More than 50,000 underrepresented Indian school students in grades 9-12 are set to benefit from a Schools Engagement Program to promote social mobility and career advancement, as the University of Melbourne joins community and government partners in Andhra Pradesh to expand the transformative initiative.
The Schools Engagement Program integrates into the students’ curriculum, with modules underpinned by positive psychology and coaching to help them understand themselves and the career paths of interest to them, and of use to their communities.
This builds the students’ awareness, aspirations and agency, with increased levels of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-management reported, as well as an improved ability to make informed decisions and plans.
The University is partnering with the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Department of School Education, Rotary International Districts in Zone 7, Rotary India Literacy Mission, and Samaghra Shiksha, Andhra Pradesh, to support the program, delivered by Global Education Solutions.
The Schools Engagement Program launched in 2019 and has already reached 8237 students and supported 178 teachers and around 15,000 parents, care providers and guardians. The program has run in ten schools in Pune and nine schools in Madurai.
University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global, Culture and Engagement) Professor Michael Wesley said he is proud of the University’s ongoing commitment to innovative educational solutions in India.
“The Schools Engagement Program is one of the most important partnerships we have piloted in India and the enduring impact it has had on the lives of young people, particularly disadvantaged girls, inspires us to replicate it in as many schools as possible,” Professor Wesley said.
“It helps local students, and their parents and guardians, explore what is possible in their future careers as we expand the program from 8000 to a projected 50,000 by the end of 2024.”
Planning is also underway for further expansion of the Schools Engagement Program into other regions in India.