|Global Co-ordination > Working Group on Education for All >|
|First meeting / Document 18|
ROSHNI - a civil society initiative
Meaning and goal
means light, illumination, enlightenment. It is a commonly used
word in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. People
of these and other south Asian countries share common languages,
religions and culture. Roshni's goal is to build bridges among
the people and institutions of civil society of these countries
through relevant basic education of adolescents and young adults
- persons at the threshold of work, family-life and citizenship.
of this programme are persons of the age between 11 to 21-22.
About 22 percent of the population in the rural areas in north
India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan consists of persons
in this age group. Exclusion from primary education and dropout
before completion of eight years of education is endemic in
this region. Approximate educational status in respect of this
age group for this region is given in the figure below (not
characteristics of the persons in this age group are as follows
for relevant basic education
for adolescents and young adults
Foundation for Education and Development
marriages in rural areas take place during this age, young
people enter family life and sizeable proportion of them begin
go through physical and psychological changes which seriously
impact their lives. There is an increasing risk of contracting
STDs and HIV/AIDS. Young persons receive no education about
these matters, nor is advise or counseling available to them.
sizeable proportion of them are affected by addition to drugs
is also the period during which young persons feel alienated
- from the local milieu and ancestral occupations - resulting
in migration to urban areas.
we are faced with in this region can only be characterised
as lumpenization of youth, a situation which forebodes persistence
of population increase at an alarming rate, further criminalization
of the polity and violence towards women and the down-trodden
acquiring fearful dimensions. Awareness about this situation,
such as it is, has not resulted in well-planned action. Despite
several sectoral programmes, mostly sporadic and ineffectual,
learning and development needs of persons in this age-group
remain unmet. Due to their idealism and energy, adolescents
and young adults constitute a tremendous force for change
and reconstruction. What is needed is motivation, role models
and building of self-confidence.
call to action
needs of this age group has been a matter of concern for UNESCO,
UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS, etc. The World Education Forum, which
assembled at Dakar on 26-28 April 2000, took note of this newly
recognised need. While reiterating the EFA goals enunciated
at the Jomtiem Conference, it added the goal of : "ensuring
that the learning needs of young people and adults are met through
equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes."
of implementation of this goal will require coordinated action
by UN agencies on the one hand and rigorous planning and concerted
effort by the various concerned agencies in each country.
goal of this programme is to improve the quality of life of
adolescents and young adults through provision of appropriate
learning opportunities and thereby creating a dynamic force
for social change and economic development. This project would
serve persons in 11 to 21-22 age group and in respect of them
its specific objectives would be as follows :
meet their basic learning needs and to relate learning to
their life, work and environment.
equip them for adolescence and family life with a view to
improving their health awareness and to develop a positive
attitude towards small family norm.
3. To enhance vocational and life skills.
harness their energies for nation building through creation
of cadres who may provide educated, informed and responsible
5. To employ science and technology for improving the lives
of the people.
be necessary to develop innovative and flexible strategies
for education and development of persons in 11 to 21-22 age-group.
The overall approach is of human development, aimed, inter
alia, at poverty alleviation. There would be an essential
programme component, and need specific additionality. The
essential programme components would consist of the following
1. Basic Education : By and large, it would correspond to the
level of grade V, plus capacity for self-reliant learning,
problem solving and searching relevant information.
2. Health and sanitation : Emphasis would be on healthful living,
reproductive health, prevention of HIV/AIDS and endemic
diseases, and personal and community sanitation.
3. Inculcation of life-skills : These would include ways of
coping with adolescence and a range of relevant skills such
as making available water potable, rain-water harvesting,
better housing, improved cooking oven, etc.. In addition,
legal literacy and informed and responsible participation
in political processes would also be an essential component.
4. Awareness building : The activities covered under this could
include critical analysis of the present predicament, particularly
social and gender inequity, understanding the importance
of collective action and fostering of principles and values
enshrined in Universal Charter of Human Rights.
agency would plan additional activities on the basis of the
needs of the participants and its capacity to run those activities.
These may include training for income generation and entrepreneurship;
application of S&T; adventure, sports and cultural activities;
activities concerning family planning; environmental improvement;
formation of adolescent girls' forums and youth clubs; etc..
would have to be based on community participation, in particular
active involvement of persons for whom it is intended. For it
to be meaningful, the programme would have to be holistic, based
on the felt needs of the persons concerned. Processes would
have to be set in motion, and concrete activities undertaken,
to bring these persons centre-stage, to empower them, to enable
them to make decisions about their future - based on economic
well-being and humane and progressive values.
and operational principles
diversity in programming would be appreciated, all partners
would be expected to be guided by common goals, a shared vision
and social philosophy, including :
to equity, which implies a resolve to question the existing
power structures and willingness to give a priority to the
empowerment and gender sensitivity in all activities;
in people's participation and a willingness the use appropriate
methods for institutionalizing community involvement;
to bring together to the learning fora persons from all
communities, men and women and persons with disability;
to human rights, transparency and right to information.
of information and communication technology for improving
the learning environment and for effective communication
among the various people/agencies concerned.
will be implemented in the following phases :
I : 2001-2004 Pilot testing, mainly through NGOs and other
organs of civil society (local bodies, teachers' associations,
etc.) in countries of South Asia. Some beginning also in other
II : 2005-2010 Larger implementation through government agencies
and civil society. Incorporation of this as a priority in
the plans of various countries, provinces and local governments.
Systematic implementation extending to most developing countries.
Relevance of curriculum will influence primary and adult education
It is hoped
that integrated programmes of education and development for
adolescents and young adults will be organised on a large scale
and at least 50 percent of out of school person will be covered
in all developing countries by 2015.
I, implementation will be done by NGOs and other organs of civil
society. UNESCO/UNICEF/UNFPA would convene regular meetings,
provide technical guidance and financial support.
to other partners, Foundation for Education & Development, a
Delhi-Jaipur (India) based NGO could play nodal role. This Foundation
has already prepared a detailed project for implementation of
such programmes in different parts of northern India. The Foundation's
trustees are in contact with NGOs in Pakistan, Bangladesh and
resource support agencies will need to be identified in each
country. These agencies will help in programme development,
preparation of designs and materials for learning, provision
of forum for review and planning, organisation of training and
orientation programmes, and research, evaluation and documentation.
At the initiative of Foundation for Education & Development,
with endorsement of Government of India's Ministry of Human
Resource Development, UNESCO New Delhi has already begun to
support an NGO to play the role as technical resource support
It is expected
that 25 units will be operationalized in Phase I. Each unit
will provide intensive education/training to 1000 persons, at
least 50 percent of them females. These persons, in turn, will
involve their peers in learning activities. The estimates made
in the projects developed by Foundation for Education & Development
come to about US $300,000 per unit for four years. This would
bring the cost of 25 units to US $7.50 million. An amount o
US $2.50 million would be required as management cost and support
to institutions of technical resource development. This brings
the requirement to US $10.00 million.
for Phase II would depend on the progress of the programme in
Phase I and may be estimated in 2003.