The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) survey (IMRB-SRI, 2014) estimates that there are 6 million out-of-school children in India. The reasons for a child to never enrol or to drop out of school are many, such as frequent migration, financial constraints of family and missing identity documents.
Lack of education, however, uniformly doubles the risk of exploitation and vulnerability to discrimination in children who are denied the most basic rights of survival and protection.
An educated child is a nation’s greatest asset and with an aim to ensure that every child goes to school and receives quality education, Humana People to People India (HPPI) developed the Kadam Step-Up Programme specifically designed for out-of-school children between the age of 7-14 years. The Programme, implemented in cooperation with the state governments and with support from various national and international partners, focuses on bridging the learning gaps of out-of-school children (OOSC) and enrolling them in schools.
The HPPI team conducts door-to-door survey in the operational area of the primary schools and having identified the OOSC, they sensitise the parents towards the importance of education and encourage them to send the child to the local Kadam Centre.
The 11- month Kadam programme is a blend of academic learning and skill-based experiences, suitable for varied age-group and learning levels. The programme’s foundation is built on a platform of engaging pedagogy, targeted curriculum, and student-driven teaching practices, providing a year-long accelerated learning experience.
The Kadam Programme provides enhanced learning (academic and soft skills) through an innovative 10-steps process and theme-based approach (including extra-curricular activities) to provide all-round education. This multi-graded learning environment in the classroom helps children learn progressively from one step to the next at their own pace. To encourage peer-to-peer learning and help children support each other in advancing the Steps, small groups of three (trios) are formed. The thematic learning is carried out every month to develop social, emotional and life skills of the children. When the child reaches a learning level appropriate to his/her age, he/she is integrated to the formal schooling system.
The Kadam programme is a combination of a curriculum designed for accelerated learning of children and teacher capacity building keeping in mind the specific needs of OOSC and an easy to implement set of practices which eases the mainstreaming process.
Since 2015, more than 70,000 children have been enrolled in the Kadam centres and more than 40,000 OOSC have been mainstreamed to the formal school system. At present, HPPI has MoU’s with the state governments for the implementation of the Kadam Programme for out-of-school children in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Jammu & Kashmir.