The village of Gughwa Tolla in Madhya Pradesh, one of the target areas of the SPED III program, is home to people belonging to scheduled tribes and scheduled castes. In the field of education, primary schools are present in the community, but students must travel to the city for higher education, which is very far from the village. As a result, most of the students discontinue their studies after completing plus two (Grade 12). There is no public transportation in this village and most of the private bus owners do not make concessions for students, so the youth are unable to continue their higher studies due to the economic situation of the families. Since communication facilities like radio, newspapers, television and the internet are not available in the villages, the students have no awareness of job vacancies that are published through the media after they complete their studies.
The local field staff, the Village Action Team, and other community members selected the issue of unemployment among youth as their prioritized issue. During micro-planning, the beneficiaries discussed possible activities to increase young people’s access to employment opportunities with the help of SPED III staff. They planned to start a three month special coaching center to prepare educated youth for competitive public exams. Before starting the coaching center, the students were forced to depend on resources and facilities from the city to build career opportunities. The special coaching center is focused on building the capacity of 20 educated youth to write public exams, like public service examinations, Vyapam (the official recruiting body of the Madhya Pradesh government for government-related jobs), and the centrally sponsored examination for the students from rural village. Since most of the beneficiaries belong to tribal communities, they have special considerations for examinations and job opportunities and their involvement in the center will help remove the barriers for them to access these positions.
The classes, which are being taught by the Director of Institute of Professional Skill
Academy from Sidhi, are provided to prepare students for arithmetic tests, IQ test, and general knowledge, and to develop students’ awareness of the procedures to apply for different vacancies. The local field staff has created a notice board at the coaching center to post job vacancy notices that are published by government and private sectors for new recruitment.
• Educated youth are developed confidence to attain jobs from community
• They are more aware of existing resources to increase sustainable income source to the families
• Through the establishment of notice board, the youth have reduced their dependency on travelling to the the city for collecting information which related with different vacancies
A big thanks to our partner organization, the Samaritan Social Service Society in Satna, Madhya Pradesh for sharing this story and to their committed staff members for their efforts in making the SPED III Program a success.