Akshara -Adult Education Program aims at extending educational options to those underprivileged adult women, who have lost the opportunity and have crossed the age of formal education, but now feel a need for learning of any type, including literacy, basic education, skill development (Vocational Education) and equivalency. With the objective to promote adult education, Inner Wheel Club of Agra in association with Ek Pahel B.R. Memorial Welfare Society started Akshara -Adult Education Program to ensure basic literacy to the ladies. Initially nukad natak team of Ek Pahel went to slum areas near Dayalbagh such as Ganga Enclave, Kailash Vihar, Jaganpur Bela, etc. to showcase the importance of education of women for the well being of their families and inspire women to join the program. Then Ek Pahel team of volunteers went to individual homes to counsel the women and their families and encourage them to register themselves for the program.
The curriculum of the program is meticulously designed keeping in mind the educational requirements of the adults. Adult education programs run by government and UNESCO were also consulted. The curriculum is divided into seven modules including:
- Literacy (Alphabet) Numerical Competency
- Communication Skills
- Vocational Training Skills
- Social Studies (family relations, the environment and community development)
- Health and Hygiene Promotion and Awareness
- Civic Education (citizenship, rights and duties, values, and gender).
The seven modules are taught simultaneously over a period of 3.5-5 months for 10 learning hours per week which form the basis of learning. During this 'formative' level, learners are obliged to study in groups with the help of a trained facilitator. Learners with little or no access to formal education are thus able to "catch up" through a programme that is tailored to their specific needs and expectations.