English and Digital for Girls’ Education (EDGE) is a British Council global project running successfully in various parts of the world. This programme is specifically designed for underprivileged girls aged 13-19. It focuses on improving the life prospects of these adolescent girls in socio-economically marginalized communities by enhancing their English proficiency, digital skills, and awareness of social issues.
The project aims to reach out to 300 adolescent girls who will be divided into 20 after-school clubs managed by Peer Group Leaders (PGLs). They will complete 30 hours of coursework stretched over 10 weeks by the end of the pilot phase. Club members will meet twice a week, or more frequently, for a session that lasts between one and three hours. In each club, there are two PGLs, who are drawn from the same group as the club members. The PGLs facilitate the club sessions, working on improving English Language and digital skills, as well as developing social awareness.
The project is being delivered in Punjab by the British Council in collaboration with Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA). In November 2020, the pilot phase of this project was initiated in two districts of Southern Punjab – Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur.
The activities completed so far during the pilot phase include the baseline study, and the selection and training of PGLs. A total of 50 PGLs were selected for the project who then received 4-day face-to-face training from British Council Training Consultants. The training was aimed at preparing the PGLs to conduct club sessions effectively and develop their facilitation skills. During the training, each PGL facilitated practice sessions under the observation and mentorship of the British Council Training Consultants. Special arrangements were made to implement the Covid-19 SOPs during the training sessions.
EDGE clubs became operational in both districts in December 2020.