The Right to Education Act in India guarantees free and compulsory schooling to all children up to Grade 8. However, for various reasons (such as distance, cost, access, socio-economic constraints and cultural barriers), many students drop out of school or discontinue their education. This phenomenon is even more pronounced for girls and young women, especially in rural areas.

The challenges of re-entering the education system and accessing further learning opportunities are huge, especially for young people who did not finish elementary or secondary school. While India has open schooling opportunities, there is lack of awareness and adequate motivation and support for a student to use open schooling as a way of continuing their education.



Pratham's Second Chance program focuses on providing school drop-outs, 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, in the hope that this academic certificate would prove useful for the learners and further their opportunities for educational growth and employability. The Second Chance program uses innovative teaching methods, to provide accessible learning opportunities very close to where the students live.

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.


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 the 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-issued 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 and pathways after Grade 10.

  • 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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Life Skills


Life Skills refer to a large group of psychosocial and interpersonal skills that promote mental wellbeing leading to a healthy and productive life. Life Skills are important as they enable individuals, including children and young adults, to manage their lives well and stay confident and positive while serving as valuable resources to their friends, families and community.

Pratham’s Life Skills Program started in 2012-13 with its school-based interventions with adolescents and has since expanded across various program areas, including Second Chance.


At Pratham, Life Skills activities are offered in addition to the academic subjects like Language, Mathematics, English, etc. It is implemented as a separate module or integrated into teaching of academic subjects or both. There is a curriculum based on our Life Skills Framework. Sessions are designed to cover various competencies included in the framework.

The six main components of Pratham’s Life Skills Framework are as follows:



Interpersonal Skills

Problem Solving


Technical Skills

The framework is an overall map of life skills; depending on the needs of the target group the module can evolve. The components are interrelated and operated simultaneously. Leadership is a composite component and derives heavily from the other components. The last component Technical Skills is closely linked with Functional Literacy. 

Pratham’s Life Skills framework has been acknowledged by various national and international bodies and has been also published on the website of Harvard Graduate School.

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