Nirantar has systematically engaged with mainstream education with a vision to inform it with a gender and equity perspective. Gender has, over the last decade, found greater space in State policy and program initiatives, albeit with a narrow focus on increasing girls’ access to education. Nirantar highlights the importance of looking beyond access, and also ensuring that gender is key to all dimensions of education including content and pedagogy — the teaching-learning processes. We call for gender to be integral to education, rather than taking the ‘add and stir’ approach. Nirantar does not equate ‘gender’ with ‘girls’. We see gender as a social structure that impacts girls and boys as well as transgenders.
Our efforts are aimed at influencing every aspect of mainstream education, whether through training of teachers, creating material to be used for trainings, or for young people themselves. An important part of our work is creating materials in Hindi, in a context in which little is available from the rich literature that currently exists in English on gender and education. The capacity building includes rigorous courses, trainings and workshops for students, teachers, teacher educators and planners, or those organizations working with education system that approach Nirantar for inputs.