Content - Teach For India: A ‘Movement’ to Uproot Inequality through Education (Issue 11)
Posts from the ‘Issue 11/Teach for India’ Category
By Mary Ann Chacko
Going to school at Teachers College, Columbia University, with its robust teacher education program and having friends who had been Teach for America corps members, I was aware not only of Teach for America’s popularity but also of the scepticism about TFA within American schools of education. Hence I still remember my disbelief when I first heard that there was something called Teach for India (TFI), Teach for Pakistan, and Teach for Bangladesh! The inspiration to dedicate an issue of Café Dissensus to Teach for India came from a recognition of the paucity of critical engagement with Teach for India as an alternative teacher ‘training’ (see Prof. Daniel Friedrich’s piece)‘movement’ in a country where the crisis in teacher education has been a persistent concern.
By Daniel Friedrich
While it is true that local social entrepreneurs apply, in terms of program development it is interesting to note the high number of said entrepreneurs who at some point studied in the US, and more specifically, in Ivy League institutions, yet for the most part not in the field of education. This leads me to wonder about the construction of the idea of “need”. In other words, are the information, education and advertising that these elite international students are getting in Ivy League institutions informing the ways in which they conceive of problems and solutions in education?
By Romana Shaikh
Om who started Grade 2 not knowing his alphabet gave a speech in September this year persuading parents and students of his community to be more responsible citizens and not pollute the waters of Mumbai during Chowpatty. Savita is working with a mentor, a Teach For India Alum, to do an input-output analysis of the school finances to better understand why there has been an annual increase in school fees.
By Soorya Hariharan
The methodologies that TFI follow is opposed to the points mentioned above. As soon as they enter classrooms, TFI fellows are expected to use only English. They are encouraged to talk to students, and elicit responses from students only in English, however limited their vocabulary may be. Moreover, this is expected to happen as soon as our entry into classrooms. This clearly opposes the concept of allowing for a “silent period” and the idea that language learners feel a great deal of anxiety when asked to speak in the target language.
By Padmini Copparapu
Our learnings in the last 5 years have been to have constant interactions with the government and slowly build credibility through our performance in the classroom. The government is interested in feedback from the community and stakeholders and we work tirelessly to invest parents, teachers and Head Masters of our partner schools in our movement and the idea of excellent education.
By Joyeeta Dey
The community of education professionals is most visibly concerned about the scanty training that the programs equip their Fellows with before giving them the responsibility of teaching a class. In the midst of national policy reform that is geared towards extending the training period for a teacher from one to two years (seeing the current duration as inadequate), TFI expects their fellows to be ready for the same profession at the end of a five-week training process. This is seen as communicating a dangerous belief in the irrelevance of teacher education.
By Pragya Bhagat
As a Program Manager, I have seen the investment with which highly motivated individuals sign up to teach in low-income schools for two years. I have seen the smiles of hundreds of children. It’s incredibly inspiring and humbling to be a part of this movement towards education equity. Nevertheless, it is a new movement, and like all new movements its journey is fraught with multiple challenges.
By Gaurav Singh
Sometime around the Dushera vacation in the Autumn of 2008 I was lying sick from food poisoning on a friend’s sofa in Hyderabad. I asked him if he had anything I could read, I need to read to fall asleep, and he gave me the previous day’s newspaper. Of course, the first page was full of terrorism, murder, destruction and despair. But the second page contained the first advert that Teach for India had ever taken out, but in all honesty I didn’t even see the whole ad, I didn’t see the ‘Teach’ part until much later.
By Vivek Vellanki
In this interview, Katie Pollom, Director of Education at Kranti, an NGO with daughters of sex workers, speaks to Vivek Vellanki, who is currently with the Regional Resource Centre for Elementary Education.