In 2012, in partnership with BRAC Bangladesh, we launched the English and ICT for Adolescent Girls (EITA) project. Since then, the project has developed into English and Digital for Girls’ Education (EDGE), which aims to improve the life prospects of adolescent girls in socio-economically marginalised communities and has started operating in, India and Nepal. The programme focuses on enhancing participants’ English proficiency, digital and 21st Century skills, and awareness of social issues. As a result, participants will be better able to make more informed and independent life choices, as is their right, in order to contribute more fully to the family, the economy and society. In addition, the programme aims to improve the leadership skills of a smaller group of peer leaders drawn from the same communities of adolescent girls.
The British Council provided five-day training to 220 new EDGE peer group leaders from 4 to 15 December 2016.These girls are now going to facilitate the after school clubs in their villages as part of the EDGE project. There were eight separate groups of peer leaders who came from Narshingdi, Mymensingh and Tangail. Sessions on English, digital and social awareness skills were delivered in a very interactive way in the peer group leader training and the girls seemed to be very motivated and engaged in the training. Salma from Tangail said, “I never even thought that English can be something other than a scary subject. After this training, I have started believing that one day I will speak English fluently.”
A baseline study has also been conducted involving the peer leaders, club participants and a sample of control groups. The girls’ English and digital skills were tested in the baseline study. The same girls will be tested again in the endline study at the end the EDGE course which will measure the results of the project interventions.
Previously, on 26 November 2016, an orientation workshop was delivered to the EDGE project trainers. There were seven participants in the workshop that included two new trainers. The workshop covered the context, the project plans, the syllabus for English, digital and social awareness skills, different materials and activities, questionnaires of speaking test, and demonstration activities by the participants. The academic team observed the sessions delivered by the trainers and there will be further training designed for the trainers based on the observation of the academic team.