Secondary Schools

The Secondary Schools program - implemented across 9 states - works to inculcate a STEM Mindset among young adolescents. Through self-learning, gender sensitisation, and 21st century skills for young boys and girls, and by enabling educators and schools to transform the learning ecosystem, the program prepares students of today to explore STEM career pathways of the 21st century.

STEM Mindset in Application

1 lakh students across 8 states participated in Ideathons, out of whom 4000 selected students participated in Hackathons conducted across 6 states. Students created 857 working prototypes for everyday solutions, like making water potable for drinking, helping aged people with mobility while climbing up and down stairs, and designing a waste management system for their school. The Hackathons inspired students to become active knowledge-seekers instead of passive recipients, as they gained skills in problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. An advanced coding curriculum pilot was also done with 1100 students, which included mobile application building and hardware integration. Through this, a group of students worked on an app which verifies parents' details and approves entry into the school during visiting hours.


Deepening Engagement with schools in the North-East

With support from IBM and ChildAid, Quest expanded its work in Assam and also entered into a three-year MoU with the education departments in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. As part of this, Quest will work with 26,000 girls across 400 schools and reach out to 2000 teachers. Our interventions across schools, especially in aspirational districts, will develop a future-ready generation, equipped for 'new collar' jobs. This process started in 2021, when Quest Alliance, along with the HT Parekh Foundation, undertook a research study in Assam to understand effective school-to-work transitions from a systems-change lens. A state-level meeting was convened by the Principal Secretary, Department of Education, Assam to discuss the findings of the study and to plan the way forward.


The IBM STEM For Girls (India) project in Nagaland is being implemented in collaboration with our partner Youth Net.

Deeping Career Exploration for Adolescents in Schools

Through role model interactions, Career Days, Hackathons and one-on-one mentoring, secondary school students were exposed to career exploration and an awareness of STEM career pathways. During feedback processes, 67.8% of the students challenged gender norms and stated that girls can be as good as boys in technical subjects like computers, as compared to 44.8% in the baseline. To create an immersive, exploratory experience, a ‘career museum’ was created in a school in Hyderabad, with support from Nisum. Students interacted with role models, and interviewed adults from their communities to understand the world of work. A browser-based, choice-led game, Career Quest, was developed for students aged 14-18, which plays out pathways of 8 young adults - men, women, and a transgender person.

A Systems-Change Approach For Policy Advocacy

The Secondary School program is working in close partnership with the state education departments in Odisha, Karnataka and Assam to integrate 21st century skills and career exploration in secondary schools. 25000+ teachers across 3 states will be enabled to become 21st century facilitators. In these states, Quest representatives are part of the NEP task forces, contributing to developing position papers and curriculum development. In Karnataka, Quest supported the ed-tech position paper for DSERT. In Gujarat, a knowledge partnership was initiated with the District Skills Committee of five districts to train 54 teachers in career exploration and gender. Teachers took these sessions back to their classrooms, thus creating a cascade effect and reaching 6,000 students.


[L-R] Smt. Susmita Baghchi, Chairperson, Mo School Abhiyan Parichalana Sanghathan; Shri Anupam Saha I.A.S., Member Secretary, Mo School Abhiyan Parichalana Sanghathan and State Project Director, OSEPA, Dept. Of School and Mass Education, Govt. Of Odisha; Aakash Sethi, Md Azim ud Doula and Neha Parti from Quest Alliance.


“Even we should be asked to sweep the classrooms. If nobody questions these differences, these practices will continue. While we get time in school to study, the girls spend time in cleaning the classrooms. If we do not initiate these conversations, the girls will not be able to get equal opportunities as us.”

- Mohammad Huzaifa, Government High School, Sidlaghatta town, Karnataka