Under the Sakshar Panchayat BYVs will work to ensure awareness on the importance of education and bring to the forefront the government schemes that can be used to access basic education and higher education. The BYV volunteers will put concentrated efforts to create awareness about the following initiatives:
Literacy Campaign – Enrolment and Retention
This is a very crucial intervention as the future of the state will depend heavily on the number of children receiving mainstream education. Furthermore, the retention of these students in the system is also important to ensure each one receives higher education as well. Biju Yuva Vahinis will raise awareness on the importance of education and the existing government schemes. Examples of these schemes are the ‘Sudakhya’ scheme which encourages girls to join technical education after completing their matriculation and the ‘Mid-day Meal Scheme which provides an incentive for students to attend school by providing a free meal to all children in government and government aided primary schools.
Increasing awareness on education of the Girl Child
BYV volunteers will actively participate in awareness campaigns on educating the girl child. Campaigns such as ‘Biju Kanya Ratna Yojana’, which will help in bridging the gender gap in the educational sector, can be leveraged to achieve maximum impact. In the past, gender sensitization training programmes have been conducted at various colleges and institutes across Odisha. The presence of BYVs across all Panchayats and ULBs would help to upscale the efforts through targeted sensitization programs at village level involving group discussions, street plays, short films, paintings, group songs etc.
Imparting Soft and Life Skills
Apart from the knowledge attained through textbooks, youth must be made aware of various life skills that are essential to help them in the future. While inculcating a spirit of volunteerism, it is also important that the youth of Odisha develop a well-rounded personality that will help them become capable leaders of tomorrow. With appropriate workshops on personal etiquette, grooming, and communication skills, the youth of Odisha will be given the support they need to succeed. Other life skills like empathy, teamwork, leadership, decision making and speaking up can help the youth become confident individuals who are job-ready and able to take on the world.
Counselling for Parents of School Going/Drop Out/Absentee Children
Parents must be involved and made aware about their child's education. It is important for teachers to counsel parents from time to time. BYV volunteers will be expected to initiate dialogue with parents and encourage them to take a larger role in their child’s education. There is a need to create awareness among the community at large about existing schemes undertaken by the Government of Odisha for improving the access to education.