Life Skills Education for Comprehensive Development
Being a pioneering educational institute in the state of Odisha, India, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) provides free education and residential facilities to 25,000 Tribal students, out of which 12,500 are Adolescents. From 2009, with the support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), KISS has been endeavouring to hone the abilities of its Adolescents through Life Skills Education (LSE) based Adolescent Reproductive Sexual Health (ARSH) education in order to enable them to deal with the demands and challenges in their life effectively. The proposed intervention in KISS aims at building institutional capacity and networking with other potential institutions to overcome knowledge and skills deficit in the state for the promotion of LSE.
During these years, several initiatives have been undertaken for promotion of LSE among tribal adolescents in KISS. KISS has emerged as resource agency having a critical mass of resource persons and a wide range of communication and training materials with socio-cultural sensitivity have also been developed. Most of the resource materials used for LSE programme in the state were developed and tested at KISS. From the year 2012 to 2014, in a phased manner, the life skills based SRH education was scaled up to 500 residential schools covering 318 tribal residential high schools and 182 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) in collaboration with ST and SC Development (SSD) and School and Mass Education (S&ME) Department, Government of Odisha respectively. KISS provided handholding and technical support in implementation of Life skill based SRH education program in schools. From 2015 programme in government tribal residential schools was scaled up by the ST & SC Development Department, Government of Odisha.
In KISS, LSE sessions were transacted to students of grades 6th to 9th through co-curricular approaches by trained teachers covering over 9,000 tribal adolescents.
At the college level and school level peer educators have been trained in the life skills based SRH education and are encouraged to promote life skills education and address myths and misconceptions about ARSH among peers. Activities are backed up by counselling, health services, menstrual hygiene promotion, creative communication activities and community awareness on ARSH issues by trained peer educators during summer vacation. In order to promote counselling services teachers have been identified and their capacity has been developed on counselling. Further, the sanitary napkin manufacturing unit established with support from UNFPA is operational and partially supported by KISS for its maintenance including staff for its management.