Launching its ‘Youth for Education’ initiative, the Delhi government announced that 250 students of Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University of Women (IGDTUW) will be mentoring over 1,000 girl students of schools run by them and helping them work towards careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The initiative had been announced by Deputy CM Manish Sisodia in his budget speech. He had stated that this is part of making education a “mass movement” and that the government would “prepare lakhs of successful, educated youth to help those students who are struggling in reading, writing due to lack of resources or information”.
The programme is being kicked off with 250 B.Tech, M.Tech, Ph.D and MBA students of IGDTUW, each of whom will look after five girls who are in the currently in the science stream in classes XI and XII. The aim of the initiative is that they will give the girls clarity about careers in STEM, help them prepare for entrance exams and access learning resources, and support them in their transition from school to college.
Sisodia stated that this programme is part of their push to enable and encourage more women to join the STEM workforce. “If I have to speak about the enrollment rate of pre-primary and primary schools, approximately 21 lakh children are enrolled every year. However, only 10,000 girls take up STEM studies in higher education. Our students and teachers are continuously endeavouring to work hard in this field but we need to fill this gap. Therefore, your participation and mentoring will play a crucial role… I’m aware a lot of students are confused about their long-term goals, and require the right information at the right time because making such decisions can be challenging. The best kind of guidance a student can receive is from his/her senior. I’m happy that you will play a key role in guiding our students,” said Sisodia, addressing the mentors on Saturday.
“We had reached out to the V-C and the university has had sessions with its students… The V-C had told them this is something good they could do for the country. There were also interviews and written tests for them. The formal plan is that the associations between the mentors and the girls will be for six months but there’s a lot of demand from the mentors to extend it for a year. They will be making calls to the mentees every weekend and we will also schedule meet-ups,” said a Delhi government representative.