• 18.3% of children aged 6-13 years are not enrolled in any educational institution (2011 Census)
  • 320 million students were affected by school closures (ASER 2020)
  • 320,000 children between the ages of 15 to 18 have dropped out of school (Ministry of Education 2023)

CINI's education programme places paramount importance on securing the educational rights of socio-economically disadvantaged children. We provide continuous care and support from ages 3 to 18, encompassing early childhood care and education, age-appropriate academic outcomes, and the promotion of secondary and higher secondary education. Our approach to child education is grounded in human rights principles. It emphasizes the integration of academic and non-academic factors to address social determinants. We employ integrated methodologies to counter forces within families, communities, and systems that hinder children from completing their education and push them toward child labour, early marriage, and other rights violations.


CINI goes beyond academic excellence; we also focus on strengthening communities and the systems responsible for creating an enabling environment for education. We collaborate with Anganwadi centres and primary and upper primary schools, creating a convergence platform involving institutional authorities, grassroots government service providers, members of Panchayati Raj Institutes, Self-Help Groups, parents, adolescents, and children. Together, we work to enhance the school management system, fostering child-friendly schools.


In the fiscal year 2022-23, CINI made significant strides in the field of education:

Over 92,000 children aged 3 to 18 were reached, and 91,000 continued their education.

Over 20,000 children aged 3 to 16 were reached through direct education services in West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand.

Promoting inclusive education, facilitating the mainstreaming of deaf children and young people into regular schools, and improving their communication, language, and numeric skills, to date, 450 deaf children have been successfully mainstreamed.


  • Strengthening the education and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) to enhance enrolment, retention and quality education for vulnerable children, especially girls
  • Promoting CINI’s innovative (Learning Centre) model to improve learning outcomes among children and also to reduce their vulnerabilities
  • Working with school systems and strengthening government policy and programmes so that education can be accessed by all


Amidst the global upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, India, like many other nations, faced an extraordinary challenge with the nationwide lockdown commencing on March 23, 2020. Responding to this crisis, CINI, supported by the NSE Foundation, embarked on an impactful journey to ensure that education reached the most vulnerable children during these trying times.


CINI was actively involved in an education project in Rajnagar, Birbhum, serving 3,545 primary school children through 107 primary school-based education centres. However, these centres closed their doors, with schools shuttered since March 15, 2020. In an admirable display of resilience, the teachers, known as Sikshan Mitras, began creating Teaching-Learning Materials (TLMs) and worksheets from their homes. This proactive step set the stage for an extraordinary initiative. When the lockdown extended indefinitely beyond March 31, Sikshan Mitras took it upon themselves to visit children in their homes. Their visits not only involved teaching but also educating families about COVID-19 prevention.


Travel restrictions confined these visits to children within their villages. For those in other areas, an innovative approach emerged: ‘teaching through telephone,’ ensuring continuity in learning. A significant turning point arrived on May 1, 2020, as Birbhum was declared a Green Zone. Teachers like Supriya Ghosh seized this opportunity to reopen education centres in community spaces, admitting a maximum of 10 children at a time. Supriya, a teacher in Tabadumra village, Bhabanipur Gram Panchayat, demonstrated exceptional dedication. With 16 children in the Basic Foundation Centre and 51 in the Remedial Education Centre, including many from outside her village, she efficiently divided them into small groups and conducted two-hour classes three days a week.


All TLMs and worksheets were customized to their academic levels to ensure students stayed on track. The stringent implementation of COVID-19 precautions, including mask-wearing, social distancing, hand hygiene, and not sharing materials, became an integral part of the learning process. Beyond in-person teaching, Supriya continued to support 12 children from other villages through regular phone sessions lasting 40 to 45 minutes three days a week.


The community’s overwhelming support for this initiative underscores its significance. Parents and community members recognized that, despite school closures, their children received quality education and remained engaged in their studies.


CINI’s unwavering commitment to education and the determination of Sikshan Mitras, like Supriya Ghosh, bridged the gap in academic competency. It nurtured resilience and hope among children during these challenging times. This success story is an inspiring example, demonstrating that the pursuit of knowledge knows no bounds, even in adversity.

Nestled along the banks of the Ganges in the marginalized village of Ponkamra, within the Falta block of South 24 Parganas, the challenges facing the minority community were evident—school dropouts and early marriages among girls were distressingly common. In 2017, CINI embarked on a mission to address these issues by establishing a Girls Learning Centre (GLC) in the heart of Ponkamra.

The GLC’s dedicated teacher worked tirelessly to provide education, but she soon recognized the need for effective community engagement. CINI embarked on a transformative journey to ensure the centre’s sustained success and facilitate its students’ academic growth.
Especially during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, the GLC teacher and CINI staff sensitized the community to create an enabling environment for children. This led to the establishing of a Centre Management Committee (CMC), consisting of parents of the GLC students, local Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members, and respected community figures like ASHA workers, Anganwadi staff, and school teachers. The CMC was entrusted with decision-making authority for the centre’s smooth operation and children’s resource mobilization.
In 2021, a pressing issue came to light: the GLC students had been unable to access clean drinking water, necessitating them to bring water from home, as the nearby tube well was out of order. The proactive CMC members drafted an application to the Gram Panchayat, and within days, a new tube well was installed near the GLC. This benefited the GLC students and the entire community, highlighting the remarkable impact of community engagement.

Inspired by this success, the GLC students proposed another improvement—installing two tube lights and a fan within the centre. The CMC once again mobilized resources from the Gram Panchayat, ensuring a conducive learning environment by providing electricity connections. Regular CMC meetings are now held to maintain these resources and continually motivate children to pursue their education.
The story of Ponkamra is a testament to the power of community engagement in creating an environment that fosters educational growth. By bringing together parents, local leaders, and CMC members, CINI has transformed a struggling village and empowered its children to dream, learn, and aspire to a brighter future through education.

In this story – there were contradictions- M’s mother had died, and the writer first says the father never remarried, and then there is a mention of parents multiple times in the original version – we assumed it was the habit of writing about the parents always in plural that led to this – and have changed it to father – please double check on the case study edit for accuracy.

The heart of Jarjatta village, nestled within the Gumla district of Jharkhand, unfolds the inspiring journey of a 10-year-old boy named Mankeshwar Singh. Born into a single-parent household, Mankeshwar faced adversity from a young age. His mother, Mrs. Ranthi Devi, tragically passed away when he was three. He is the youngest of three siblings, and his father, a devoted single parent, has been tirelessly caring for his children without remarrying.

Mankeshwar’s story took a transformative turn when CINI’s project in Gumla, ‘Shiksha Se Hi Suraksha,’ commenced in April 2022. He was among the 343 sponsored children identified and recommended by the community. In a family where his father is the sole breadwinner, Mankeshwar yearned for the care and affection of his late mother. Though enrolled in a nearby school, irregular attendance led to his dropping out.

The CINI team visited Mankeshwar’s home to understand what kept him from school. With empathetic persuasion, the field team convinced the family to send Mankeshwar to school daily. The next day, he arrived at school, eagerly met CINI’s learning facilitator, and requested assistance joining his class.

However, his academic journey presented challenges. Despite being enrolled in standard 5, according to school records, he needed to gain essential foundational skills, placing him at risk of dropping out again. Collaborating with the school headmaster, he was put in a learning centre to bridge these gaps. A level test revealed significant deficiencies, such as the inability to identify Hindi letters or perform basic arithmetic.

CINI’s innovative teaching methods, introduced by the Learning Facilitator, ignited Mankeshwar’s passion for learning. He became a regular attendee committed to his studies. Such was his commitment that when he failed to appear for class one day, it was so out of the ordinary that both the Learning Facilitator and the Panchayat Facilitator visited his home. Sure enough, he was only absent because he was severely unwell with a fever. Understanding the absence of a mother figure, the CINI team paid extra attention to the child and provided emotional support, arranged medical care, and maintained regular visits, fostering a strong emotional bond and trust between Mankeshwar’s father.
Today, Mankeshwar thrives, diligently pursuing his studies at the learning centre within GEL Primary School, Jarjatta. Initiated in September 2022, these learning centres have been instrumental in his progress. With unwavering support, he has made remarkable strides in just five months, mastering skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and tables up to 10. Having completed CINI’s foundational-level remedial package, he consistently attends school.

Mankeshwar dreams of escaping vulnerability and poverty through education. Despite the financial challenges faced by his family, he remains determined to build a successful career, making his aspirations a reality.