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From Kolkata’s slum’s to Darjeeling’s remote tea plantations were helping children stay in school and get the support they need with our network of community learning centres 

Education is so important for so many reasons it’s at the heart of everything that we do.  CINIs network of community learning centres are helping children get an education, stay safe and access their human rights in locations as diverse Kolkata’s slums and Assam’s manicured tea gardens.

We are supporting over 35,000 children access the support they need in order to learn, grow and thrive.  But CINI’s community learning centres are about so much more giving children the chance to complete their education; they’re also a safe haven for at risk children and a place that provides parents with advice on how to protect their children from danger.

Keeping children in school is widely acknowledged as one of the best ways of preventing child marriage, and is also one the greatest child labour and human-trafficking prevention tools. For girls, education is a particularly powerful weapon when it comes to tackling entrenched gender-based discrimination in all its forms.

Our learning centres champion and celebrate girls education, give girls the opportunity to get on in school and help them learn about their rights as girls, adolescents and women.

What we’ve been doing to make a difference

children aged two to five attended nursery classes at our learning centres

school children aged five to 14 were given help to stay in school

students aged 15 - 18 continued their education with our support

deaf children supported by our specialists to stay in schools

Giving first generation learners the opportunity to learn and supporting children at risk of dropping out stay in school

We are enabling first generation learners to get the education that their parents never had, helping children at risk of dropping out of school the chance to keep on going, and giving adolescent the opportunity to access higher education and fulfil their dreams.

Many of the children who attend our community education centres are first generation learners whose parents never completed their education. Parents who have not attended or completed school are less likely and able to support their children, and the value they place on education is lower than parents who’ve benefitted from an education. 

Our community learning centres give children support and guidance they need to keep attending classes. This is particularly important for girls who are less likely than boys to receive an education and more likely to have to drop out early. 

Helping parents and community leaders understand the value of education and fund community learning

We ensure our education interventions are sustainable and owned by the community. We engage parents and community leaders and educate them about value learning, explain why and how the children and the community benefit, and demonstrate the ways in which communities can put in place the structures and find the funding needed to make the centres possible without our support.

We recently celebrated with children in Rajnagr Block, West Bengal, after leaders in 44 villages decided that they would make the financial contributions needed to run a community learning centres for themselves.  The community teachers, trained by and once paid for by CINI, are now part of villages own community learning programme which is self managed, self funded and successful.

Encouraging nursery education attendance to ensure mothers get connected to other sources of support

The number of children attending nursery where we work is really low and we’re finding creative ways to connect parents and communities to pre-school learning.  CINI has raised awareness of the importance of pre-school education and created mother and child friendly environments at local government centres.

Today around 3,000 under- fives are currently attending nursery classes at our community centres with their mothers.  Attending nursery has been shown to improve a child’s readiness for school, with children who receive quality learning by qualified instructors more likely to stay on in education and perform better than those that didn’t.

Attending nursery also builds a bridge between mother and child, and the government and community support services that are available.  At locally run centres mothers learn about the nutrition, health and financial support that they can access and go on to do so.

Signposting girls to scholarship and support schemes so they can continue in class

A girl child faces many more challenges than a boy, and when it comes to getting an education it’s no different.  With boys prioritised and other pressures placed on girls, the chance for girls to go to school and learn is constrained by more than just money.

CINI works with community leaders, parents and children to break down taboos and make education accessible.  Where finance is a barrier to learning, we advise girls and parents about scholarship and sponsorship schemes, and help them to access them

We helped over 3000 adolescent girls access scholarships that has enabled them to continue thier education