IIMPACT was founded in March 2003 by the alumni of 1978 batch of IIM Ahmedabad to mark their Silver Jubilee reunion, with the single-minded objective of educating the under-privileged girl child from socially and economically disadvantaged sections of the society.
IIMPACT provides an alternative educational opportunity to girls, mostly from disadvantaged sections, who have limited or no access to schools. This is done through community-based Learning Centers, where they get meaningful and stimulating education up to standard 5 and are supported to enter mainstream education. Sound foundations established at IIMPACT Learning Centers prepare them for a good academic future.
The academic and field research is now well-established to support the notion that:
“Investment in girls’ education may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world.” – (Larry Summers, when Chief Economist at the World Bank).
The demographic profile of the community that we serve is as follows:
- 90% of fathers of the girls are farmers, labourers or un-employed
- 55% of their fathers and 66% of their mothers are illiterate
- 90% of the girls, as on date, are in 6-14 year age bracket
- 68% of the girls who passed their Grade V exam, are continuing to study
In our experience, there are three major challenges when it comes to the education of girls: (a) getting them to school, (b) ensuring good quality of education to improve their learning achievements and (c) enlisting their participation in higher level education (upper primary and above).
IIMPACT has developed identified a specific focus, developed a clear strategy, and proven the delivery model in terms of social outcomes as well as scalability. There are three elements to this strategy:
- Access: By opening IIMPACT community-based schools, called Learning Centers, in places near the residences of the girls; by appointing women teachers; by adapting girl child friendly practices; and by involving the parents and local community.
- Retention: By placing specific attention on each girl, by improving their learning achievements through innovative and meaningful education and thereby encouraging them and their parents.
- Continued Education: After passing their class V exams from IIMPACT Learning Centres a majority of girls have gone on to study in formal schools. Majority of them are doing well and continuing with their secondary education.
The village community is the most important part of the IIMPACT model. It has to come together as one unit to provide or develop with IIMPACT the space and infrastructure for the learning centers. They have to monitor the local learning centers diligently and gradually take over responsibility for the learning centers, in other words the education of the girl child, into their own hands.
The role of local NGOs is to work extensively among the communities in the villages, establish a team of local teachers and community mobilisers, establish a strong partnership with the communities and manage the day-to-day activities associated with the learning centers. We have established close working relationships with accredited and experienced NGOs and formalised our arrangements via performance agreements.
IIMPACT is engaged throughout the life cycle of each project, taking responsibility for the critical success factors underpinning the strategy.