As the largest education charity in India, Pratham operates in 20 states and has helped over 36 million children to date. POP will support Pratham’s work in Punjab and Gujarat
Pratham was founded in 1994 by UNICEF and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to help educate children living in local slums. Now, as the largest education charity in India, it operates in 20 states and has helped over 36 million children to date. POP will support Pratham's work in Punjab and Gujarat.
Pratham's mission is to improve the quality of education in India and ensure all children not only attend but also thrive in school by working in collaboration with government, local communities, parents, teachers and volunteers. It strives to improve children’s education in India and also works with youth, helping provide employment and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Pratham 'Read India'
The problem: low learning levels in early years have resulted in more than 50% of grade 5 students not being able to read a text meant for grade 1 after four to five years in school. Although school enrolment levels are high, India is home to 40% of the world's illiterate.
The solution: Pratham's flagship campaign 'Read India' was launched in 2007 to help improve literacy levels in children. Mainly targeting those aged between 6 and 14 years, Pratham sets literacy targets for each school grade and works with existing schools to set up short, intensive learning camps. Children are taught in groups based on their ability, not age, and a wide variety of books are now available in Pratham-aided state schools. The number of children reached through Read India is now 36.4 million.
Pratham 'Second Chance'
The problem: a staggering 70% of students in India drop out before grade 10, and the level of girl dropouts is even higher.
The solution: a 15-month programme. Girls and women (aged 16–25 years) completing 'Second Chance' first enrol on a foundation course before spending a week at an intensive local training centre once a month. Here subject specialists run intensive lessons. A local tutor then guides each girl/woman through homework and lessons daily to ensure an understanding of the secondary school curriculum.
The problem: only 5% of the 250 million youths in India obtain formal vocational training.
The solution: the Pratham Institute includes specific skill-based education courses and entrepreneurship programmes. Information about jobs, access to training, certification of skills and provision of subsequent employment or entrepreneurship opportunities are also provided at the institute. Residential training centres enable both rural and semi-urban youth to enrol in these courses. Currently, 90% of Pratham Institute graduates find work after their training.
The First Step
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