Uptake from the grassroots, upward

07 September 2016
Annie Holmes

In India, considerable decision-making power is devolved from the national government to state governments.

In turn, state governments refer to the districts for input on specific strategies. This informs the Knowledge into Action strategies of STRIVE partner, the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT). 

At a recent district meeting of headmasters in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, KHPT was invited to present the Samata intervention to keep girls in school. The Samata team showed the latest video, summarising progress after two years of the programme. They focused discussion on:

  • an attendance tracking tool that factors in the specific vulnerabilities of girls and marginalised communities
  • gender training for teachers and staff
  • school safety committees, strengthened by a gender focus
  • school support for Samata outreach workers

It is better to build a support system for this at district level so that when authorities enquire, headmasters from the intervention schools also advocate for [these measures]. The other reason is to get the headmasters’ suggestions on the programme strategies. 

Raghavendra T, Director, North Karnataka Programmes, KHPT

The 29 headmasters attending the meeting voiced their appreciation of the relevance of the gender training. Each outlined the reforms they subsequently instituted in their respective schools. They also gave examples of collaborations between schools and Samata outreach workers in reducing school drop out. 

Regarding the tracking tool, they suggested that it be used for all the students, not only those from scheduled castes and tribes (SC/STs). They also suggested that the tool be discussed at policy level as it is worth adoption beyond the intervention schools.