Source Name : Breakthrough

Category Name : General

Breakthrough partners with Co-Impact for Gender Transformative School Education in India

Updated: 20/12/2022

•  The partnership aims to champion for a gender transformative government  education system in the country 

•  The programme will reach out to over 4 million adolescents with a gender equity curriculum in the states of Punjab & Odisha

•  In the initial phase, over 28,000 schools in Odisha and 6000 secondary schools in Punjab will be targeted 

•  Training will be imparted to 66,000 teachers in the initial phase to bring gender equitable behaviour in the classrooms 

New Delhi, 20 Dec, 2022: Breakthrough - an organisation working to make violence against women and girls unacceptable – today announced its partnership with Co-Impact to bring about gender transformative school education in India. Co-Impact is a global organization which brings together philanthropists, foundations, local advocates and private sector partners from around the world to pool funding that supports efforts to drive sustainable change in health, education, and economic opportunity - in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Breakthrough first launched its partnership in 2020, in the Indian state of Punjab to introduce gender equity curriculum in social studies textbooks for classes VI to VIII, and trained 250 master trainers. Currently, the curriculum is part of the syllabus in over 6000 schools in the state. In August 2022, a similar programme was launched in Odisha where an integrated gender equity curriculum is set to be introduced in around 28,000 secondary schools in early 2023 and teacher training will follow. Additionally, Breakthrough will use evidence and data from its projects in Punjab and Odisha to scale up and expand the programme to other Indian states. 

“Breakthrough is mainstreaming gender into government school education in a way that is practical and relevant. We are very excited to be partnering with Co-Impact in our efforts to promote gender sensitive behaviours from a young age. Co-Impact’s specialist expertise in addressing systems change will definitely help us achieve lasting impact in India,” said Sohini Bhattacharya , CEO, Breakthrough. 

 “Our target over the next 5 years is to work with education administrators and teachers in India, engaging with relevant stakeholders for collective action. We will also create awareness at national level on the importance of having a gender transformative school system for a greater uptake across the country at scale. We will support this with technological solutions that will make the resources available across the country.” added Ms.  Bhattacharya.

Breakthrough’s gender sensitive curriculum will contribute towards improving learning outcomes committed under SDG-4 and SDG-5 which is to promote positive gender attitudes and behaviours of students, teachers and parents. Further, it will promote the aspiration of girls in relation to their education, employment and self-esteem, contributing to elimination of gender based violence. 

India has made significant strides in enrolment of girls into school but they continue to drop out on attaining puberty because of restrictions on mobility, rampant sexual harassment, and the high burden of unpaid care work that falls disproportionately on women and girls. Though girls and boys have broadly the same NER (Net-enrolment ratio) at the secondary school level at 60 and 59% respectively, their reasons for dropping out are vastly different. Boys drop out of school to join the workforce, while girls are pushed into confining domestic roles restricted to household chores, and eventual early marriage. Consequently, on an average for 100 girls, 98 girls are enrolled in primary school, only 60 finish grade X and only 33 finish grade XII.

Co-Impact recently announced over US $161 million in grants for 34 initiatives across Africa, Asia, and Latin America to help make systems more just and inclusive whilst advancing gender equality and women’s leadership. Breakthrough has been awarded the grant under Co-Impact’s Gender Fund that was launched in March 2022. The Gender Fund aims provide funding to predominantly women-led, locally-rooted organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America with long-term funding. 

Breakthrough is partnering with J-Pal (The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab) in this project, and the programme implementation partners will include Kaivalya Education Foundation, Saajha, and Samarthya.

(Disclaimer: The above content is a press release. PTI takes no editorial responsibility for the same.)