Feb 27, 2019

Teach For India turns 10!

TFI's 10th year logos designed by students
TFI's 10th year logos designed by students

As Teach For India celebrates its 10th year, we are truly grateful to you for having embarked on this journey with us. Summarising the progress that we have made and the challenges we have faced last quarter – The three most important areas where we've learned and made improvements are:

1. The relay model has been working and our students are being prepared for life in the real world as they graduate.

2. Our Alumni are feeling strongly about systemic change with the Alumni leaders spread across various sectors and levels within schools and communities, leading social impact organisations, and driving change within the Government.

3. We are focusing on our need for innovation in order to reach our Phase 3 (2017-2022) goal of impacting 1 million kids by 2022. Our innovation cell project, TFIx, is supporting entrepreneurs to adapt the TFI Fellowship model and launch leadership Fellowships across India.

In this quarter, we will strengthen the organization to make it safer, fairer, and more supportive of the communities that we operate in.

1. Reimagine policies & training: This initiative is being led by our Chief Operating Ocer, Ritu. Our vision and goal are to implement sustainable behavioural changes and look at this holistically; from policy reviews to learning and development-oriented trainings for all operational sta, fellows and individuals as well as preventive measures for the future, monitoring and evaluation, recourse measures for our people and closing the loop with them. We are evaluating the Sexual harassment policy, the Child Protection Policy and the Fellow Code of Conduct in this quarter.

2. Fellowship Program: We will reassess the breadth of programmatic support needed by our Fellows with an aim of maximising impact on students, while maintaining a focus on the well-being of our Fellows.

3. Organisational Health: We will undertake a deep dive to uncover any additional root causes that can impact organizational strengthening; our Strategy and Learning team will lead an eort in partnership with Mckinsey & Co., to diagnose our organisation’s health. The recommendations from this study, which will end in Feb 2019, will feed into medium term changes designed to strengthen our culture and organizational backbone.

The impact of Teach For India’s programs is evident across all stakeholders

Impact of the program on the students : A Longitudinal study done in collaboration with Columbia University and Educational Initiatives suggests that Teach For India students perform 7 times better in language and twice as better in Math as compared to their peers. In 2016 , our first batch of students appeared for their Grade 10 exams and secured a pass rate of 94%. In 2017, the second cohort achieved a pass rate of 96%.

Impact of the program on Fellows: While joining the Fellowship only 9% of the Fellows state that they will continue in the development sector post the Fellowship. We’ve observed that as Alumni, over 74% remain in the development sector, thus making Teach For India one of the largest talent providers in the space.

Impact of the program on our Alumni :  Our Alumni have created impact through positions of leadership and influence at all levels of the education ecosystem. We incubate Alumni entrepreneurs, support the growth of Alumni-led projects and learning communities and create platforms to foster connection and collaboration.

  1. InnovatED incubates early-stage education entrepreneurs in a 9-month program that includes financial support, mentorship and in-person bootcamps. Our Alumni have already set up more than 35 start-ups in the field of education.
  2. The Alumni Leadership Incubator, creates opportunities and provides the financial assistance, mentorship and skill-building for Alumni to work in positions from school leadership to roles within the state governments. Through this program, our Alumni work as Assistant School Leaders in the system, and are placed directly within the government system.
  3. Teach For India Connect is a digital platform that connects our growing community of 2500 Alumni in a common virtual space. Launched just three months ago, Teach For India Connect already has approximately 1200 Alumni connecting to have greater impact. 

While the Fellowship and Alumni Continuum remain the core leadership development funnel, we’ve constantly innovated and designed solutions to scale and develop a critical mass of leaders within and outside the sector to affect change

 To address scale and rural India, we’ve innovated with a pilot – TFIx - that develops leaders committed to educating every child, in every corner of the country. Through a year-long incubation program and a life-long community of support, we enable entrepreneurs to launch and sustain independent, high-impact Fellowships to build local leadership.TFIx advances beyond urban metropolises and English-medium contexts, reaching states such as Bihar, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh. This year, the first batch of TFIx Alumni was launched. It contained 8 TFIx Alumni, branching out to 200 Fellows impacting 29,000 students.Read about TFIx's 2018 Cohort.

 The Kids Education Revolution is a committed collective of schools and educational organizations that are working towards reimagining education at scale and are driven by a profound belief in the power of student leadership. Kids Education Revolution (KER) supports a student-led re-imagination of education. The KER team focuses on sparking the idea of student-led change through a series of workshops, regional Summits, and a student-led National Summit highlighting the work of partnering schools and organizations such as Avasara Academy, Akanksha Foundation and many more. Read about the many KER workshops held

 Our Online Teacher training portal- Firki enables teachers across the country to access an open-source, online teacjer training portal to support their professional development. Firki’s portal constitutes over 60 courses with engaging content, video based learning, web application, and enables interaction among educators. Read about the evolution of Firki.

Feb 6, 2019

Fellow Abhinaya's experiences with Fellowship

Students posing with their drawing art
Students posing with their drawing art

Here is the narrative from Chennai Fellow Abhinaya on her experiences with the second year of Fellowship along with her students.

"It gives me great privilege and pride in sharing my journey with Teach For India so far. I am Abhinaya, an Engineer in Computer Science, who worked in the corporate sector for two years. My passion to work with children with special needs gave me the courage to quit my well-paying IT job and follow my dreams of becoming a special educator. I pursued my Post Graduate Diploma in Special needs and worked as a special educator for two years before joining Teach For India, to be part of a greater movement.

Working with Teach For India has been one of the greatest experiences for me so far. Working with my school, the community and the organisation has shaped me into an open-minded and positive person. My 17 9-year-old students inspire me each day and from them, I have learnt that nothing is impossible. The journey has taught me the rewards of hard work and the importance of consistency. All the challenges I have faced have shaped me into who I am today and I strongly believe that it’s a continuous process.

Facing the daily challenges, travelling through the ups and downs definitely has made me a stronger person. My school saw a sudden drop in attendance and a huge drop in enrolment when my fellowship started. This was due to the migration of a huge chunk of the community to a different area which had more facilities. I started my fellowship with low enrolment and attendance which had gradually improved. I find that my students are present at school almost all days and engage in high rigour content. Their interest in education and involvement has improved. Their love for the English language has helped them become creative and expressive. Now, my students proudly walk to me and tell me on how they have now begun to think in English and express their thoughts accordingly. They feel extremely proud of themselves.

Apart from academics, my students have always shown interest in arts, sports and reading books. They have grown more responsible and I can clearly see them shaping into conscious citizens, who want to change the future. They actively engage in topics that involve persisting issues such as pollution, alcohol abuse, lack of justice, equality and so on. They participate in competitions willingly and do not hesitate to express themselves in front of an audience. The major challenge I faced initially as a fellow was low attendance. Since I was born and brought up in Chennai, language was never a barrier. The parents were not so invested as they had other pressing issues to address on a daily basis, and lack of education for their kids was of least importance to them. But after the first few months of my fellowship, my students and their parents got more familiar with me and things began to change.  As a teacher, I made sure they saw the growth of their child, no matter how small it was. I notice that the investment from parents is slowly beginning to shift.

Apart from parent investment, there were other reasons which resulted in low attendance, such as poor nourishment resulting in low immunity, child labour and so on. With consistency, I sincerely hope we, as a school team, are able to overcome the other challenges faced by the children in the community. Each day has been as rewarding as much as it has been challenging. My rewards come with beautiful moments - every time I walk into the school a bunch of kids come running to me just to wish me and then I see a spurt of hands raised high up whenever I ask a question in the class.

I can never forget the day when my dyslexic student had come to me after the class to say he had got all his ‘addition sums’ right, and he had his friend proudly walking beside him to say he helped him. It feels so good whenever my kids tell me how they have begun to think in English and how it is helping them to express themselves better. Seeing the pride and smile on their faces when they receive a small appreciation or get something right, I feel that I found my secret ingredient behind my lovely so far. I am sure that all these moments will be etched into my memories forever."

Jan 30, 2019

Afridi, a passionate leader in the making

 

Afridi, a Grade 8 student from KARE school was selected for the role of an Artist for Old City Student Council. So far, he has been part of 3 student councils and has already built his own idea of leadership at a tender age. Afridi says, "I like drawing because with it we can show the problem in one picture only and can understand the problem deeply and easily solve it.". Without having to be told, he has taken his learning to his classroom.He says, "I think that a leader should show equality to everyone, be it girls or boys. They shouldn't think only boys can do certain things and girls can't. A leader should not give up easily, instead, a leader should try again and again and be confident enough to solve a problem. I am beginning to show grit in solving my group problems as I'm the group leader. I have also started showing gender equalilty in my group. Some of the boys in the group were teasing girls, and I explained to them why it is not okay, that girls are fellow being and should be treated with equal respect. I showed empathy when someone got hurt and I gave everyone a chance to speak during a group discussion. With this initiative of mine, I've sensitized not only my classmates but also my community towards these senstive issues. The response from my family members is also positive, they completely understand the need to pay heed to such issues as they deeply alter and impact the fabric of our society. I only hope that with my efforts, we become a much decent, civilized society as we so proudly claim to be."

Afridi

Grade 8  student

KARE School

 
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