(Image Credit- by AkshayaPatra Foundation from Pixabay)
Education is a fundamental right of every individual and a key factor in growth of not only an individual, but for the Nation as a whole. Education helps individuals develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. It also promotes creativity, self-awareness, and self-esteem. Education provides individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to lead fulfilling lives and achieve their goals thereby improve their economic and social status.
NGOs play a crucial role in bridging this gap by providing access to education and promoting literacy. By investing in education, we can help create a more just and equitable world where everyone has access to quality education and the opportunity to succeed.
In this blog, we have focussed on some of the key challenges faced by NGOs working towards UN SDG 4 – Education; and a list of curated NGOs addressing the issues through their outstanding work.
- Access to Education: One of the most significant challenges faced by the underprivileged is lack of access to formal education. NGOs work to ensure that children from low-income families and marginalized communities have access to education. This includes building schools, providing scholarships and tuition assistance, and promoting literacy programs.
- Quality of Education: The quality of education imparted to students plays a big role in the way their careers will shape up. For this, it is important that the primary source of information for the students – their teachers – are updated. NGOs work tirelessly to improve the quality of education through teacher training, curriculum development, and resources for classroom instruction. Use of innovative teaching methods and educational technology is also encouraged.
- Gender Inequality: Many girls face significant obstacles to accessing education, including cultural attitudes that prioritize boys’ education, early marriage and family responsibilities, poverty, and lack of access to schools and resources. NGOs play a crucial role in promoting gender equality by supporting girls’ education through initiatives like scholarships, mentorship programs, and community outreach.
- Early Childhood Education: Early childhood education is critical for a child’s development but many children from rural areas lack access to pre-school programs. NGOs work to promote early childhood education by building pre-schools, and providing educational resources for young children.
- Vocational Training: Students suffer a setback when they are unable to secure jobs after completing formal education. This is largely attributed by employers to the students not being ‘employable’ due to lack of certain skills. There are several NGOs working towards addressing this issue by conducting vocational training programs that provide young people with the skills they need to enter the workforce and become financially independent.
There are many NGOs in India working towards addressing the above issues. One way to support them is by donating to reputable NGOs doing tireless work in the field of education. To make life easy for you, we have shortlisted 5 Best NGOs for Education in India:
1. Each One Teach One (EOTO):
EOTO aims at creating opportunities for underprivileged children in India by educating the weaker section of the society. The NGO focuses on providing quality education on subjects including English, Mathematics, Marathi, Hindi, Social Studies and Science. It intends to reduce the number of drop outs from schools of India and promote quality education for all children.
EOTO’s cycle consists of students giving back to the community, each older child teaches a younger child wherein ex-students sponsor current students and provides support for volunteering and guiding or contributing monetarily through donations and sponsorships.
2. K.C. Mahindra Education Trust:
According to the Economic Survey of India 2018, there has been an increase in the number of “missing women” in India from 40 mn in 1990, to 63 mn in 2014. In addition to this, it is estimated that there are another 21 million “unwanted” girls in India, clearly indicative of parents favouring having sons over daughters. It is very likely that these unwanted girls receive less nutrition, less healthcare and certainly less attention towards their education as well.
With the twin objective of positively impacting India’s development by educating girls and encouraging Indians to contribute to a worthy cause, the NGO has developed Project Nanhi Kali, which translates to ‘a little bud’ in Hindi, which supports the education of underprivileged girls from low-income families. The project supports girls to complete ten years of formal schooling and has impacted the lives of over 500,000 girls (called Nanhi Kalis) so far.
Project Nanhi Kali is one of the most cost-effective sponsorship models, providing year-round support to every girl, including access to an advanced digital learning platform, trained tutors, a sports program and school supplies.
Masoom aims to develop quality education in Night Schools through its initiative of Night School Transformation (NSTP), specifically tailored to meet the needs of the night school and the individual students who are mainly out of school from poor socio-economic backgrounds. The NGO is built on a three-pronged intervention model with interconnected focal areas for school transformation, including advocacy, capacity building for all stakeholders, and education infrastructure and inputs.
Its Career Cell supports students above the age of 18 years to get placed in the organized sectors by providing support for various long and short term courses, along with guidance, thereby promoting the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in professional life.
4. Pratham Books:
Children who read more, learn better and are more likely to succeed at school as well as in life. Pratham is democratising access to books so that every child can discover the joy of reading. It has a delightful range of affordable storybooks which are published in multiple languages and formats, thereby helping children develop their language skills, trigger curiosity and creativity, and fuel their imagination.
The NGO works with authors and illustrators to create storybooks that delight, inspire, and educate. Children read more when the stories spark their interest and keep them engaged. To enable schools across India to have libraries in their classrooms, a portable, wall-mounted, modular unit of richly illustrated storybooks has been designed. StoryWeaver is a digital platform providing open access to multilingual storybooks to nurture the next generation of readers.
5. Teach To Lead (Teach for India):
Teach For India has built a movement of leaders who work together to ensure children from low-income communities attain excellent and equitable education with an aim to create a nation where every child in India is free of poverty and filled with love. The fellowship program enables individuals to get the opportunity to learn and practice leadership, serve students, and navigate the very real challenges of India’s inequity.
At present, it is a movement of 1,000 Fellows teaching 34,000 children and 4,000+ Alumni who are collectively reaching 50 mn children across India.
There are many NGOs in India having their own unique approach and strategies, but sharing a common vision of promoting literacy and providing access to quality education.
Please note that the above list is not an exhaustive list of the best NGOs for Education and have been selected from the HelpYourNGO database.