Times of India’s new social change effort: Teach India

Times of India group has been getting serious about large-scale national level social change efforts. Their strategy has been to use the group’s media muscle to create buzz around these efforts to encourage public involvement and participation. Of course, the Lead India campaign has been their flagship effort so far. However, they just launched a new effort called Teach India, aimed at impacting the education sector in India. Here is what the website has to say about the initiative:

Teach India is a nation-building initiative (or social initiative) from the Times of India that brings together children in need of education and people who can contribute a little time towards teaching them. It is based on one simple principle: If you have the desire to teach, we will put you in touch with underprivileged children who are willing to learn. With over sixty of India’s committed NGOs, corporates, schools and social organizations already supporting our cause, we now look for selfless individuals to come forward and help change the future of a child forever, by giving just a few hours a week to Teach India.

Just like any other Times Group effort, the Teach India project is accompanied by a big media push. They have also already roped in a large number of non-profit partners and corporate supporters. If you are interest in volunteering to teach, here is how you do it:

Anyone interested in participating can visit the Teach India website at www.teach.timesofindia.com and join us. Alternatively you can also fill out the Volunteer Registration form submit it to The Times of India office in your city. To receive the form on email, SMS TEACH to 58888.

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13 Responses

  1. I am personally very happy to see this fantastic initiative by TOI. I am very eager to participate in this and extend my free time for the betterment of underprivileged children. I have posted here my views about Teach India and I encourage all young Indians to participate in this…

  2. […] change the future of a child forever, by giving just a few hours a week to Teach India. More info here Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)TC-I Call to […]

  3. LiveMint has come out with an article on an initiative by Teach For India and it mentions the Teach India Campaign of Times of India. Read about it here:

    http://www.livemint.com/2008/07/12000421/8216Teach-for-All8217-ca.html

  4. very gud…begining…………….going to rock the nation……

  5. hm….this is very nic & a way where we can atleast spreaded iut though where we can proceed towards there…….

    i really appreciate
    =============

  6. So much is being made in very self righteous and self-congratulatory tone of Times of India’s Teach India campaign. Now that aamir khan has also joined the effort there is this great (though misplaced ) feel good factor. While the spirit and motives behind Teach India is fine, we need to recognize that volunteerism will hardly help in addressing the enormity of the crisis of learning that afflicts India. Education and teaching are intense jobs, emotionally consuming, intellectually demanding but of course can provide joy and stimulation like no other. But what Teach India is in fact doing, unwittingly perhaps, is again creating the impression that issues connected to learning can be solved by volunteerism.

    We need to remember that learning is not just about acquring some skills – to add up, to read, to write but to facilitate deep and proper understanding of both the natural and social world around us. The prevalent discourse of voluteerism in the field of education, something which Teach India also seems to further, seems to indicate or rather reduce the whole teaching-learning process as a sum of skills – not learning. Mere literacy skills will hardly help to transform India into a nation of well meaning, informed citizens.

    The real remedy to the problems of illiteracy and poor learning is to make teaching a worth the while profession which in turn can attract well meaning people into schools, who as teachers can truly make an impact on the students – equip them not just with literacy skills but who help them to mature into well grounded, responsible, thinking citizens. One is not just quick to find fault with teachers for the state of affairs in schools but by reducing teaching to a volunteering effort, one makes it appear that teaching-learning is such a simple process and all that is needed is a spirit of volunteerism to remedy the enormous problem. Do people have any idea what it takes to really teach or help a a child in a fashion where a child’s understanding goes beyond mere recollection, repeatition and memorization to reason, analyze, compare, apply, reflect or in other words where a child can be propelled on a trajectory of self-learning and discovery? Or has literacy agenda so colonized our educational policies that basic reading and writing skills alone are seen as sufficient goal or enabler of development? So may reports and studies indicate majority of our kids in primary schools after six years of schooling can barely read or write. Guess it’s time that we look beyond basic literacy and primary education and recognize that even ‘mere literacy skills’ needs intense work on the part of teachers and literacy as such is not (maybe should not be) separated from critical thinking skills. Volunteerism as propounded by Teach India or Teach For India type will at best provide cosmetic and superficial changes.

    Why does not Teach India look into the issue of school teachers and teaching In India and why these days no well meaning person wants to get into school teaching? Will Teach India also look into the fact that how school teachers across the country (more so in private schools) are as such the most exploited professionals in India – exploited in terms of extremely poor pays, horrible work conditions and denying them self esteem? Will Teach India delve into the kind of emotional pressures that teachers are subjected to by all the other stake holders – students, school managements and parents – who see them as no more than very dispensable entities and who can be knocked around failing to meet “school/parental/student requirements” – and these requirements are as such the whims and fancies of either the (increasingly ill behaved) school students, self opinionated parents and scheming school managements? Will Teach India help initiate a debate by which means and methods are evolved (which goes beyond mouthing platitudes on teaching as a ‘noble profession’ and instituting few meaningless teacher awards) which brings in better talent to the teaching profession and gives teachers a sense of dignity?

  7. Social development though Education and Training

  8. I am interest to teach the student

  9. Really nice action. Congrats

  10. hi ! it’s really very nice that we can change the outlook of the society… i am interested to work with the organisation.. plzz let me know how???? i had been to SOS once and it was really nice to see the kids have so much of talent.. plz let me knw..CONGRATS

  11. Congrats !
    I eger to teach the poor people.
    I have a great desire to teach them, .
    Please inform me back for the same .
    Thanx

  12.  I am a veteran teacher in Houston seeking a dialogue with Teach for America teachers nationally regarding policy positions taken by former Teach for American staffers who have become leaders in school district administrations and on school boards. I first became aware of a pattern when an ex-TFA staffer, now a school board member for Houston ISD, recommended improving student performance by firing teachers whose students did poorly on standardized tests. Then the same board member led opposition to allowing us to select, by majority vote, a single union to represent us.

    Having won school board elections in several cities, and securing the Washington D.C Superintendent’s job for Michelle Rhee, Wendy Kopp’s friends are pursuing an approach to school reform based on a false premise: that teachers, not student habits, nor lack of parent commitment or social inequality, is the main cause of sub-par academic performance. The TFA reform agenda appeals to big corporations who see our public institutions as inefficient leeches. This keeps big money flowing into TFA coffers.

    The corporate-TFA nexus began when Union Carbide initially sponsored Wendy Kopp’s efforts to create Teach for America. A few years before, Union Carbide’s negligence had caused the worst industrial accident in history, in Bhopal, India. The number of casualties was as large as 100,000, and Union Carbide did everything possible to minimize its responsibility at the time it embraced Ms. Kopp. TFA recently started Teach for India. Are Teach for India enrollees aware of the TFA/Union Carbide connection?

    When TFA encountered a financial crisis, Ms. Kopp  nearly went to work for the Edison Project, and was all but saved by their managerial assistance. The Edison Project sought to replace public schools with for-profit corporate schools funded by our tax money. Ms. Kopp’s husband, Richard Barth, was an Edison executive before taking over as CEO of KIPP’s national foundation, where he has sought to decertify its New York City unions.

    In 2000, two brilliant TFA alumni, the founders of KIPP Academy, joined the Bush’s at the Republican National Convention in 2000. This was pivotal cover for Bush, since as Governor he had no genuine educational achievements, and he needed the education issue to campaign as a moderate and reach out to the female vote. KIPP charter schools provide a quality education, but they start with families committed to education. They claim to be improving public schools by offering competition in the education market-place, but they take the best and leave the rest.

    D.C. Superintendent Michelle Rhee’s school reform recipe includes three ingredients: close schools rather than improve them; fire teachers rather than inspire them; and sprinkle on a lot of hype. On the cover of Time, she sternly gripped a broom, which she presumably was using to sweep away the trash, which presumably represented my urban teacher colleagues. The image insulted people who take the toughest jobs in education.

    TFA teachers do great work, but when TFA’s leadership argue that schools, and not inequality and bad habits, are the cause of the achievement gap, they are not only wrong, they feed the forces that prevent the social change we need to grow and sustain our middle class.. Our society has failed schools by permitting the middle class to shrink. It’s not the other way around. Economic inequality and insecurity produces ineffective public schools. It’s not the other way around.

    Ms. Kopp claims TFA carries the civil rights torch for today, but Martin Luther King was the voice of unions on strike, not the other way around. His last book, Where do we go from here?, argued for some measure of wealth distribution, because opportunity would never be enough in a survival of the fittest society to allow most of the under-privileged to enter the middle class.
    Your hard work as a TFA teacher gives TFA executives credibility. It’s not the other way around. Your hard work every day in the classrooms gives them the platform to espouse their peculiar one-sided prescriptions for school improvement. I would like a dialogue about what I have written here with TFA teachers. My e-mail is JesseAlred@yahoo.com.

  13. Sign: zdbrw Hello!!! zudyh and 8530rmgqzkangn and 4760 : Sorry, what did you mean?? A??

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