Since March 2020 – when India first went into a lockdown – the state of our program has been challenged beyond expectation – and through it all, it has emerged hopeful. Our deep learnings on our journey have bolstered our belief in our new vision: that an India free of poverty and filled with love, will be attained through an excellent education for all. And yet, there is a significant, immediate mountain for us to climb for our Students. Learning losses, physical and socio-emotional neglect, low parental investment, reduced access and engagement with learning have been amplified by 17 months of school closures. This points to the continued need for swift, sustained action, at scale.
Supporting education from the onset of the pandemic is the best way to protect the most vulnerable students and lay the foundations for a speedy recovery, while also building resilient systems for the future.
As we progress towards Phase 4 of Teach For India, we aspire to build a movement of 50,000 leaders working collectively with love to transform the lives of 1 in 10 low-income children in our regions, through an education that unleashes the potential of Self, Other and India.
Your contributions support us immensely as we inch closer to our vision.
An Up-to-the-minute Summation
In 2021, we welcomed over 650 Fellows, who attended the inducting Summer Institute in a virtual format. The dual realities of staggered school start dates and the economic destruction have expanded the role of the Fellows. The Fellowship has now been successfully repurposed to respond to the pandemic. Fellows are trained to work as nodal partners in communities with Student well-being and parental investment at the core of their roles, with a focus on Socio-Emotional Learning. The organisation has been agile, planning for multiple scenarios, ranging from extended virtual modes of teaching to virtual assessments.
Since the onset of the pandemic and the steep challenges it brought, our Fellows have continued to implement a new vision for blended instruction: one that combines online live classes with asynchronous, self-guided, experiences. Even as schools reopen across cities and students trickle in, we envisage our Fellows to leverage at-home learning as a primary means to extend the learning day through our Blended Learning approach, and measure the progress of our students.
Our program has been continually counting successes -
92% of TFI Students have access to devices against a national average of 74%.
69% of TFI Students are engaging in synchronous learning (live or online classes) against a national average of 18%
TFI students continue to have an average weekly instructional time of 18 hours against a national average of 0-9.5 hours.
100% of reachable TFI Students continue to receive some teaching material or activities regularly. (National average - 41%)
100% of TFI Fellows have received formal teacher training on how to conduct remote teaching-learning (National average 50%)
63% of our grade 1-8 students are showing positive growth in Literacy from September 2020.
80% of parents of Students in elementary grades are invested/involved.
Learning from our first volunteer program pilot -
To provide for a differentiated and specialized instruction, we initiated the on-boarding of remedial volunteers. Presently, we have 2500 volunteers supporting Fellows and their classrooms in bridging the learning gap. We also partnered with external holistic learning solutions providers to redesign our approach to delivering Math curricula for Students through accelerated support programs. This equips our Fellows with tools such as Inquiry-Based Learning, Authentic Problems, and Concrete, Pictorial, and Abstract (CPA) to drive applied thinking and problem-solving.
Additionally, we found that classrooms with volunteers have a higher percentage of Students attending all synchronous learning spaces, compared to classrooms without volunteer support. Elementary classrooms with volunteers are having higher engagement rates with asynchronous material compared to those sans volunteers.
Regaining some semblance of normalcy -
At present, five out of our seven sites are seeing our Students and Fellows back in the saddle, in variables.
Chennai: Schools for Grades 9-10 opened up in Chennai recently. Having had PPTs as a form of virtual information transfer for the past 18 months the children had a smile on their faces as they scribbled on the blackboards and held charts after a long time.
Hyderabad: 90% of schools are now open in Hyderabad. You will find out Students immersed in learning as they get back to their physical classrooms after 15 months. This renews our hope in bridging the learning losses they have experienced, while simultaneously continuing to put their well-being at the forefront.
Delhi: Students of Grades 9-10 are back in schools with an infectious energy, urgency and zeal. At the same time our Fellows are relentlessly using alternate spaces to build classrooms for children in their communities.
Ahmedabad: We are back in schools, with Grades 6 and above open. Our Fellows are leveraging larger spaces in their schools to ensure attendance in classrooms with adequate social distancing. Staff has also resumed in person training.
Mumbai: While schools still remain shut in Maharashtra's urban areas, our Fellows have found creative ways to reach their students. Community centres are open in some of our schools in Mumbai. After over 17 months of school closure Students and Fellows are finally coming together to build deep human connections in-person.
Pune: With schools still shut some of our Pune Fellows are leveraging Parents as Partners to arrange alternate spaces for in-person classes. At the same time, our Staff has been upskilling local teachers in Blended Learning, Socio-Emotional Learning and Bridge.
Bengaluru: Schools have opened, with a lot of good cheer from the community. It's been heartwarming to see Students attend classes in full numbers and our Fellows in their element.