Educating girls can bring tremendous socioeconomic dividends in developing countries. According to UNICEF’s Global Partnership for Education, “educating girls…tackles the root causes of poverty.” Several other studies have found that children of educated mothers are likely to have a higher performance in school and earn more in the future. British Council while keeping in mind these SDG’s EDGE programme aims to contribute to reducing gender disparity.
The programme has been designed with the objective of improving girls’ English and digital skills in marginalised communities; and enhancing girls’ agency and autonomy within the family and community. This baseline study measures the initial status of the peer group leader’s (PGLs) and participants of the Kishori Clubs of target areas before the implementation of the EDGE programme.
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According to the survey, most of the respondents expressed favourable degree of confidence regarding talking, identifying things, expressing feelings & ideas and using English in academic purposes. But, unfortunately, the female youth has yet to penetrate the ICT sector as they lack the basic skills and knowledge of computer applications. Digital skills are measured in two parts in this study: a self-assessed survey of digital use/skills, and a practical test. Most of the respondents were equally divided among the spectrum from being highly confident and not confident regarding usage of technology such as turning a computer on or off, operating it or browsing the internet. When it comes to social skills, almost all the respondents had favourable levels of confidence about their social skills such as expressing opinions, things that affect their role in their community and working effectively in a team. In addition to this, most of them, believed they were able to explain the harmful effects of bullying and the ill-effects of child marriage on the girl, family and society.
Through lessons learnt, this study can aid in developing and fine tuning the tools of advance courses before going for endline.