Nearly 70% of India’s population lives in rural areas. Yet, many villages in India are unable to provide sufficient education for their children due to the high percentage of poverty in these communities and consequently, a lack of resources. This has resulted in rural students not having the educational resources available to learn to speak, read or write in English. Hence, Deshpande Educational Trust (DET) launched the “Skill in Village”, a program taking English communication to villages, offering easily accessible education in terms of cost, distance and time. “Skill in Village” trains higher secondary school students in English language skills, providing them the ability to engage in higher education. This program seeks to eradicate the gap between rural and urban education by fulfilling major needs such as comprehensive reading, writing and conversational English practices. There will also be substantial efforts put into promoting increased attendance and hiring well-trained teachers to teach English.
This program is geared toward providing children and youth the opportunity to pursue their English language education in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. Children in rural settings frequently fail school exams, mainly because they do not speak or comprehend English well. The program was established with the hope that the children and youth would experience it as a positive opportunity, a second chance, sparking their interest and level of motivation to pursue higher educational prospects.
The Deshpande Educational Trust is investing in the educational development of children and youth with the intention of maximizing the overall growth of India. Pursuing higher education and improving literacy rates at the bottom of the pyramid correlates with the improvement of social and economic status. Therefore, education is a key factor in influencing the quality of economic growth and social welfare.
The DET’s mission is to provide employability skills through hands-on learning to underserved youth in local communities. It aims to build skills, leadership and entrepreneurial abilities designed to prepare youth for lifelong learning experiences that will impact their future. DET is distinguished from other skill development programs in that it not only provides demand-based industry-specific skill-sets to rural youth, but also offers a seamless and favorable transition from the classroom to the workforce.