GURUGRAM, July 1, 2024 – In a significant move towards fostering gender equality, Breakthrough, an organization dedicated to ending gender-based violence, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Haryana Department of Education. This partnership will integrate Breakthrough’s flagship gender curriculum, ‘Taaron Ki Toli’ (TKT), into the state’s educational framework for the next three years, targeting students in grades six to eight across 125 schools.

The MoU was followed by a day-long event titled ‘Towards Gender Transformative Schools and Women and Child Friendly Panchayats’ in the state capital. The event highlighted the crucial role of educational institutions and gram panchayats in reshaping societal norms and fostering gender-just communities.

Anurag Dhalia, Assistant Director of the Department of Education in Haryana, emphasized the initiative’s importance: “Integrating the ‘Taaron Ki Toli’ curriculum is a significant step towards creating a more equitable educational environment. By addressing gender biases early, we are preparing our students to challenge and overcome societal inequalities. This partnership with Breakthrough will lead to significant changes in the gender attitudes, behaviors, and understanding of students, teachers, and parents.”

‘Taaron Ki Toli’ is a comprehensive program for adolescents aged 11 to 14, designed to develop psychological, interpersonal, and social skills through interactive methods such as games, songs, and drawings. It facilitates discussions on gender stereotypes, roles at home, girls’ education, women’s employment, and harassment, aiming to embed a gender-sensitive perspective within the middle school curriculum.

Nayana Chowdhury, Senior Director and Head of Programs at Breakthrough, lauded the MoU as a landmark achievement: “This partnership will ensure that the next generation is equipped with the values and understanding needed to break down gender barriers and foster equality. Through comprehensive training for educators and a curriculum that engages students in critical discussions about gender roles and stereotypes, we are laying the foundation for a more inclusive society.”

As the gender technical partner to the Haryana Department of Education, Breakthrough will be responsible for training teachers in 125 schools across the state. This initiative includes comprehensive training modules aimed at enhancing gender sensitivity and building educators’ capacity to effectively deliver the TKT curriculum.

Arty, Senior Manager and State Lead of Haryana for Breakthrough, highlighted the curriculum’s impact: “The ‘Taaron Ki Toli’ curriculum has already demonstrated significant changes in gender attitudes among adolescents. This initiative will benefit individual students and contribute to the broader cultural shift needed to eradicate gender-based discrimination and violence.”