Nidhi is a bright 13-year-old girl who diligently comes to Plan India’s Digital Learning Centre (DLC) in Dwarka every day after school. The DLCs, set up by Plan India in collaboration with Ericsson, utilise technology solutions to provide a quality education to young women in the age group of 15-25 years within their own communities, thereby overcoming the challenge of limited mobility.
But her journey from her home, which is barely 5 minutes away, to the DLC has been full of hurdles. Initially, when she and her older sister had expressed desire to join the DLC for quality education, her parents were absolutely against the idea. Her parents argued that the education received in schools were enough for them, but the girls gradually managed to convince them.
“We asked our parents to visit the Centre, they came, interacted with all the subject teachers, Plan India staff and they saw that the Centre had such facilities that our schools could never match. They were further convinced when they saw that the Centre caters only to girl students,” she shares.
“The knowledge imparted here is very comprehensive and teachers are very supportive,” she adds.
There was a time when her parents were eager to get them married, but now, they realise that their girls could empower themselves before settling for marriage. Nidhi’s older sibling is now in Class XII and has been attending career counselling sessions to further her education.
Nidhi aspires to become a teacher one day, and has been attending the career counselling sessions at the Centre, apart from the regular classes. The career counselling sessions are held in the morning during vacations along with special sessions on personality development, sexual and reproductive health and human rights.
Out of Maths, Science and English, Nidhi’s favourite is the latter. “When I speak in English and greet others, my parents beam with pride,” she smiles.
Her performance too has improved. “Earlier, I used to score around 60-70%, but now with the help of the teachers in DLC, I managed to score 80% in my Class IX exams. At the DLC, our doubts are cleared, our homework is aided and we also get information on the use of ICT,” she adds.
The project with the help of Ericsson, aims to benefit 15,000 young girls by making learning and skill development affordable and available to them in a safe and convenient environment.