Education  India Project #18237

Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India

by Teach For India
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Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Support the Education of 32,000 Students in India
Student Leaders - Classrooms
Student Leaders - Classrooms

A. Fellow Leaders

  • Recruitment and Selection:

We successfully campaigned around the country to recruit young professionals for our Fellowship program.

In 2018-19, we received 12,367 applications and after multiple rounds of the Selection process, 815 Fellows were oered to join the Fellowship program. Teach For India maintained a selectivity rate of 6.6% (slightly higher than 6.1% from 2017-18) while screening the applicants. We welcomed 448 Fellows to Institute with an increased matriculation rate of 54.7% as compared to 53% from last year.

  • Institute

We trained 448 Fellows at the Institute 2019.

Institute is the first step of the Fellowship program. It is a five-week long training process as part of the induction of Fellows onto their Leadership Development Journey and takes place at summer schools in Pune. These Fellows took their first stride towards educational equity in the rigorous 5-week residential training program. Institute 1 saw active participation from Student Interns, or as they are called, “The Fellows of the Future”! We met the reading comprehension growth goal of 0.5 at the Institute. 3% of the Fellows dropped out during the course of the training in Pune.


B. Alumni Impact

  • TFI Connect

TFI Connect is our digital community platform with 3000+ Fellows, Alumni, Staff, and Partners of the Teach for India Community.

In quarter 1, the platform experienced an average of 850 visits per month and posted over 200 new jobs which had 800+ applications; around 3000 messages were exchanged on the platform. The team also conducted their first mentorship track where 6 Fellows leading projects in their regions were matched with Alumni with skills and expertise in that domain.

  • InnovatED

We innovate to multiply our impact in the system through entrepreneurship.

We opened out the applications for InnovatED 2019 Cohort in May and received 31 applications from 17 women and 14 men, across 12 regions in India, representing 8 Teach For India cohorts. After a rigorous selection process In June, InnovatED selected 8 Entrepreneurs to its 2019 cohort with a selectivity of 25% this year.


C. Innovation Cell

  • Firki

Firki continues to build strong content and make it accessible for all.

This quarter, Firki added 2600 new enrolments and secured partnerships with Code to Enhance Learning, and Life Lab – these partnerships will enable the creation of expert cocreated content in various formats. Audience engagement has been consistently high and attendance rates have also risen thanks to communication that focused on increasing registrations and their conversion to attendance. Another interesting update is that over 14 courses have been translated into 5 regional languages making it more accessible.


  • TFIx

TFIx focussed on enabling skilling and cooperation for Alumni.

One of our strategies for supporting our Alumni was through Regional Hubs. Our aim is to launch two hubs – Bihar (recently launched) and North India. The idea is to provide an ecosystem of support for our entrepreneurs by bringing in different stakeholders, including other entrepreneurs. The team also conducted 2 Alumni webinars – while one of them focused on inspiration and passion (for the cohort of 2018), the other focused on the technical aspects of running a fellowship (for the cohort of 2017). We received positive feedback on these webinars.

  • Kids Education Revolution

KER team ensured cross-functional collaboration to   focus on student leadership.

Some of the big wins for KER this quarter were investment of staff team for the track at Institute, clear communication with Students, Staff, and Fellows, designing strong learning experiences for the students and integration of this track at Institute 2020. The KER team collaborated with Firki team to finalise the 6 themes they wanted to work on for the Firki courses and a draft of their first course, ‘Safe space for voice’, is ready. Inspired by our KER, Teach For Armenia held its first Kids Education Revolution National Summit in May 31st. 20 kids from 5 regions participated in the event at Vanadzor Technology centre, North Armenia.


D. Organizational Updates:

  • Project Lion

We have taken concrete steps in our pursuit towards making Teach For India stronger.

Project Lion aims to make Teach For India a stronger organization that honours and protects our people's right to safety, fairness, and support in the workplace.

We wanted to address not only the complaints, but also the blind-spots in the organizational health.

For the latter, a diagnostic was planned and executed in phases:

We collected new data from a revamped Fellow Engagement Survey, a survey intended to measure overall Fellow engagement levels.

We conducted focus groups across cities for a more profound qualitative discussion on culture. We reflected on our values by undertaking the Barrett Cultural Values Assessment Test. Besides, the Senior Leadership Team took individual leadership assessments designed by the Barrett Values Centre to understand their unique strengths and areas of development, and worked with a coach to know how their leadership tied to organizational culture.

Following this, we shared a synthesis of insights, actions and next steps with our leadership team, and then with our Board to validate it. Finally, we distilled all of this into this report so that our community could also see the journey we’d undertaken.

Post the diagnosis the following changes have been implemented:

1. We have strengthened our policies after consulting multiple stakeholders and have begun implementing them in various degrees.

2. We redesigned the ecosystem of support for Fellows and Program Staff and clarified the role vision and expectations.

3. We have refocussed our Phase 3 vision around leadership development and redesigned our planning process to enable greater clarity.

4. We have also appointed child protection officers across cities to ensure the safety of our students.

Fellow Leaders - Institute
Fellow Leaders - Institute
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Student Leaders at the KER Summit
Student Leaders at the KER Summit

At Teach For India, our goal is to put every child that we work with on a different life path. We measure our impact as progress to this goal on three levels - academic growth, values and mindset, and exposure and access. Central to all our impact is leadership. We aim to develop student leaders who show transformational change both in themselves, in their classroom, school, and community.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the education system in India failing to create impact as it continues to suppress the voice of its most important stakeholder: the student. The education system has been focusing on disciplinarian structures and outdated curriculum that isn’t equipping kids with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Students in most schools across India aren’t given the chance to explore their interests but are forced to fit into the straightjacket that’s been handed to them since their admission. With the world being divided like never before, we consider it important that schools become a place for kids to become empathetic individuals, who can lead the change towards a better world.

We’ve all heard of Malala Yousafzai, whose fight for girls’ right to education won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Malala created a worldwide movement that increased awareness and brought about real change - all when she was just a teenager.More recently, Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old girl from Sweden, has created a worldwide movement towards demanding that concrete action be taken to tackle the issue of climate change. Greta started protesting independently in 2018 when she started skipping school to protest outside the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, where she hoped to influence people before the general elections. Her friends soon started joining her and it slowly led to first a national, and then an international movement of students. On 15 March 2019, an estimated 1.4 million students in 112 countries around the world joined her call in the striking and protesting.Through these examples of student movements around the world, we have seen how kids know what they want and are not afraid to be leaders and create real change. We have seen many such examples closer to home as well, and through The Kids Education Revolution (KER) we hope to amplify the voices of such kids by giving them a platform to speak. Listed below are few such proof-points of student leadership :-

Almas, Grade 10

Almas, a 10th grader from Mumbai, started a project called 'Basket of Joy,' which is an online organic fruit basket company that aims to create social impact by providing work to disadvantaged communities. The fruits for the baskets are sourced from organic farmers in Pune, whereas the baskets are woven by Kashmiri women and sex workers in Mumbai. Almas was part of a one year entrepreneurship program called the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) and also won the IE Social Impact Business Plan Start Up this year

Hajeera, Grade 9

Hajeera, a 9th grade student leader from Hyderabad and a member of the KER National Committee, is currently working on two different projects along with her teachers and classmates called 'Each One Teach One' and Canteen. With Each One Teach One, she aims to create peer to peer learning circles for students and with Canteen, she aims to provide nutritious meals to the students of her school at minimum or no cost.

Sanmyukta, Grade 10

Being a champion for mental health, Sanmyukta has founded various safe spaces and support groups for adults and kids alike! Through ‘Open Book’, she celebrates the individuality of every student participant at her school. She has also constituted ‘Sanvad Katta’, a place where adults and kids join hands to solve problems in their society! Sanmyukta is also working on spreading awareness on mental health and menstrual hygiene in government schools in Nashik, where she spends her summer holidays every year.


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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.

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The essence of Teach for India’s work is truly accentuated when talked about in terms of enabling systemic change in the Education Sector. To that end, the Teach For India Alumni Program with its innovative initiatives, strives tirelessly to attain the recognition and influence that is needed to propel change in the education ecosystem of our country. As of now, Teach for India has 2500 Alumni mapped to the length and breadth of our country, which surpasses the number of Fellows currently in the circuit. This brings us to discerning the kind of potential that this movement possesses and the heights it can reach in the presence of a favourable framework of support.

The same potential of the movement is now being funnelled into fulfilling the Phase 3 vision of Teach for India, which is to impact a total of 1 million students by the end of 2023.

To cater to the aforementioned, we at Teach for India, have curated a talent incubator, the only one of its kind, which cobbles together 3 broad puzzle pieces wherein each of them contributes uniquely in catalyzing the impact made by our passionate Alumni.

The 3 facets that are seeded into the incubator initiative, along with their priority in terms of cities of operation are listed below:

1.School Leadership -

The cardinal reason behind incorporating this program into the incubator was to lower the entry barrier for individuals for attaining roles of influence in the education ecosystem. This was facilitated by introducing Assistant School Leaders into school level administration, to collaborate with the concerned stakeholders and work towards materialising the idea of an excellent education in the prevailing context of the situation. After making an impact on 12,000 students in the past year by placing 30 ASLs in low-income government & private schools, a total of 43 Alumni have been placed across our 7 cities in the current year, with the hopes of outperforming our own achievements.

2.  Community Aggregator

Another crucial area of intervention is community development. As much as something as holistic as community welfare needs to be worked towards in unison, it still needs a kingpin, an effective leader at the heart of its execution. Keeping this narrative in mind, Teach for India introduces a 2 year long community-specific Aggregator program wherein, a skilled Alumni spearheads operations related to improving the learning levels of students, encouraging community engagement and other crucial supplementary operations like Teacher training & parent investment through a grassroot level intervention approach.

3.  Policy Incubator

This programme is intended to funnel the graduating Fellows and existing Alumni into positions of influence in the field of educational policy within the government. Teach For India believes that a partnership in the form of sharing our biggest resource (Talent) will forge a strong two way partnership intended to shift policy in Education. The Project Associate in this regard, is a highly aspirational role where the scope to create impact at a systemic level is immense. The individual chosen as a Project associate functions as a key systems leader and plays a crucial role in the planning and execution process pertaining to facilitating systemic change at a public policy level.


Encompassing these highly ambitious projects in its purview, the Alumni movement is an enabler for concretising not just classroom impact but also for fueling lasting progress across all the levels in the education ecosystem of our country.

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All the Fellows of Teach For India, evolve through their leadership journey with the students.  They strongly believe in the potential every child to attain an excellent education and deliberately work with a vision and a set of values which is required by the context of the classroom, school and community.

Here is a narrative from our Chennai Fellow Sabarish in the second year of the journey with his students.

Elaborate your Fellowship journey in the past 3 months (April-June)? What are some of the highlights?

During my Fellowship journey, I have realized that violence is a major issue in the community. The children are at the adolescent age and see their seniors as role models and start behaving like them.  Over the past 3 months, I have fundraised INR 1,80,000 for my classroom and renovated the classrooms completely. We have also conducted theatre workshop for the students.  Two of my classrooms where I teach, have the different set of interested students, and their key aspiration varies.

7A - Campaigners. Motto: ‘What we don’t know, we learn; what we learn, we express.’

Classroom space was created aligned with the motto. Respect, Curiosity, Creativity and Hard Work are the core values of the classroom. Going for community visits helped me understand the context. I feel the values are key which will result in the students who graduate to work effectively to improve the community.

7B - Wonder Superheroes. Motto: ‘With great power; comes great responsibility’

The nature of the classroom is creative. They have the ownership as a core value which motivates the students to take care of their own learning every day.

We also conducted a one day workshop with Theatre Nisha which helped the students. The class of Campaigners also interacted with Captain Varun from army through the video call. The children learned a lot of things related to their passion because of the opportunity.

What are some of the challenges you faced on your journey? How did you overcome them?

One of the potential challenges in the community is that as most of the parents earn daily wages, they are unable to spend quality time with their children even though they are highly invested. I’m planning to call the parents after the classroom space is set. Also, I’m planning to leverage Nam Kural as a platform to empower the parents. This will help us build the support system, to create a collective space for learning.

What are the achievements of your students in the past 3 months (April-June)?

  • 2 of the students one from Class 8A and another from Class 10 got selected to Wings to Fly and visited NASA from the school
  • Values & Mindsets improved for all the students. Half of the children were able to accomplish their goals on following values
  • A project on the interaction between the students and professionals from different walks of life was implemented with the vision of providing exposure to the students.
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Organization Information

Teach For India

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @teachforindia
Project Leader:
Merlyn Fernandes
Mumbai, Maharashtra India
$45,281 raised of $50,000 goal
521 donations
$4,719 to go
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