Bengaluru: Teach For India organised its second annual InspirED Conclave at a government school at Mahadevapura, Bengaluru. The highlight of the event was a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Education for Equity’ to address the gaps in educational equality in India. The panels saw the likes of Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman, Infosys, Vigya Jain from Snehadhara, Shekar Hariharan, Founder and CEO of Shifting Orbits Foundation, Mangal Pandey, Co-founder and CEO of Key Education Foundation, Vikram Bhat, who has worked as a consultant to Office of the Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi Government, Arpitha and Fareya, Grade 8 students from St. Saras High School in Koramangala, and Sitara Chandran from Christel House. Students on the panel spoke about the need for learning to be inclusive, joyful and fun, and for teachers to focus on building strong relationships with their students and their families.
Speaking on the panel, Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman, Infosys said, “I am of the firm belief that there is no role more important than of a teacher in shaping young minds and there is no doubt that education is the most important gift that we can give to a child. Today, there is a need to focus on teacher training so that all Government teachers can also use innovative teaching methods to make learning relevant and engaging. Government schools should take support from civic society organisations like ‘Teach For India’ so that children can have equal opportunities.”
Speaking about the conclave, Tulika Verma, City Director, Teach For India Bengaluru, said, “The aim of this conclave is to spark a conversation on what an excellent education can look like and what it can do. There is an urgent need for all of us to see, experience and believe that a learning environment that is safe, joyful and at the same time outcome-oriented is possible. When we are able to create learning in a way that involves children as equal partners, we create outcomes that are more rigorous and more holistic. The only way to bring about change in the country is by transforming our classrooms into microcosms of India we wish to see. The problem of education is complex and requires the Government, private players and civic society to come together along with students and solve challenges. We hope this space provides the inspiration and the path to be able to do that.”
Through the day, participants stepped into the shoes of a child, experienced a difficult class and a joyful class, saw a range of solutions and participated in conversation and problem solving on how to create education that leads to equity. The event saw participation from multiple NGOs in the region, many of which are staffed by alumni of the Teach For India Fellowship. The participating organisations included Mantra 4 Change, Key Education Foundation, Dream School Foundation, Shifting Orbits, Udhyam Learning Foundation, Involve Learning, Augmented Understanding, Durga Schools, RGH School, Snehadhara Foundation, Sukrupa Schools, Project Defy, Sneha Charitable Trust among others. Each of these organisations showcased their work alongside Teach For India Student and Fellow projects.
The day ended with a closing synthesis where participants shared their own commitment of what they would do in their own capacity to bring about educational equity in the State.