Business Wire India
Youth Voices, Youth Skills Report 2022
The report is the culmination of the not-for-profit’s year-long, large-scale, sustainable skills-at-school program, Get a Plan delivered in partnership with the Government of Bihar and IKEA Foundation to young people in Grade 9-12 in 1,000 Government Secondary Schools.
152,616 young people, 93,913 girls, 58,703 boys learned outside, on site with rural entrepreneurs, while schools were closed.
Lisa Heydlauff, Founder and CEO of Going to School, says, “We’ve been remade by what young people want. Despite more challenges than any of us could ever have imagined, young people learned green skills outside with sustainable entrepreneurs and as a result, they’ve got new school to sustainable enterprise plans, they want to try to become entrepreneurs who solve for the greatest challenge of our time. And the good news? The highest scores go to girls.”
Among the key findings in the report, a majority of young people, 68.4% at the end of the year after the program intervention say that Climate Change will expand work opportunities for girls now and in the future. Additionally, 65.67% girls and 66.45% boys at the end of the year showed increased ability to articulate what climate change is, its causes and solutions, charting over a 30% increase in understanding among young people.
Vivek Singh, Head of Portfolio – Employment & Entrepreneurship, IKEA Foundation, says, “It’s exciting that so many young people have completed Green Enterprise Internships in new sectors like renewable energy, sustainable packaging and more. Learning green skills from real-life entrepreneurs in the field is not something these young people would otherwise have experienced. These young people, more than 50 percent of whom are young women, are applying for start-up grants to become green entrepreneurs at the age of 18. This shows they’re taking action to change their lives after completing their internship. We’re hopeful that having learnt climate action skills, these young people will solve problems in their communities and become role models for a new generation of people in school. This pay-it-forward sustainable learning is what we need as we fight for liveable planet for all children and families.”
The report found that when it comes to the question of marriage, 57.5% young people at the end of the year said that girls should delay marriage to start their sustainable enterprise or get a job, recording a 14.2% increase from the start of the year. 60.1% young people said that girls’ equal participation in work with equal pay is required to make a just society. Girls ran shoulder to shoulder with boys at the end of the year in their positive shift in attitude towards getting a job or starting a sustainable enterprise after Grade 12.
Kiran Kumari, Addl. State Project Director (Academic), Bihar Education Project Council, says, “We had to find a meaningful way during the pandemic to enable a lot of young people to learn sustainable skills – offline, in the field, experiential learning. Online education was always going to have limitations. We are not known for our stellar bandwidths anywhere in rural India, and so there was an opportunity, a chance if you will, to design to deliver a hands-on sustainable skills education outside with real entrepreneurs. We liked the idea; graphic novels being delivered to young people outside while they were completing a beekeeping or organic farming internship. Tracking everything through an APP was a good innovation, it enabled us all to see the progress young people made and to realise, together, we can adapt as educational systems to deliver to young people, outside.”
Download the Report www.goingtoschool.com
What’s next for young people?
Heydlauff adds that school outside will continue in the new academic year in Bihar and the move outside has defined a new program, The Outdoor School for Girls, kicking off in Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Goa, reclaiming outdoor spaces for skills and sport (football) for girls.
“Sometimes being old school can be a new approach in a new time,” adds Heydlauff, “when we were young we all went outside to play, and even though we might not have realized it, we learned together as we played, it's time to go outside again.”
The IKEA Foundation is funding Going to School because the Foundation believes that empowering young people to move from education to sustainable employment will help them afford a better life for themselves and their families.
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