Archive for February, 2011

Milind, a 2009 TFI Fellow writes about Teach For India’s efforts to transform education in MCGM schools.

Today the dialog in India’s focus on primary education has moved from enrollment to quality. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai schools have close to 98% primary enrollment with an average student to teacher ratio of ~35. 85% of the classrooms are in “good condition” and the basic infrastructure is in place. There have been several initiatives including the Maharashtra Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and Mid-day meal program to improve the quality of school education and student experience.

Yet, there are severe need to manage the several challenges — at the core of all the challenges, there exists tremendous scope to improve student learning outcomes. The quality of education remains poor, substantiated by the fact that any family who can afford to pay for the child’s education prefers to move the child out of the public schooling system. The foundational language and maths skills are found to be poor, which lead to high drop-out rates especially in higher classes. In-service training for teachers is limited and field coaching is non-existent.

1400 schools. 14000 teachers. 450000 children. 8 mediums of education. The system is yearning for change! MCGM and Teach For India has launched an initiative to transform the student learning outcomes of our schools with a vision “One day all MCGM teachers will want to send their own kids to the schools they teach in”.

Teach For India will start by placing approximately 50 Fellows to teach in 15 Municipal Schools. These Fellows will work indefatigably to make their classes a “model” class in these schools. We hope to cause ripples of “change ” by bringing their knowledge, skills and mindsets into the school staff rooms.

You can stand on the side and watch us. Or you would much rather support us. Let the transformation begin. Now!

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Volunteers across India are spreading the word about Teach For India on their campus through various events.  A volunteer in Amravati has taken up the responsibility of spreading awareness about Teach For India through his college fest Prajwalan.

Time Monday, February 28 at 9:00am – March 1 at 6:00pm

Location Goverment College Of Engineering Amravati

Amravati, India








More Info

‘PRAJWALAN’ is National level technical festival organised by Goverment College Of Engineering Amravati
WE are having several events both in technical and non technical
event are as follows
1) B plan
2)c\c++ Programming
3)code Frenzy
5)Circuit Designing
6)Comp u-H(PC assembling)
7)Green Building
8)Junk ART
9)Junk yard
10)LAN Gaming
11)Model Exhibition
12) Paper Presentation
14)Town Planning

and various workshop as well as other on spot events awaiting for you

The attraction of this year is that we are launching a new inter college competition
Top 5 colleges whose participation and winning will be highest are eligible to participate in ‘PRAJWALAN CUP’

for more details please check

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Teach For India is proud to partner with Renaissance India which aims to transform rural India through youth participation and collaboration.

Renaissance (French for “Rebirth”)Renaissance was a movement that began in late 13th century which brought a transformational change and bridged the middle ages to modern era. We once again beckon for a Renaissance to bridge the urban rural divide which is leading to strains in society.

Renaissance would create an ecosystem for members, volunteers and mentors to collaborate and to find innovative solutions to the chronic problems existing in rural India and be a channel linking the rural decision makers for implementation of the solutions generated. We thus make a call to the youths and every citizen of this country to participate in nation building in whatever capacity they can. Our mission is to address, solve and implement the top priority problems of fifty odd villages of India by 2012 by collaborative efforts. In the process we would motivate and engage the youths to participate in nation building by offering useful resources, rich network and support solving the grass root problems.

The platform of renaissance also believes in spreading awareness about the development sector, social Entrepreneurship in rural India. It promotes as well as supports organizing guest lectures, conferences, workshops etc. It also identifies and connect individuals to internship/fellowship programs with various social entrepreneurs & reputed developmental sector organizations.

Renaissance is organizing a social entrepreneurship fest at BITS-Pilani from 4-6th March. You can read more about it here: http://www.renaissance-india.org/ren2011/

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As I am writing this note I would just hope that I don’t read about one more scandal in our country tomorrow morning. Inefficient government, corrupt politician and bureaucrats, selfish business houses, inflation at its peak and dying common man. This is the situation of our country.

Things need to be changed but how, who will do it? The onus is on us but it is very hard for a young passionate Indian to think of a change and get started with it. I was lucky enough to get this opportunity. Teach For India gave me a platform where I can work at the bottom of pyramid, work with hundreds of other passionate, committed youth.

Not only I, my close ones also feel tremendous personal transformation in me over this period of fellowship. Today rather than just debating over a problem, I feel like providing or finding a solution to it, I feel myself to be more a responsible and proactive citizen. The classroom and the community has been a testing laboratory for me, there is a great deal of learning here. A simple thing is that if I need to find a solution to the problems of the half a billion Indians, I need to have spent time with them, seen them closely and should have the ability to connect to them. An elite who has been to such places only after a disaster or any natural calamity can’t give solution to their problems because he can’t connect to them. My classroom and community gave me the opportunity to learn more about them and strengthened my personal belief towards being a part of the political system.

Working in a government school for two years has helped me a lot to understand how the government system is made dysfunctional. Education which is one of the root causes of our nation’s problem is given least importance in a school. Today I can say that in most of the government school where the focus should be its student, the focus is on completing attendance register and the students are the last item in their priority list. Here I would like to share an incident from my class. One of my “Superstar” Shahid was categorised as mentally challenged by the school authorities and I was told about it during the beginning of the academic year. I tried to notice him and yes he behaved in some unusual manner, he was a very quite child but always had a big cheeky smile on his face. What I found over a couple of months was that he lacked in self confidence and was afraid of people around him. I had many one to one conversations with him, met his family and went out for partying with him. The change was evident, I used to praise him for his smallest accomplishment in classroom, he started gaining confidence and one day I told the longest word in English language in class and Shahid was the first one to spell it correctly. This was the day when he really gained his confidence and I was the happiest teacher on planet. In the next term examination he secured 13th rank in class and I believe that in future he would be a different person due to this gain in confidence. This is the story of one such Shahid and there are many more such Shahids in Indian classrooms who need the right direction and some love. There are many such stories of transformation which I have witnessed in my classroom and I feel blessed to be a teacher because these small smiles give me the confidence to move ahead and take the bigger challenge.

The level of confidence that I have in me is immense, now I believe that yes “I Can” be the difference because I have seen things changing. Personal transformation is not a small thing, it happens only when something challenges your belief every day, breaks you down and that happens in a classroom ever day. I love being in my classroom, my real life experimental lab where my kids are my teacher, teaching me the important lessons of life before I take the bigger challenge.

Thanks “Superstars: The Leaders of Tomorrow” and thanks “TFI Family”….!!!

“Service before Self”

– Love Prakhar Bhartiya

Writer is a pioneer batch(2009) fellow in TFI. He is a Gandhian, budding politician, a social entrepreneur and an agent of change. Follow him on:  http://www.prakharbhartiya.blogspot.com/

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