India has achieved almost universal enrollment at primary schooling, however, the trend does not sustain as children graduate to secondary grades and upwards. Over the last decade or so, girls have dropped out of school disproportionately due to factors like early marriage, chores at home and cost of education [National Family Health Survey-5 (2019-21) data].

Pratham’s experience indicates that once a learner has dropped out of school, it is near impossible for them to find their way back. While India has open schooling opportunities, there is lack of awareness, accessibility, adequate motivation and support for a student to use open schooling as a way to continue their education.

Fewer people progressing for higher studies, low quality secondary education, an ever-increasing demand of a skilled labour force reinforces the need for an effective intervention in the secondary education space. A secondary school certificate is a prerequisite for entry into higher education, skill apprenticeship and for promotion in jobs. Pratham believes that by making education accessible and closer to home, it is possible to overcome logistical and social challenges and begin to bridge the gender gap in learning and education.

Understanding the importance of secondary education, especially Grade 10, Pratham has deployed a focused intervention, the Second Chance program, to enable young girls and women to complete their secondary schooling and forge strong pathways for the future.



Pratham's Second Chance program focuses on providing school dropouts, especially young girls and women, another chance at education. Second Chance aims to support those who could not complete their secondary education. The program focuses on completion of Grade 10. The academic certificate that they receive opens the door for further opportunities for lifelong learning and growth. The Second Chance program uses innovative teaching methods, to provide accessible learning opportunities very close to where the students live.


Over the years, Pratham has reached more than 40,000 learners through the Second Chance program.

Currently, the Second Chance program is operational in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

  • Jilanba


    Once a school dropout, this 19-year-old from Gujarat now aspires to become a police officer
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  • Summaia

    A school dropout and a mother of two children resumed her education after a gap of 20 years
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  • Tameshwari

    Second Chance program enables homemaker from Chhattisgarh to become financially independent
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The Second Chance program prepares and supports students to take the Grade 10 – Secondary Board/Open School examinations. The program runs in two phases. The first phase is called the Foundation Course (FC) which lasts for 3-4 months and focuses on basic foundational concepts of subjects like English, Mathematics, Language (state-specific), Science and Home Science. Assessment in the form of a pre-test at the onset of FC and post-test at the end of FC are conducted to track the learning levels of students and their growth during the course. During this phase, life skills-focused activities are also conducted with the learners, concentrating on enhancement of communication, decision-making and critical thinking skills.

After the Foundation Course, students move to the Main Course which focuses on helping learners prepare for the Board-mandated curriculum. The progress during the Main Course is tracked through internal assessments. Interactive methods such as activity-based learning, group work and an emphasis on self-learning are the highlights of the course. The Main Course formally ends with the students appearing for the Board Examination.

Additionally, the program delivers non-academic modules focused on providing learners exposure to available opportunities after Grade 10.


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