MYRADA has been involved in education in all its projects. It has provided supplementary teachers in short-staffed primary schools, supported tuition centres in maths and English. It has worked with village level institutions such as School Development and Management Committees (SDMCs) to improve functioning of schools.
With ‘livelihoods’ being a key concern, skill training and providing opportunities for employment has long been part of all projects. Training in off-farm activities such as weaving, tailoring, soap/candle/pickle making, gem cutting, etc have been held across all projects. An industrial training centre has been established at Dharmapuri project in Tamil Nadu where youth are skilled and placed in the industry. Our entry into the education sector was facilitated by the partnership with PLAN international and work with children.
Skill training acquires even more importance now given India’s young population. 66% of the population is still dependent on the agriculture sector for its livelihood. As agriculture is increasingly becoming unremunerative, there is a movement of people away from the sector. Migrant unskilled workers are vulnerable to exploitation. Educational levels, aspirations and consumption patterns of people have also changed (increased) such that there is less demand for menial jobs. Hence ‘skilling’ of this young population is an important task. Myrada has made a breakthrough by establishing technical schools for school dropouts that impart skills that are marketable, and organise campus recruitment programmes.
For the past ten years MYRADA has initiated efforts to integrate available vocational training and skill development schemes to provide local and market/industry based employable skills for rural youth from low income families.
CIDORRs and CMRCs are actively involved in this effort.
Our current vocational education programmes include programmes training in entrepreneurship development and skills (as part of watershed development programmes), training in skills such as tailoring, masonry, carpentry, fabrication, child sponsorship
Previous interventions in the area of vocational education include establishment of regional vocational centres in collaboration with the CMRCs, awareness/education programmes through the ISRO/VSAT, training in skills such as driving, masonry, establishment of industrial units such as garment unit, watch accessories unit