WHEN Vipul Saha first joined Teach For India, he looked at it as just a good career move. “But within six months, a service attitude kicked in and I was obsessed with teaching my children,” says Saha, who is prepping to join the Harvard Graduate School of Education for a Master’s degree.
A Fellow from TFI’s first batch in 2009, Vipul recalls how he was often “frustrated and broke down” in the early stages, sometimes wishing he had entered the corporate world, instead. But two years down the line Vipul plans to return to his village and start a school there, after his degree.FAST FACTS Programme: Teach for India FellowshipDuration: Two yearsMinimum qualification: GraduationLanguage requirement/ Medium of instruction: EnglishAge: 20-35 yearsLocations: Mumbai, Pune, DelhiStipend: Rs 15,000 per month + housing, school suppliesSelection procedure: Online application + Essay Website: www.teachforindia.org Theory of change, in action Teach for India’s parent movement ‘Teach for America’ kicked off in 1989. The idea behind the movement is to eliminate inequity in education by placing Fellows in low income schools for two years. Underprivileged children who did not formerly have access to quality education will gain it, and teaching these children will create a pool of young people sensitive to important issues, and lifelong leaders, across varied sectors. In India, the Fellowship provides resources and training, and encourages Fellows to employ innovative teaching techniques.
During the two years, Fellows gain important knowledge and experience about India’s educational system and its challenges, which enable them to provide solutions to problems faced within their classrooms and school communities. This year witnessed the graduation of TFI’s first batch of Fellows and they have also expanded to Delhi. They received 4700 applications for 300 teaching positions, and the network now reaches 13,500 students through 130 schools!
“The children became very enthusiastic about improving their English,” he says. Within the programme, Fellows can choose to intern abroad. Anchal, who wants to be social entrepreneur in the field of education, participated in Teach For China earlier this year. “It was a great learning experience and I got to apply many of my skills from TFI to help the team in China,” he shares. Prominent people deliver talks and encourage the Fellows. Vipul’s interaction with actor Amir Khan was a dream come true! “Amir’s role as a teacher in Taare Zameen Par had a deep impact on how I perceive the world of children and the crucial role of a teacher in shaping young lives, ” he shares.
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