New Delhi: Teach For India was founded twelve years ago, with the recognition that the path to a better tomorrow demanded something radically different. It demanded leadership. Since 2009, more than 120,000 young people have applied to the Fellowship, with the belief that One Day All Children Will Get An Excellent Education.
Ever since, the system has been infused with more than 3400+ Alumni – people who have honed the courage and skill to spend a lifetime serving the country’s most vulnerable children and families. It was a journey that began with two years in India’s most challenging classrooms.
“As we march ahead into the next decade, let’s remember the profound power of an excellent education and its ability to transform lives. To shift the way we respect, and value, and interact with others in the world. To equip us to solve, and create, in service of a better world. In the pursuit of educational equity, our dream is that every child lives in a world free of poverty and filled with love.” Shaheen Mistri, Founder and CEO, Teach For India said.
The 2009-2021 Impact Report offers a glimpse into the path-changing innovations, breakthroughs, and relentless efforts and impact that Alumni are pioneering, every single day. When looking at numbers reached by Alumni across all levels from schools, community to policy and government systems, they are cumulatively reaching 33 million children. More than 77% of the Alumni community continue to serve in the education and social sector. Nearly 12%, almost 400 Alumni, have founded 150+ organisations or occupy senior leadership positions such as CEOs, CXOs and policymakers. They’re working together to collectively build a better India.
“The Alumni’s ground work in classrooms and communities has given them a hard realistic look at the inequity and injustice children face and what it takes to create a shift. Their love, intelligence and tenacity lets them imagine a more fair and luminous world as they dedicate their lives to creating the path for equity.” Nisaba Godrej, Executive Chairperson, Godrej Consumer Products and Chairperson and Trustee, Teach For India said.
At the first ever Alumni Summit, ConnectED 2020 which launched the impact report, Divya Dhangar, a Student Alumna and Teach For India Fellow 2020 who hails from a low-income community in Pune addressed the audience. Divya went to K.C. Thackeray Vidya Niketan English Medium School, an Akanksha Foundation school where she first met her Teach For India teachers. Today, Divya is a Teach For India Fellow herself, setting an example for others in her community.
“I am the first girl in my community to graduate. No girl before me has had a chance to go to college, many didn’t even make it to school. I am trying to change that, by encouraging girls to go to college and work for themselves and their families by supporting them whenever they need help with their academics”, she said.
The keynote speaker of ConnectED 2020, Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Delhi, author of Shiksha: My Experiments as an Education Minister, was introduced by Anurag Kundu – Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights, an Alumni of the 2013 Cohort.
“There have been so many Teach For India Fellows who have worked with me in government positions, official positions over the past 6 years. This rich team with their commitment and passion provided by their experience is helping our government with the reform of the education system at large”.
Mr Sisodia went on to invite Teach For India Alumni to come and visit schools and meet teachers and students virtually, to help understand curriculum reform, examination reform, student and teacher motivation and mindsets, using their experience.
The impact report was launched by Aakanksha Gulati, the Chief Program Officer of Teach For India along with Namita Dalmia, Investments Director of Omidyar Network, who has played a key role in shaping the Alumni strategy and efforts of the organisation.
You can watch all the Alumni Summit sessions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1YY3OKZPbc&t=504s