, Class: 10th grade
"I am studying in 10th grade and I have also opted for this new program introduced in my school. We have four sections in this course and amongst those four I like Engineering section the most. I like doing welding though, when I tried it for the first time I was a bit scared of getting hurt. My Sir, Mr. Rashid told us that if welding is done with proper equipments then there are no chances of getting hurt. Now when we wear a goggle and do welding; it is real fun! We share laughter with the boys and also tease each other. I am happy that now I can weld anything anywhere!"

Name: Karishma Anil Patil, Class: 10th grade
"I got to learn a lot of things through this program. I like checking blood groups. I can check and identify the blood group on my own. When I was in 8th grade, I even checked the blood group of my Principal. Please include tailoring as a subject under this program"

Name: Saufiya Suleman Tadvi, Class: 9th grade
"When I joined this program I thought the teachers must be really strict. But our madam turned out to be really understanding and patient. She made us comfortable and taught is in an interesting manner. Unlike other subjects, in this subject we do not have to learn the questions and answers by heart, we don't need to mug up for exams. Instead, the practicals help us in keeping the theory in our mind. Once we learn something through practical we hardly forget it. I learnt making Peanut Candy in the 8th grade and I still remember it vividly in my 9th grade. I also like welding and my fear for it now has vanished with repeated practice"

Name: Shahnaz Hussain Tadvi, Class: 9th grade
"I learnt welding in the Engineering Section. When I first started learning it; I was really afraid. But my teacher assured me that nothing would happen to me. Then slowly with practice I became well versed with welding. I constructed a Tiwai (stool or stand) by welding the material. Now all the people in my building come to me for small welding jobs. Making Tiwai (Stool or stand) is through welding is the easiest. Tiwai acts like a stand to hold the water vessel. "

 

NetIP New York chapter, in 2009, supported Lend-a-Hand India's Job and Life Skills development Program and helped pay the course fee for 31o girl students


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