Twelve Digital Learning Centres have been established by Plan India and Ericsson in some of Delhi’s most marginalised communities.
This translates to ICT access for more than 15,000 girls and young women aged between 15 - 25 over the next 3 years. Manoj Dawane, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Ericsson India has said of the partnership:
“As a leading advocate of Technology for Good, we believe in the transformative potential of ICT. Our partnership with Plan India is based on the recognition of the important link between the limited mobility of women in India and their ability to access progressive learning opportunities. By using ICT, we are providing access to learning and education to these young women within their own community.”
Bridging the education gap
In India, 46% of girls don’t reach year 10, despite the fact that for each year a girl stays in school, her income increases by 10-20%. One of the many reasons girls drop out of school is because of the distance they must travel, leading parents to fear for their daughter's’ safety.
The project with Ericsson aims to reach isolated girls and women across Delhi by making skills development affordable and available to them in a safe environment. The partnership has been conducting enrolment drives in the targeted communities to raise awareness of the centres, and sessions have been held with parents to explain the benefits of encouraging their daughters to study further.
The centres offer classes in subjects such as English, Maths, Science, Human Rights, Gender, and Reproductive and Sexual Health, as well as offering vocational career counselling.
Confidence and communication skills
One mother, who pulled her daughters out of school after safety concerns found that their isolation had a marked negative effect on their wellbeing.
“When their education was stopped midway, the girls confined themselves to our home. They stopped talking to anyone and kept to themselves. They wouldn’t even speak to their father as they were scared of him.”
Thankfully, Plan India and Ericsson’s Digital Learning Centre brought education opportunities to their doorstep, so she encouraged her daughters to enrol. One of them, Gunjan, now dreams of being a teacher:
Since joining the centre I have become more confident and have been able to openly communicate with people.
“My studies stopped when I was in year 8. At that time my father felt that there was no need to educate girls because they only have to manage a house when they grow up. However, at the centre, I have been studying subjects like Science, English and Maths.
“Since joining the centre I have become more confident and have been able to openly communicate with people.”
Her father is also impressed with her progress:
“She is doing everything with dedication and hard work. I am sure she will be able to fulfil her dream of becoming a teacher.”
Read about the transformative potential of digital access for girls.