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Be Brave, Take Risks. Teach For India

By Aradhna Mangla

___Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.___

Placement week is on at college, and we're all struggling to find the right fit of formal trousers and the correct way to write a CV.
When we were young, we always said that "When I grow up, I'll be this and this and all of this!"  

It seems that that time has come.

We have to choose what we want to be.
The Teach for India Fellowship is taking applications and it conducted an interactive information session at our college today. All they asked for us to do, was to SPREAD the word to just 5 people we know.
I'm gonna make use of my capacity as a writer to do so.

Ms. Apoorva Murari of Teach for India (You can reach her at explained a lot about Educational Inequity in India, a phrase that sounds bombastic, until you take in the sad meaning of it.

We, the college-going, Facebook-ing, BBM-ing (and sometimes studying :D) youth of today, are a part of merely 6% of India's population that is as educated as we are.

94% of people, never enter college.

The government does have special programs in place, to increase school enrollment and to retain children in the educational system.

However, one can't ignore the numbers. (These numbers were provided by the HRD Ministry itself!)

Somewhere, somehow its all falling short.

The reasons are many.

Don't you remember what it was like to be a kid?
We hated homework.
We hated cursive writing.
We loved it when teachers let us play games.
We loved it when we could come to school and do something fun!

The kids that this movement targets, are underprivileged. Not broken.
They just haven't been given the right guidance, the right skill set.

To take an example, where would you be if you didn't know English?

You wouldn't be able to read this article for one.
Neither would you be able to sit for an interview.
Along with many other drawbacks, another person wouldn't call you literate.

These kids study in schools with no libraries, or air conditioning.But what hurts the most is that they study in schools with "non-existent" teachers.

I say "Non-existent" because even though some of them are present in the classroom, they do not "Teach".
Their responsibilities end at coming to class and repeating the spiel they have taught for so long.

Isn't this what makes education boring?

Don't we hate the endless cramming of words that make no sense to us?

Imagine why a child of 6 might want to drop out of school then.

You kill imagination, and you kill the child.

By being a Fellow here, you are in charge of not only teaching the child the required curriculum, but also of shaping the child to understand "why" he needs to continue on the path shown to him.

When you show a person a glimpse of what can be, it registers somewhere in their consciousness.

The Program has a 2 year lock-in. Its a full-time commitment, that can't be taken lightly. It provides a decent stipend of 16000 per month, along with a house-rent allowance.

Most of the fellows have had 8 figure salaries, cushy jobs etc etc. Many of them have been just graduates.
Many of them had no reason to apply here.
Be brave, take risks. Nothing can substitute this experience.

A lot many people see the inequity as a PROBLEM, of which they strive to find a SOLUTION.
You too can aid in the effort.

320 million children are waiting for you.


About Us

Let The Good Times Roll Magazine is an online youth magazine
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