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Our History

Sikshasandhan was established as a resource centre for education in Odisha, India in the year 1995. Sikshasandhan believes that education is a vital tool in the process of empowerment of the poor and under-privileged sections of society. It also believes that schooling in its present form excludes children of these sections of society. Education in its present form does not help children to acquire a sense of confidence in life, which is essential for enabling them to lead a lifeof dignity. Sikshasandhan, therefore, started working with children of tribal communities to understand educational requirements of these communities. A resource centre was set up in order to develop further the theoretical understanding of issuesthrough practical applications.

Sikshasandhans efforts in the field of education need to be understood in the context of the larger educational scenario in Odisha. The state ranks 26th in India in terms of literacy figures (2001 census). Substantial disparities between regions and a large tribal population of almost23% of the total population living in far-flung areas provide further challenges. In spite of various governmental schemes and programmes targeting them, educational opportunity keep eluding them.


1995-96 | Sikshasandhan was Established

National Symposium on Education for Social Change (Report Published) State Symposium on Education for Social Change VOs, education experts, academics, teachers, community members, etc. invited. Needs assessment of NGOs conducted by visiting various organizations in Orissa to learn about what was being done, what the gaps were and how Sikshasandhan could fill the gaps. Action plan drafted for 10 years and submitted to Action Aid India.

1996-97 | Support Service Provided

Provided support services on local specific teaching learning materials and primers in three tribal languages, Saura, Desia and Juang. Conducted training programmes for teachers, Village Education Committee (VEC) members and senior functionaries of VOs.

Started publication of books and bi-monthly magazine, Sikha and established a resource library. Spread of Education in Tribal Areas: A consultation with teachers (Report Published). Consulted primarily teachers from tribal areas, approximately 60, to learn from them on their perceptions of the education system. Sikshasandhan starting assisting in designing education programmes for various NGOs and VOs ie. SWWS, CCD, ISARA, JBK, SPREAD, MODE, Agragamee, KARMI, and more.

1997-98 | Tribal Writers Workshop (Report Published)

Tribal peoples invited to share tribal stories, songs, folk tales, riddles, etc. used to design course curriculum and materials.

Spread of Education in Tribal Society: A consultation with students (Report Published).

Residential high school students from Scheduled Caste Scheduled Tribe (SCST) Department of Orissa, were invited to express their thoughts on education.

State-level Discussion on the Report "Primary Education in India - A Status Report" under the aegis of Citizen Initiative on Elementary Education in India Forum.

1998-99 | Identified Integrated Intervention

Identified integrated intervention was needed for holistic development of people.

Submitted proposal to German Argo Action for initiation of Alternative Education Centres (AECs). Published quarterly journal, NewsEd.

First two of three phases of training of trainers programme organized.

1999-2000 | Received Funding for 16 AECs

Received funding for 16 AECs in tribal areas of Orissa in partnership with seven consortium partners. Interface on Tribal Education as part of advocacy initiative.

Workshop for young writers and artists, invited from urban, rural and tribal areas to nurture their creative potential and strengthen their imaginations. Training of trainers programme completed.

2000-01 | Received Funding for 34 AECs

AECs more than doubled to 34. Evaluation of Educational Institutions of Secondary Education (Under the Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Caste Development Department) (Study Conducted).

2001-02 | Education Centre for Tribal Children

Education Centre for Tribal Children in Orissa (Report Published). External evaluation conducted by German Agro Action on Sikshasandhan.

Balwadi Teachers Training Programme (Report Published) Conducted for the Catholic Relief Services AECs reduced to 31.

2002-03 | Sikshasandhan Perspective Plan

Sikshasandhan Perspective Plan

Workshop on Innovations in Education, invited organizations working in the field of non-formal education. Discussion on the relevance of basic education in the present context, Monthly discussions and lectures on education and development issues.

2003-04 | Discussion on Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2003

Discussion on Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2003

2004-05 |Internship Programme Started

Established internship programme. Our first intern, Lauren Alcorn, completed her Masters thesis Indigenous Education at a Crossroads. Printing press set-up.