With a majority of the population living under the poverty line, educational initiatives in rural India is one of the few critical areas that can ensure a better lifestyle for most people living there. Over the last decade, there have been various educational initiatives in rural India, both from the government’s end and through non-government organizations, that strive to eradicate illiteracy in the country and, through that, combat poverty. Of these, some of the leading initiatives are as follows.
Educational Initiatives in the rural sector:
Teach for India
Teach for India is a subsidiary of the Teach America program. Established in India in 2009, the program now has a total of 700 Fellows and 437 Alumni working under them. Their presence is spread across five cities – Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. This means that while they retain the same students for two years, they are in charge of all the subjects within the school’s curriculum and are free to design their own teaching methods as well as the kinds of topics they want to introduce to their students. This educational initiatives in rural India collaborates with schools and sends in their teachers, or ‘Fellows’, to teach one particular batch of students for a period of two years.
Fellows are required to attend a compulsory training session that lasts approximately two months under this educational initiative in rural India wherein they learn not only about the subjects they need to teach but also how to work with children and how to deal with the social issues that affect the lives of their students.
Launched in 2010, Teach India is one of the many educational initiatives in rural India by the Times of India that works to spread education in the rural sector. It differs from Teach for India primarily because it does not require a teacher to commit fully to the program. While for the former, teaching is a full time job, the latter accepts volunteers that can commit a minimum of 3 alternate days per week with 2 hours of teaching per day. This means that volunteers can hold a full time job while volunteering with Teach India, which is a great advantage for those who aren’t looking for a full time teaching position but still want to help out.
Design for Change
Design for Change was launched in 2009 in India and is an initiative that focuses on empowering students in the rural sector. By asking students to focus on relevant social issues that affect their lives, the program then encourages them to come up with their own solutions to bring about change. Not only does this program help students gain confidence and the ability to believe in themselves but also helps with combating pertinent issues. Design for Change has worked with Teach for India as well and is currently spread across 34 countries. In 2012, they had over 5,000 stories of change.