The state of Bihar holds a lot of scope and opportunity for young people who constitute around one-fifth of the country's population. Four of our flagship programs -- Anandshala, Secondary Schools Program, MyQuest and MasterCoach -- have begun in the state over the years.
For the past two decades, children’s access to quality elementary education has been a major focus of the central and state government. Unemployment continues to be common for India’s eastern state of Bihar, one of the country’s largest and poorest states. As young people fail to complete the full cycle of school education and secure steady employment, these have remained a major educational and economical challenge.
In October 2015, we established a district-wide Proof of Concept of the Anandshala program in Samastipur, in partnership with The Hans Foundation and Bihar Education Project Council (BEPC). It zeroes in on improving implementation of government educational policies, and we hope to use our learning from Samastipur to replicate interventions across other districts in Bihar.
In 2016, our MyQuest initiative started in colleges and Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to equip young people with the skills they need to make better career decisions. Since 2019, our work via the Secondary Schools program promotes STEM education for girls enrolled in govt. high schools, thereby ensuring young women in the state have the knowledge and agency to pursue opportunities in STEM related fields.
We aim for a long-term strategic partnership with the BEPC and DET that includes learner, educator, trainer and principal engagement. As of February 2021, we have signed an MoU with the the Directorate of Employment & Training (DET), Dept. of Labour Resource, Government of Bihar, to work with all 150 ITIs in Bihar through employability skills training, innovation and entrepreneurship development, reaching out to more than 17,000 students. We hope to deepen our engagement with young women through a direct intervention in the Women ITI ecosystem.
Our VTI network in the state is set to expand to reach out to at least 1,000 students. Over the years, entrepreneurial training and support will be available to ITI-VTI alumni and other youth.
With a strong partner network, we hope to foster interest in STEM opportunities and entrepreneurship among secondary school students.
Strategy and Approach
Anandshala’s approach to creating joyful learning spaces in Bihar includes:
- Building student leadership and enhancing student participation in school activities
- Using a data-based system to track progress of students who are not attending, engaging and learning in school
- Parent engagement and developing change leaders
With the Secondary Schools program, we will continue to create opportunities and nurture learning environments to help young girls pursue higher education in STEM fields, thereby widening their career prospects in digital and technology-driven jobs.
In the next few years, our plan is to expand our work with more youth organizations, including grassroot institutions across Bihar, to equip young people between the ages of 18-30 with the skills, confidence and self-awareness they require to pursue careers they like and impact their communities in a positive manner. Our blended learning toolkits on life skills, works skills and career and the Quest App is designed to provide them the opportunity to connect with right careers, achieve success and take charge of their future.
The Quest Learning Centre (QLC) in our Samastipur office in Bihar is a space where young people and stakeholders in government schools have the opportunity to access resources and also experience the Quest learning environment. The QLC also hosts movie screenings, guest lectures and other activities.
Our work with educators, trainers and institution leaders is set to intensify this year.
- 12,000 Youth Trained
- 252 Facilitators Trained
- 996 Middle Schools
- 465,000 Middle School Students
- 30 Govt. High Schools
- 12,769 High School Students
- 4 Vocational Training Institutes
- 4 Polytechnics
- 20 Industrial Training Institutes
- 3 Partner Organizations
- 14 Districts