When college ended, i was pretty confused about what to do till INFOSYS began thats 26th sept. After lying around for a while (wasting many days), i realised that some social work would be the best use of my time. So started searching for some NGO here in Pune. Then “the secret” worked, i met Sidharth Agarwal. Sidharth bhaia as i call him. He is working with Teach for India and its his second year with the campaign. I volunteered for the campaign, i started going to school with him. Got some discipline in my life. Day starting from 5am till 1pm. The school i went is named “Late Babu Jagjivanram memorial school” located in “Yervada” area. It is both Marathi and English medium sharing the same building. I was in grade 4 and we have a class of 33 students.
Thats the view from outside the class that was on 4th floor.
Here are some pics of our classroom.
If you dont behave well or have some remedial to work on, you get to sit in the verandah outside the class.
This is the pic of an inter-school coloring competition. All the schools of Pune Municipal Corporation participated in it.
Sidharth bhaia arranged some laptops so the kids learned to use some basic controls of it.
The whole experience was overwhelming. I see all the Teach for India fellows and the level of commitment they show towards teaching these underprivileged children. TFI’s slogan is “One day all children will attain an excellent education” and they are working really hard for it. TFI’s concept is taken from the Teach for America concept which has been there for 20 years now. So here young professionals commit their two years for teaching in a low income school. They get training for teaching aids and methodologies. The point here is not to become teachers but the leadership they show in managing their classes. You don’t have to have a dream of becoming a teacher. Many people have chosen to go to the corporate or for masters after their two years with TFI. Many companies and universities endorse TFI fellows for placement and PG. I observed many other fellows, Sanjay bhaia, Neha didi and Mansa didi who teach on the same floor but other smaller grades. Now these kids come from a underprivileged section of our society and are exposed to violence, drug abuse and the like. So the TFI fellows work towards value based education and not just rote learning. I saw the commitment of Sidharth bhaia, its unbelievable, he is just totally devoted to teaching those kids so he is always searching for effective techniques to teach. The new and out of the box ideas these TFI fellows come up with for classroom management is just awesome. Someone has star system, point system etc. Our class had money, not real money. Sidharth bhaia got class currency printed and all the kids are learning the value of money playfully.
They have monetary benefits for good performance and fines for bad behavior. Everybody is assigned a task, like leader of library. So you get weekly salary and whats more you have to pay weekly rent for the bench you sit on. Its amazing to see kids managing money. The exposure i got was unparalleled thanks to Sidharth bhaia. He took me to a leadership forum where i got a chance to meet the CEO of TFI, Therman and Teach for America. It was just amazing. Well i can write a lot about it but it might get boring. So to end, i saw amazing people working towards bringing positive change in our society and really whats the use of your education, your creativity if the only thing you can do is criticize about the problems we have in our society. You have to “be the change you want to see” thats one of the values of our class. So for cleanliness, we even cleaned the whole school.
How many smiles did you spread today?? How many lives you positively contributed to?? What change did you bring??
Hats off to all TFI people. Keep it up. You are the start to the education revolution thats gonna sweep this country. A big sincere thanks to Sidharth Bhaia for the exposure i got and the guitar that you gifted me :-). It was an amazing experience to work with you.