Monday, April 20, 2009

Teach for India

Today as we had our farewell in the VGH, someone mentioned the Teach India campaign and I just remembered the time when I was a part of it just when it got launched but for some reason that our undergraduate life demands, the reason just got blurred.Probably it was the system or maybe it'll take time to stabilize but, the Teach for India campaign can surely be way more successful and effective that say the Teach for America-the place where it all started.In times of recession of career uncertainty it sure does help to have alternate career plans that you've always dreamed of like' being the change you want to see in this world'. I don't know what prevents us from running start ups,we do have the talent, y fear? Below I've an excerpt from how the Teach for America (on which Teach for India is based on) got actually started.I think if you liked abhigyaan you surely would love to do something like this:

"At Princeton, after another student expressed an interest in teaching, I had an idea: Why didn't this country have a national teacher corps of recent college graduates who would commit two years to teach in urban and rural schools? A teacher corps would provide another option to the two-year corporate training programs and grad schools. It would speak to all of us college seniors who were searching for something meaningful to do with our lives.

The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that this simple idea was potentially powerful. If top recent college graduates devoted two years to teaching in public schools, they could have a real impact on the lives of disadvantaged kids. Because they had themselves excelled academically, they would be relentless in their efforts to ensure their students achieved. They would question the way things are and fight to do what was right for children.

A national teacher corps could be huge, I thought. This could be the Peace Corps of the 1990s. Thousands would join, and we would fundamentally impact our country."

Excerpted from One Day, All Children... by Wendy Kopp, Copyright 2001

So where did it all start?

On April 12, 1989, the day after I turned in my thesis, I went back to the computer room to turn it into a thirtypage proposal. I was excited to be moving forward but anxious about what needed to be done in the less than two months before graduation.
I needed a seed grant so I could survive after college with no other source of income and so I could spend my summer traveling around the country meeting with education leaders, school districts, and as many potential funders as possible. Without a grant, I would have to get a real job and there would be no teacher corps.
So I went to Princeton’s library. This time I wasn’t searching for volumes about the state of education or the history of the Peace Corps but for a reference book. I needed the names and addresses of the chief executive officers of major American corporations. I picked companies I recognized and also those that had surfaced in my thesis research as being committed to education reform.

Read more here

Click below to check out The Teach for India campaign and how you can be a part of it.There's even a section to convince parents on the site.In case someone does have an Idea relating to anything above or below please do comment.

Abhigyaan can do a lot more than what it does now.Please help make it bigger, better!


Rahi said...

Now and then we come across news & reports about people who live so-called primitive lives, however rarely do we pay attention to their voices. While in Ananya Shikshana Kendra (, a unique space in which I got the wonderful opportunity to teach wonderful underprivileged children. Ananya gave me a completely new view of life, communities and education.

It is so heartwarming to see children cheerfully turning up for school with big smiling faces, some shy and quiet, others bounding around as if their legs were of springs. If it were not for these bright faces, I wouldn’t have learned that true development doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow process. That is what my greatest learning was, I guess. Getting to know the children, and through them I get to know more wonderful folk at Chikkabellandur Village in Bagalore. Their great sense of humour never ceased to make my time with them among the happiest.

Ananya does great good work in these villages, but you must go there and experience it before realising how much and how great.

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