Global School Leaders

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In April 2020, just after schools shut, we conducted a survey of 1,800 school leaders in the Global South and found that more than 80% of the leaders felt responsible to ensure the well-being and learning of students, but there were minimal programs available for them to acquire the required skills to do so. In response to this, we created Upya.

As education systems react to the COVID pandemic, we know that girls are at greater risk of suffering education losses during school shutdowns. To reduce these adverse effects faced by girls, we need leadership in schools who are sensitive to, and trained in, issues related to girls’ education. With this as our objective, we piloted the Kanya program.

Socio-Economic Profile

Students across government and low-cost private schools in Andhra Pradesh from low caste and low tribe communities.


  • Project RISE/Upya - Created a curriculum to enable and support school leaders in marginalized communities to lead effectively during school closures and engage students
  • Project Kanya/Shakti – Piloted a program in India and Kenya for supporting school leaders during school closures to develop more gender-sensitive schools

Numbers Impacted

We deployed the resources in ~120 government schools in Andhra Pradesh serving low caste and low tribe students. We also deployed them in ~100 low-cost private schools in urban areas. Overall we reached ~50,000 students

Read more about this intervention