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There are many ways to raise awareness on an issue. The method chosen will depend on the current links you have with those you want to reach, and the scale of possible/desirable intervention. You could use community meetings and links with local groups and schools. This initial stage involves communicating clearly that the right to education exists, and that it is the government’s responsibility to deliver this right. For people to be empowered, and claim their right they need to be aware of its existence. But just saying ‘you have the right to education’ on its own can be quite meaningless.

Case study: India

In Orissa, India, a campaign was launched to enhance the quality and coverage of primary education. Orissa Shikshya Abhiyan is a platform of NGOs, the teachers’ union and other trade unions, and brings together diverse civil society organisations that have not previously collaborated.  Using an ‘Education Caravan’, which took two street theatre groups over 6,000 kilometres through 30 districts of Orissa, the campaign demanded a 25 per cent increase in the state education budget; the appointment of trained teachers; quality education and a common schooling system. The Caravan raised public awareness through more than 100 public meetings, using street plays to communicate the current status of education in Orissa. The campaign linked up with local celebrities, such as Dilip Tirkey, the captain of the Indian men's hockey team, who called for children to come to school. They also worked closely with the media, which has given the campaign well deserved coverage for its achievements, especially in securing hostels for girls from tribal communities so that they can attend school. The campaign has also joined with the Forum against Child Exploitation and the Campaign against Child Labour to link issues of child labour directly to issues of lack of access to education.