Stepping Up for Children
Despite having made considerable economic progress, India still struggles with high levels of poverty. Nearly 60 percent of the population live on less than $3.10 per day according to the World Bank.
Children are particularly prone to the ravages of poverty and are frequent victims of violence, disease, and trafficking. Many also drop out of school in the early grades or never enroll at all.
Kadam Step-up Centers
Planet Aid supports the education of children who are living on the margin in India through the Kadam Step-up Centers. These schools, operated by Planet Aid's local partner Humana People to People India in North India, provide a supportive environment and access to education for out-of-school children who have been shut out of public schools because they lack needed documentation to register or faced other challenges in entering or staying in school.
The award-winning program is based on an innovative progressive step system, allowing students to build upon their existing capacities. Staff from the centers also actively works to mobilize local communities to assist children in enrolling in mainstream education.
The Kadam Step-up program enables youth to complete their elementary school education through grade eight, either through classes offered at the Step-Up Center itself or by supporting them in the mainstream school system. Step-up Center staff also mobilize parents and community members to support education and work with local authorities in obtaining needed registration documentation for students.
From July 2016 to April 2018, 534 Kadam Step-up Centers began or were in operation and reached more than 31,000 out-of-school children. More than 16,000 children have so far been mainstreamed from this group, entering school at their age-appropriate level.
Kadam Step-up Centers operate in five states: Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The centers are under the auspices of the Indian Government’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan program to make access to education available to all.