For most of us, Milind Nagda’s current job would be pale in comparison to the six-figure cushy one he had with AMD.
After spending six years in Texas with the processor giant, Nagda is today a full-time primary school teacher at Shindewadi Municipal School in Dadar. Nagda is just one of the fellows of NGO Teach For India’s eponymous two-year fellowship programme.
“The other day, a parent told me that their child was the only one who could string a sentence together in English in his housing society. I’m teaching them a life skill,” said Nagda. When he started seven months ago, 72 per cent of Nagda’s class couldn’t pronounce three letter words, but now 93 per cent of them can read.
The NGO’s list of 87 fellows boasts of professionals from Godrej, Mahindra & Mahindra and ICICI.
This year, they have received over 2,400 applications and expect to get over 3,000 by January 17 (last date for submission) for 150 positions.
But there are challenges. “We have to train first-time teachers on dealing with regular teachers barging into their classroom or ensuring the children get enough sleep,” said Shaheen Mistri, the organisation’s CEO.
Getting parents to let their children participate in the programme is another hurdle. Shveta Raina, who handles recruitment, said, “They’re worried about what will happen to their children after the programme is over.
My parents were worried too, when I left New York to join the programme, but now they see that this is opened many doors for me.”
The NGO hopes that its 16,400 fellows will impact 7 lakh students and 3000 schools by 2020.