By Sumita Jayaraman & AL Rangarajan

ILP has always focused on a multi-pronged approach to educating children that covers schooling (both enrollment and retention), learning (quality of education) and earning (career guidance and counseling).  And additional criterion which we use to identify projects and areas of work is the need-based approach to bring education to the most marginalized populations. As we look back at 2019, we can confidently state that, we have been able to make significant progress in this area with our NGOs partners. 

For 2019, here is a summary of our projects with the need-based lens of our target populations. Most of these groups are high isolated populations having unique issues of access, economic uncertainty and lack of education.

Vulnerable Group and Regions Coverage and focus of work
Tribal Populations like Yenadi, Gond, Lambadi, Ooran, Santhal, Kolha and Munda across Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana These populations usually reside in very remote areas that are not easily accessible. As a result, they suffer from high teacher vacancies and low access to other information sources.  ILP supports 10 different projects across these states and reaches over 130,000 children. We focus on ensuring enrolment, retention, functional schools and pre-schools, teacher and student attendance, learning outcomes, strengthening community ownership towards education
Remote rural villages with high concentrations of economically and socially weaker sections like Dalits, Mahadalits, Scheduled Caste and Mushar in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The villages ILP targets with our NGO partners are in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. We help support pre-schools and schools for 158,000 children who are primarily first-generation learners and still face social isolation. Creating functioning schools and driving attendance is still the most important part of our work in these areas.
Linguistic minorities and inter-state border populations in Krishnagiri District of Tamil Nadu, Kurnool district of AP Children in these districts are part of a school system where the language of instruction is not the primary language spoken at home. In addition to the usual economic issues faced by rural populations, they deal with barriers in communication. ILP supports these schools with teacher vacancies and community-based initiatives to help with education in pre-school and schools that reaches over 45000 children.
Migrant Populations working in Brick Kilns of Tiruvallur District in Tamil Nadu. Children of parents working in brick kilns have schools in their home village but due to migration do not have access to the area where the parents are working. ILP, with our NGO partner, IRCDS used evidence-based advocacy with the state government. Education services for over 33000 children has been allowed during seasonal migration enabling continuity in schooling and learning.
Girl children of Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu where child sex ratio is below average This is an area with a higher drop-out in girls leading to a lower than average sex ratio in schools. ILP works with our partner, HOPE, focusing on special education for girl children at middle and high school levels with inputs on sustainable menstrual hygiene, school toilets, career guidance, school libraries and scholarship support. This helps to empower the girl-child with information and incentive to attend school.

Apart from these unique challenges that ILP has addressed in 2019, we are also working on
two different projects for pre-school and primary school children with the goal of scaling knowledge and expertise to educators and trainers.

In Kalburagi district of Karnataka, ILP helped train 3100 pre-schools workers and helpers with support of CDF, our local NGO partner. These training programs used activity-based learning techniques that help to engage nearly 79000 children under the age of 6 so that the children are not only ready for primary school, they are also having fun while they learn.

A similar pilot has also been rolled out in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, where our NGO partner Sodhana, has worked with the local government to incorporate activity-based learning into the 1st and 2nd grade government curriculum for 1900 students. This will drive wider adoption of the methodology to younger primary school children who respond much better to interactive learning.

As ILP continues its work in 2020, the successes of 2019 provide us with the incentive to reach more children while continuously improving our content, methodologies and processes to scale effectively. We look forward to your continued support for the exciting initiatives.