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

Joshua a Teach For India Fellow talks about how education is the root of all social good and is grateful to those who support education for children.

He says, “I left my editing job in Chicago and came to India. I come from a family of teachers, my father taught special education in the Chicago public schools, and my sister is a teacher and alum of Teach For America. I decided to follow their path because for me, education is the root of all social good, for better and for worse.”

Into the second year of his fellowship and now with a class of 61 students from the sixth grade, he shares his vision for their future, “I want my students to become citizens of the world, or at least to understand their place as members of a global community. Beyond that, this year I especially want to leave them equipped with the social and emotional skills necessary to lead fulfilling and healthy adult lives.” To that end, Joshua began working on a social/emotional learning curriculum with his students. He conducts “circle time” or small group discussions, where the students freely explore issues around emotions and adolescence. They were able to have discussions about catcalling (sexual harassment on the street) and also gender roles.

Joshua says, “In other discussions we've looked into managing anger and learning self-control. I've also multiplied the number of my community and home visits this year, which remains one of my favourite parts of the job.” He believed that getting to know the students and their families’ dovetails nicely with his emphasis on mental health and emotional skills as most this would help understand their behaviour in class.

In academics Joshua has tried to focus on reading and writing, especially creative work. The students read Dr. Seuss in class for the first time and the children of all abilities enjoyed it.

This journey becomes difficult as Fellows have to balance the requirements of the low-income private school with other challenges along the way but Joshua and the students navigated through that together. 

He now ends his journey as a Fellow saying, “I want to thank you for your help and let you know that it means a great deal to me that donors like you are so engaged and interested in transforming the lives of these children.”


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In the first week of February, 101 student leaders from seven cities across India (and three from other countries!) came together for the Kids Education Revolution(KER) Revolutionary Retreat. On the Indian Sea Cadet Corps' Training Ship Jawahar at the tip of Colaba, Mumbai, this diverse group of kids aged 8-18 spent three days listening to and learning from each other and sharing their visions for a reimagined education. Through immersive, creative and experiential workshops, they developed 21st century skills by sharing the successes and struggles of their leadership journeys, connecting deeply with each other, and gearing up to take charge of this weekend’s National Summit. Here are some of the highlights from our action-packed Retreat…

Kids Speak- What KER means?

“Everyone’s voice matters. Students can be leaders in many different ways.” Before embarking on the KER journey, the young leaders shared their thoughts on the importance of student voice in the movement to reimagine education for all.

The Deisgn Thinking challenge

On Tuesday, the kids participated in a design thinking experience. After learning about the principles of design thinking - empathise, define, ideate, prototype, test - all 100 kids went out to a nearby community and interviewed residents about the problems they have faced within the education system. When they returned, they spent time defining the problems, and ideating and prototyping solutions. Here are some of the prototypes they came up with!

The need:The relationship between teachers and students should be stronger.

Our prototype: We’ve created a Student & Teacher Club so that they can build strong bonds with each other. Either students or teachers can lead the club—it’s up to them to decide. The club will be held in a garden because it should be in a fun place that feels different from school where they work and study all day.

The need:People don’t know the value of education.

Our prototype: To raise awareness about education, we’re making a survey to find out what the community knows, and we’re doing a social media campaign about why education is important.

The need:In some low-income families, the parents are busy at work when their children get home from school.

Our prototype: We’re building a centre where kids can go to do fun things after school. The centre will be free for students, and will have sponsors to pay for the teachers and activities.

The need:A mother wants her kids to learn, but they’re more interested sports than school.

Our prototype: The kids love football, so we’ve created a learning game that will keep them interested and help them study. Before the game starts, each team comes up with three challenge questions based on their studies. When you score a goal, you get to answer one of the challenge questions. If you foul, the other team answers a challenge question.

The Vision of 101 Revolutionaries

Inspired by their experiences throughout the retreat and informed by their own educational journeys, the students turned 101 cardboard boxes into their ideal schools.

Aarthi, Hyderabad, 12

Most schools have no libraries so I’ve made a library all students can use. Libraries are important so we can know many things. Children should have time to read their own favorite stories. Instead of only listening to others’ stories it’s important to read to ourselves to learn. Most schools also don’t have playgrounds so I made one in front of the library.

Irfan, Pune, 14

My school is about Freedom, Love, Compassion, and Peace. If you have freedom, you can freely express your talent. If everyone shows love, there will be no war or fighting. If everyone has compassion, it will bring out the best in them because they are doing it with all their heart. Peace brings everyone together with no fighting.

Muskan, Delhi, 14

In the Dreamer United School, everyone is allowed to come, no matter their income, background, caste, or religion. People used to treat people who are dark-skinned unequally. In this school they won’t be treated unequally because you can learn a lot from them. Everyone has the freedom to come, and there will be no fees. Each child should dream and aim high.

Pooja, Chennai, 10

Most schools don’t give us freedom or our choice, so I’ve made a school that does. Everyone wants to learn, but some people have to work, so there is a morning group and an afternoon group. Children and older people can come to the school—everyone who wants to learn can learn. Inside the school there are plants and outside are smiling students.

Magical Moments….

Sea Cadet Performance

We’re so thankful to the Indian Sea Cadet Corps for inviting us to host our retreat in their incredible Training Ship Jawahar. The location provided an inspiring backdrop for our time together, and the cadets both entertained and enlightened us with a brilliant performance.

Power of 101 Dreams

On Thursday afternoon, we witnessed the power of our 101 revolutionaries as they shared their stories and dreams.  With vulnerability and trust, they spoke, listened, and felt the potential of their own leadership and of the growing movement they are building together.

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TFIx entrepreneurs at their 2nd Learning Circle
TFIx entrepreneurs at their 2nd Learning Circle

TFIx is an extraordinary initiative of Teach for India that aims to empower passionate and driven entrepreneurs who wish to eliminate educational inequity in our country through their ambitious entrepreneurial idea! TFIx is a year-long incubation program and lifelong Learning circle for entrepreneurs in the education space. Last year, TFIx selected its first 8 entrepreneurs. Over five years, TFIx aims to incubate 25 entrepreneurs to set up Fellowship programs across the country.

"We're looking for entrepreneurs who have a strong sense of purpose, demonstrated leadership experience, risk-taking abilities and a desire to be a lifelong champion of the movement for equity in education," says Shaheen Mistri, CEO of TFI.

The programs under TFIx allows each entrepreneur to craft his/her own vision and unique organization model and ultimately share a two-fold theory of change: the commitment to teaching children from marginalized backgrounds and simultaneously building a movement of leaders to achieve educational equity. With the successful launch of our first fellowship at Kshamatalaya, we aim to launch 8 such fellowships in the next 6 months!

Here’s How We Do It:TFIx runs a year-long incubation programme to help entrepreneurs adapt the Teach For India model to their context and launch their Fellowships by providing the required skills, experience and support.

Selected candidates come together for a weeklong induction to begin customising a plan for their personal learning and support. Mentorship and on ground or virtual coaching support in creating a strong ecosystem and access to resources are provided, and need-based scholarships are available. The entrepreneurs meet four times a year to share their challenges and knowledge as well as provide mutual support.

By being a part of the TFIx Incubation Program, you develop an understanding of Teach for India’s culture and values that we hold very dearly and at the same time get access to the following opportunities:

  • Learning Circles: where the entrepreneurs come together to support each other’s’ ideas; develop technical skills such as recruitment, budgeting, program design etc; and learn how to build the capacity of their organization
  • One-on-one: on the ground coaching from TFIx coaches
  • Mentorship: from leaders and external educators
  • Courses and webinars: developed from Teach For India training resources
  • Need-based financial assistance

Our Journey so Far: TFIx Model and Operations

It’s no surprise that an entrepreneur's journey is not an easy one. Similar to the Fellowship, the ride is bumpy with curvy and broken paths. One would see that sometimes, the goals are met and sometimes, they are not. Have a look at what our entrepreneurs and their passionate teams have been up to since the past 6 months into the TFIx incubation. This will give you an insight regarding how the difficult yet satisfyingly rewardable journey of our entrepreneurs is coming alive.

The model puts forward three goals that are aimed to be achieved over the course of the incubation period. This provides the entrepreneurs with courage, support and more importantly prepares them to face the reality and unleash their ideas successfully.

Goal 1: Our entrepreneurs will start their Fellowship based on their context

In the past 6 months, our entrepreneurs have gone through rigorous training, on various topics like selection, institute design, finance policies, budgeting, HR policies, fundraising, staff recruitment and much more. We've successfully completed 1 institute and 2 learning circles with 100% attendance from all of our entrepreneurs.

Here are some of the highlights and achievements from the past six months:

After continuously working and reworking on the recruitment and selection strategies:

  • of our entrepreneurs have finalized their plan
  • Within just 6 months, 50% of our cohort has already implemented their FIRST Recruitment and Selection cycle successfully.
  • In addition to recruitment and selection for Fellows, our entrepreneurs also spent a lot of time, building a strong staff team, which is core to starting a strong and sustainable Fellowship.
  • On an average, all eight organizations are 70% staffed.

The Fellowship Program Plan:

Our entrepreneurs have finalized 80% of their institute plan (including design, logistics, session objectives based on desired fellow outcomes, etc) and almost 70% of their program and support plan for their Fellows.

One of the biggest problems an entrepreneur faces is regarding funding. In order to deliver a quality program and run operations successfully, funds are crucial. After rigorous rounds of fundraising pitches, support from the fundraising mentors and unexpected meeting requirements from possible donors, we see that:

  • 6/ 8 entrepreneurs have raised 100% of the funds for the current year (2017-18) i.e; 89% of the total funds as a cohort;
  • but only 25% of the total funds for the year (2018-19) i.e; the fellowship year.

Even Though our entrepreneurs have spent most of their time in fundraising, it still remains the biggest challenge for them. We welcome ideas, help and any kind of connections from the TFI family and otherwise open heartedly.

Goal 2: Build a sense of community amongst entrepreneurs so that they can be a support to each other for- life

The second learning circle was conducted at Aavishkar campus in Palampur. Hosted by Sandhya and Sarith from Aavishkar, the whole experience made everyone push their understanding of Math and Science education. Our coaches, TFIx staff team were well prepared and did everything by leveraging each other’s strength and our entrepreneurs shared resources, help and supported each other. Every activity, be it the morning treks, evening bonfires or washing dishes stood out and build a powerful sense of family and belonging even though they had met only thrice as a group.

Goal 3: Access to resources and network of Teach for India and it's partner organizations

Our third goal is an ongoing process, and we are grateful to everyone who has come forward to support TFIx, for the larger vision of reaching out to more children. Right from our Teach for India cities, to national teams, ex-staff members, Fellows, and Alumni; everyone had stepped forward to support.

Some of the people have been constantly supporting us directly through the TFIx team (like our fundraising mentors like our Alumni Santosh, Kavitha from Villgro, Mridvika, our staff member Jimit, Saahil Sood, our very own Shaheen Mistri and many others) and some indirectly- when our entrepreneurs reach out to our city teams.

These partnerships and collaboration are happening both ways! Our very own entrepreneur Sandhya from Aaviskar has been leading technical training for some of our Fellows in Delhi through the Delhi staff team.

“We are trying to work with children, who are our future, via youth, who are our present. We are developing the future through our present,” - Rajshree Doshi, head of TFIx

TFIx is indeed an important component of Teach for India's daunting vision and our Phase 3 approach of Collective Action. We intend on reimagining an excellent education system by discovering passionate education entrepreneurs wanting to drive long-term systematic change across India.

Join us in putting the X factor into the future of India’s education sector with TFIx!


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Pranav's handprint
Pranav's handprint

“Imagine a children’s movement. Children sitting on school committees, traveling across the country to advocate for a holistic education, perhaps one day being a part of every important discussion at the national and state level. Imagine a Junior Education Minister. Imagine kids formulating policy for kids. Imagine kids teaching kids. And parents. And teachers.This is the Kids Education Revolution- a movement of kids who reimagine education.” - Shaheen Mistry (CEO, Teach For India)

Kids Education Revolution (KER) is a bold and ambitious attempt at empowering our children to be leaders today. The underlying aim is to bring together partners to reimagine education for 100 million children. KER proposes to bring together kids from diverse backgrounds to revolutionize how they learn, and in the process find their light and spread their light.

“Why KER?”, you wonder. “Because WE want to help redefine what we are in dire need of- Education,” our kids assert. KER exists to fundamentally shift the purpose of education and to change the conversation from a rote-driven, individualistic, exam dominated education towards a holistic education for every child.

Before we take a glimpse at what our kids have to say about this initiative, let us gain a quick insight into its inception and functioning.

If you asked Shaheen when the seeds of KER were planted, she would tell you how they were planted when a young student in Hyderabad wrote a seven page essay on what he’d do if he were the education minister; or when the then City Director of TFI Chennai, Srini, laid out photographs of children on the table before starting meetings; or when the Maya Musical brought audiences to tears, and to their feet, in show after show.

These were only a few of the many instances when we were struck by the challenge of keeping kids at the center – literally – of all discussion. And thus came into being a movement that would allow these kids to raise their voices in order to reimagine education for us, and with us.The KER Summits will push our collective ability to reimagine education by enabling us to listen to and learn from our children's journey of leadership.

 However, the most important step we took was to ask our students to visualize what a reimagined education looked like to them. Here’s a peek into what one of them said!

A reimagined education is like your handprint – you create your destiny. The thumb is the most important – your values. This is the thumbprint of your life.” - Pranav

Thus, KER is an essential component of Teach For India’s daunting vision and our Phase 3 approach of Collective Action. By listening to and learning from our children and youth to fulfill the individual potential of each child and the collective potential of our nation, we aim to influence the conversation towards reimagining an excellent education.

And it is this conversation, among many others, for which we would be obliged to have your unwavering support. We sincerely hope to find you by our side at every juncture in this challenging journey as we discover together, time and again, that lurking behind the dusty desks and weathered dusters in every TFI classroom are endless stories of inspiration and success, stories that bring to life the true meaning of the beautiful Latin phrase: "Provocans Ad Volandum" or "Provoked to Fly".

Definition of an Excellent Education by a student
Definition of an Excellent Education by a student
KER workshop in action!
KER workshop in action!
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“We Have a Dream”: Phase III of Teach For India


One million children will receive an excellent education by 2022.

This is our vision for the next five years .

What started as an initiative with just 87 Fellows across 34 schools in 2 cities in 2009, has today, grown to a full fledged organisation with 1178 Fellows across 353 schools in 7 cities. And now that our journey of the past eight years is beckoning to us to take the next step, we find ourselves ready and eager to take the big leap into the abyss of progress that awaits us.

Lend us your ears, for we have a dream. Teach For India has a dream! 

Before we talk about the road that lies ahead of us, let us take a brisk walk down the path that has been traversed by TFI since its inception.


In Phase 1 (2009-2013), we asked ourselves “how do we start strong?” As an organization, we wanted to learn and understand as much as we could – of our Fellows, our students and our communities. We wanted to create strong starting systems that would enable us to grow. Most importantly, we wanted to build a culture of passion and urgency, firmly embedded in our core values.

By 2013, we grew our Fellowship to 713 Fellows, placed in 5 cities directly serving over 23,000 students. We built a network of over 600 Alumni working across sector towards educational equity.

 In Phase 2 (2013-2017), we asked ourselves “how can we deepen and consolidate our impact?” Given the early successes and proof-points were created among students, Fellows and Alumni, we aspired to go deeper into how our classrooms can improve and endure, deeper into the impact that our Fellows and Alumni can have, and deeper into the excellence that our staff can exemplify.

In 2016, we’ve consolidated our impact across 1,178 Fellows in 7 cities, developed a student vision scale that demonstrates what an excellent education means to us and enabled over 39,500 student identify ways in which they can be empowered to lead.


Phase 3 (2017-2022) is our next step towards reaching our vision. It began us with us trying to answer the question, “how can we do as much as we can for as many children as we can?” We believe that we cannot achieve our vision alone, but need to involve collective action of various partners, supporters and stakeholders from our Fellows, Alumni, staff, and our students, to NGOs in the industry, individuals and corporations invested in education, and the government who will work together towards this ambitious goal.

In Phase 3, we are focusing on expanding geographically while continuing to deepen our impact in our existing classrooms and schools, and also start to reach students in semi-rural and rural settings, including those in non-English medium schools. By innovating and remaining nimble, we hope to ensure that one million children will access an excellent education by 2022.

Fueling the internal capacity to drive these strategic shifts, we have prioritized three key enablers to undergird our organizational health; Talent, Partnership, and Learning. We propose to create not only 6000 Fellow and Alumni leaders (by doubling the Fellowship) but also 10000 student leaders by 2022. In addition to this, through the growth model- TFIx, we aim to pilot a year-long incubation for passionate and experienced entrepreneurs who want to adapt Teach For India’s model to their context. Each entrepreneur will thus start his/her own Fellowship, with Teach for India’s expertise and support.

The ultimate challenge of our Phase 3 strategy is thus to redefine and demonstrate collective action towards an excellent education at scale. We are setting out to try and bestow upon a million bright and curious minds the education that they deserve. And in this new journey that we are embarking upon, we humbly hope to find you by our side, just as we always have.


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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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