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It is ironic that while India houses possible the highest number of social entrepreneurs in the world, social innovation & entrepreneurship itself forms a deplorable mention in the course curriculum in most academic institutions in our country. Curriculum aside, very few colleges in India have societies dedicated to promoting social entrepreneurship and development through enterprise on campus and creating a class of socially responsible citizens. National Social Entrepreneurship Forum (NSEF) aims to open centers of excellence throughout the nation to bridge this talent inequity in the sector by inspiring, training and providing mentorship to students to incline them towards the responsible business and developmental sector.

NSEF is organizing a 2 day workshop on Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Bangalore on the 9th and 10th of July. Briefing about the event Yashveer Singh, Founder & Director, National Social Entrepreneurship Forum added, the workshop would bring together inspiring Social Innovators and Entrepreneurs who will share their expertise and also mentor more than 100 student leaders of many Universities across India to help them become Social Change Agents. The two day event will be abuzz with interactive sessions, lectures, capacity building sessions and more. Sessions will be handled by  around 14 speakers, few being Ramji Raghvan, Founder & Chairman, Agastya International Foundation, Mr. Naveen Jha, CEO, Deshpande Foundation, Mr. Elango Ramaswamy, Village President Kuthambakkam, Bala Girisaballa, Director, Yahoo Entrepreneur Network, Mathew Jacob, Founder Idiom Design, Sean Blagsvelt, Founder, BabaJobs , Shanti Raghavan, Ashoka Fellow and Founder, Enable India and will span a wide spectrum of topics that will leave these young guns with inspiration, wisdom and will equip with techniques of becoming a social entrepreneur.

About National Social Entrepreneurship Forum (NSEF)

National Social Entrepreneurship Forum (NSEF) is India’s premier youth platform for social innovations with pan-India chapters facilitating the growth of leaders of change. It was founded in 2009 with an aim to inspire the next generation of leaders, bridge the talent inequity in the social sector and foster ecosystems where social change catalysts are created and supported. Since its inception, NSEF has undertaken social entrepreneurial activities in 30 academic institutes, helped some of disruptive social enterprises to address their biggest challenges by connecting them to talent equipped with the right skills and mindsets to jumpstart their growth and has created a multiplier effect by supporting a number of young social entrepreneurs, impacting millions of lives in India.

Website : http://www.nsef-india.org

There are many ways to be good and these days, some of the most noble people have assumed the manners of the business world — even though they don’t aim for profit. As Warren Buffet on his recent philanthropic visit to India said, “Part of life is to plant trees that other people will sit under. Somebody planted a tree for me long ago in the form of an education institution and I sat under that tree, metaphorically.”

 

It is a season of reckoning for Teach for India (TFI), the programme that dispatched 80 top college graduates and a few who had stints with top corporates to teach hard-to-staff low-income rural and urban schools in India. The first group’s two-year commitment is up, and the programme now faces expectations: can a small crop of bright and idealistic people with boot camp training help change India’s education system?

 

Shaheen Mistri, founder of TFI spills the beans on her ambitious goal. “Five years down the line, we plan to have 2,000 fellows (teachers) teaching 60,000 kids in 12 cities and their surrounding areas.” Though India’s literacy rate has touched 74 per cent according to the provisional results of the 2011 census, up from 65 per cent in 2001, this is still short of the target set by the Planning Commission to achieve a literacy rate of over 85 per cent by 2011-12. And the little steps taken by Shaheen and her fellows are surely a boon for a worried Planning Commission, whose members can now heave a sigh of relief.

 

Way to TFI fellowship 

Shaheen, who graduated in Sociology from St Xaviers College, Mumbai, and did her Master’s in Education from the University of Manchester, UK, feels that we have a model, which could have a real impact on the ways that all novice teachers in the country are recruited, selected, trained and supported. Selectivity of potential teachers, in fact, is a big part of the TFI brand. TFI fellows do not have to undergo the traditional credentialing process. They receive six weeks training and are given full responsibility for a classroom of students. Through GPA, the teachers’ ability to pursue and achieve goals is assessed.

 

Criteria include perseverance, achievement, and respect for others, says Shaheen who is also the founder of Akanksha, a non-profit organisation. Emphasising on the leadership role she says, “We desperately need people who are going to be visionary thinkers, set big goals and own the responsibility for meeting them. And it’s so much about that mindset and the instinct to remain optimistic in the face of a challenge.”

 

Catalyst of change

 

It’s very easy to confuse TFI with a similar sounding initiative by a media house — an assumption which the reporter was also guilty of making but was quickly corrected by the editor — but TFI has far loftier goals than the other project. It’s on the footsteps of Teach for America, the foundation laid by Wendy Kopp 20 years ago. It was interesting to read through the statistics, which revealed the growing popularity of TFI.

 

In 2008, it started with just 80 fellows but three years later, they are looking to recruit 300 fellows and expand their operation to other cities like New Delhi. The surge in popularity is more so because Shaheen has struck the right cord — tapping on youth idealism.

 

Earlier generations of benefactors thought that social service should be like sainthood or socialism. But TFI and its board of directors think it should be like a venture capital — they understand that government alone cannot be innovative. A 1,000 different private groups have to try new things. Then we measure to see what works.

 

The impact

 

While interacting with the first batch of the fellows (they graduate on April 16) in their dingy, cramped schools, the reporter was captivated by their overtones of ideals and pluck. The moment the door opened to TFI fellow Prakhar Mishra’s class, there was inquisitiveness in the eyes of the third-graders. In a disciplined manner, the reporter was bombarded with as many questions as their curious mind could think of. Surprisingly, every question they asked was in English. It was not the same a year back. English was alien to them.

 

Reading out the scores from his laptop, Prakhar, a 25-year-old BTech from RKGIT, Ghaziabad, says, “The time I moved in here, these third-graders were at Pre-KG level. There has been a 300 per cent jump in their scores. The average grade score has gone up from 10 words/ minute to 42 words/ minute and surely there are exceptions of a score of 100 words/ minute.”

 

Here we have an aspiring politician, who at present will be joining NIIT Foundation and believes that an exposure at the grass-roots level is a stepping stone towards his bigger objective. “When you have everything that you possibly could need and other people need what you have and has enormous use to them, I think you need to do something about it,” he says.

 

Not a ‘cushy’ job

 

Though for Madhumita Subramanian, a graduate in economics from the University of Warwick, moving from her comfort zone was not as easy as it seems now. But in the two years she has realised, “If one can be successful in captivating a six-year-old and get them to do what you want, a boardroom should not be difficult.” The glory is there at 23 and she knows this is where she always wanted to be the moment she had her hands on the advertisement that said, “fellows with the brightest mind and biggest heart, who also wants to pursue rural social entrepreneurship…”

 

Education crisis

 

If today’s millions aren’t being educated well, how will they get proper jobs tomorrow? Won’t the education crisis translate into a far scarier job crisis in a few years? Parents with low-incomes value every pair of hands more than sending a child to a substandard school for several years, the benefits of which are unclear… these are some of the arguments that forced 80 youngsters to plunge into teaching kids in government schools for two years.

 

Voicing his thoughts on the challenges in the present education system, 25-year-old Saurabh Taneja, an IITian who will be joining the NGO Avsara as a programme manager, says, “I would say that the quality of teaching is probably the single most important factor in predicting student success. Of course, there are a myriad of factors that impede student achievement, but in a bad school with no textbooks and crowded classrooms, a really good teacher can surely be a catalyst of change.”

 

Unconventional pedagogical tools

 

Twenty-six-year-old executive from GE, Sana Gabula’s style of teaching is inquiry-based. Because her students’ literacy skills were so low, she rarely referred to the textbook. Instead, she used hands-on labs to lead her kids to discovery. She glided from task to task with ease, handling behavioural issues with equanimity and presenting new scientific concepts with childlike delight. And by the year-end, the kids were tricked into learning.

 

Gabula who will be joining Mckinsey post the fellowship programme says, “The most important thing I got out of the whole experience was that the children I worked with can definitely learn and succeed, regardless of how painful, traumatic or wonderful their lives may be. There is a ‘magical sense of belief’ that reaching to 200 million children definitely requires perseverance but surely not a daunting task.”

 

Memorable experiences

 

TFI has surely changed their lives is evident from the fact that an overwhelming 65 per cent of the fellows are set to join the social sector, of which 20 per cent wish to stay back and work with TFI. Of the 13 per cent who will join the corporate sector, some have opted for corporate social responsibility. Others will return to the companies which they were in before TFI, and still others want to pursue further studies.

 

Treasure lies where your heart belongs, and the treasure was the journey itself, the discoveries they made, and the wisdom they acquired. Vaibhav Mathur, a 25-year-old alumnus of Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, is slated to join Godrej’s CSR cell as a senior executive. A fellow at Divine Child School says, “Teach for India was life changing. I might not end up being an educator — at this point — but down the line, years from now, I know I would care about the achievement gap when 95 per cent of the world will not.”

 

Learning leads to knowledge, knowledge to creativity, and creativity to self-empowerment. Inducing this thought in a child’s mind is the work of a teacher and these fellows were definitely one of them.

By :

Pallavi Priyadarshini

Pledge your support to Teach For India.  Donate now on TFI’s page on GiveIndia.  http://www.giveindia.org/give/pledgepage/TeachForIndia

Ajita Raghavendra, a TFI Fellow has now raised more than Rs. 24000 through GiveIndia.

Your chance to intern in some of the best social enterprises is here — The application for the much coveted NSEF Authors of Change is now open

The National Social Entrepreneurship Forum (NSEF) will select 50 Authors of Change for their summer program and will place them in premier social entrepreneurial organizations such as Naandi Foundation, Industree Crafts, Saath, Miracle Couriers, Ennovent, Samhita Social Ventures and thirty others all across India. These young leaders will be working on highly entrepreneurial and challenging roles which vary from Strategy, Innovation, Marketing, Social Media, supply Chain Management, HR, Outreach, Business Development, B plan Development, Website Design, Communications, Finance, Product Development etc.
NSEF Authors of change is a one of its kind, a high social impact two month internship program where students engage their summer solving some of the most pressing problems of social organizations. These students are selected on the basis of their demonstrated passion and commitment towards social change, leadership experience and their aspiration to become change agents for their society. The program will also create a network of young leaders who will be provided with access to mentors and experts from the sector. During the internship these authors learn from each other through regular interactions, sharing knowledge through blogs and other platforms. The internship will culminate with a BootCamp where social entrepreneurs, thought leaders and experts in the social sector will have an intensive workshop on social entrepreneurship.

Srikumar Murthy, Co-Founder and Director of National Social Entrepreneurship Forum says, “Last year we received close to 500 applications for 25 odd positions in about fifteen partner social enterprises. Students from some of the best institutes in India like IIM’s, IIT’s, NIT’s St. Stephens, St Xavier’s were a part of this program. These students demonstrated a significant impact in their work which drew a lot of appreciation from our partner organizations. There were plenty of learning opportunities for these students to not only work at the grassroots but also get involved in some sort of strategic decision making processes of these organizations. Our placement process is respected a lot in these organizations and we try our best to make it a win-win situation for both the organizations and the students.”

National Social Entrepreneurship Forum (NSEF) is a non-for-profit organization with a mission of promoting Social entrepreneurship amongst youth of India. To achieve this goal, NSEF has students chapters at prestigious institutions like Tata Institute of Social Sciences, IIM’s, IIT’s, BITS etc. and has emerged as one of the premier platform for students interested in Social entrepreneurship. NSEF Authors of Change is one of its flagship programs.

“We appeal to all students interested in making a change to apply for this prestigious program. Some of our last year’s Authors of change have gone ahead to start their own social enterprise, some have become innovators and won many coveted awards. Such is the impact of this program”, says Srikumar.

To apply visit http://nsef-india.org/authorsofchange/

 

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!

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
4)CAD\CAM
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
13)Robotics
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
http://www.gcoea.ac.in/prajwalan2011/index.htm

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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