In Bihar, we support twenty families of migrant workers and are taking measures to help to get their school-age children back into education. 

In October 2020, we visited a village in Maner, Patna and met with teachers, families and members of the Panchayati Raj Institution, a rural local governing council, since schools were still closed. An orientation workshop was later delivered to the families of the children whose reintegration into education is sponsored by ICT. During the session, we talked to parents about children’s rights and the benefits of continued education to help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. In rural areas, girls often finish their education early in order to do domestic work, care for their siblings or get married; and boys are more likely to become involved in child labour and encouraged to migrate from their villages for work. On this occasion, we distributed educational materials such as notebooks, pens, pencils, rubbers and pencil sharpeners to thirty-two children to motivate them to do some work at home and to prepare for their return to school. 

In mid-November we held a teacher training programme at the Bhawani Tola Middle School in Maner, one of our partner schools in this programme. This was led by two members of staff from our partner SARTHI, and attended by the headteacher and six teachers from the school. The theme of this programme was ‘Children’s Rights and the Education of Marginalised Children, Especially those of Migrant Workers During the Covid-19 Pandemic’.

We began with a discussion around different articles from the ‘UN Convention on the Rights of the Child’ and the ‘Right to Education Act in India’. Staff from the school agreed that the education of the children had been severely disrupted and were keen to identify ways in which we could work together to readmit and reintegrate the children to ensure their continuing education during the pandemic.