On this photo, Barsha Kumari Pashawal responds to her teacher’s question at Shree Ram Narayan Ayodhaya School, Pipra rural municipality, Mahottari District, in Nepal. She’s in grade 5.
Two years ago, Barsha had never set foot in a classroom. She spent her days at home, helping her mother take care of two younger siblings and doing household chores. Neither of Barsha's parents have attended school.
One day, a local facilitator for the GATE program (Girls' Access to School—an initiative jointly funded by UNICEF and the Government) came to her house to talk to Barsha’s parents. It took several visits to convince them, but eventually they agreed she could join 24 other girls aged 10-14 and attend a catch-up class that met two hours a day, six days a week, for nine months.
Barsha took her studies seriously. Most girls who complete the program move into grade 2 or 3, but Barsha did well enough to enter grade 5. Barsha’s dream is to become a teacher in the same school where she studies now.
The GATE program relies on the Equity Index implemented by the Government of Nepal with support from GPE and other partners. The index helps the government use education data to identify disparities in access to education, participation and learning outcomes, and to target programs to the children who need it most, like Barsha.
Meet Aichetou, 14 – Mauritania