We’re all made of stories. And the stories we make, make us.
Neeru, a primary school teacher at SDMC Primary School in Badarpur, India, is all too familiar with the signs of a child struggling with the basics of literacy. When sentences and grammar are strange and unfamiliar. When a happy child becomes silent and withdrawn and falls even further behind. This is something she has witnessed daily in her class.
This scene is repeated in thousands of schools across the country. Lack of individual support and sometimes outdated methods are often the cause. But things are starting to change. New, remarkable grassroots techniques are producing transformative results, both empowering girls to learn and women to teach.
The turning point for Neeru was when her school adopted a new teaching method focused on storytelling - StoryPedagogy™ - created by Katha, a not-for-profit organisation.
“It was a big challenge for me – some children in the class couldn’t read at all. Katha’s method is different and unique… their stories have the hidden power of grasping the words ... and helped the students understand and write.”
The secret is stories. Of course, children love stories. They enjoy finding the structure - a beginning, a middle and an end – and that helps them make sense of the language.
The results are already changing the way many children learn and Deloitte India is now helping Katha reach more than 300,000 students over the next three years.
Katha’s education revolution is spreading to women’s groups outside of schools, too. Today, Kheronisha is a community leader. But she was not always so assured.
“I did not have the confidence to speak up, as I had not studied as much as other people around me. But I became confident and now speak up to address problems in my community ... and as a community leader I help build the confidence of other women in the community, too.”
If India is to achieve its ambition to be a technology-driven world power, it will need many more breakthroughs like those in Neeru’s class or in Kheronisha’s village. The gender gap is huge. With 3 million eligible girls out of school and almost 40% of girls aged 15 to 18 years dropping out of education, much of the country’s potential is being missed.
Deloitte India’s work with Katha is just the beginning and will extend to collaborations with other organisations, such as Pratham, which is rolling out its innovative Teaching at the Right Level approach to more than 2 million children across the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Overall, Deloitte in India has made a commitment to positively impact the future of 10 million girls and women in India by 2030 by helping them connect to engaging, quality education.
Because with each future changed, the future of India as a whole brightens.