By Sandeep Singh:
When I first received word about the ‘Teach For India‘ movement, I was a 2nd-year bachelor degree student at Lucknow Christian College. In one of the television advertisement, popular Bollywood actor Aamir Khan was talking about this global movement and more specifically the vision and mission of ‘Teach For India’.
At that time, I was quite impressed and appreciated this movement because it is indeed significant cause. At the same time, I decided that if I get an opportunity to work with this movement, I will definitely be a part of it.
After a long time, when I began PhD on ‘Communication Strategies of Educational NGOs in India’, I found the opportunity to come closer with the ‘Teach for India’ movement, where a large number of committed and bright young minds in this country serve for a noble cause. If they can contribute to improving the vulnerable situation of children’s education, then why shouldn’t I? Finally, I got my chance to be the part of this noble movement.
As soon as I joined, I was reminded of those days, when we felt happy and cheerful, looking innocent and enjoying each and every moment of life without any tension and problems. Now, life has become so hectic and busy. We have everything but I was searching for happiness and joy. Here, I got the opportunity through this movement to return to those days.
My educational journey started at a government primary school in a small remote village in Uttar Pradesh. While the mid-day meal scheme was pretty popularly running, many parents were unaware of the real importance of education. They didn’t have a proper strategy or planning required to provide a good education for their children. Most of the parents belong from the working class. While many were landless labourers, some of them were poor marginal farmers.
The government school teachers weren’t focused on each child’s their overall development. While some were very good teachers, many were below par and seemed to be quite lethargic. They didn’t seem to have the interest to teach children. The accountability of providing quality education was absent. Poor basic education strongly affects kids’ journeys. Most of the students stop education just after schooling due to loss of interest and some of them have to leave due to dire financial conditions. Most of these students were very dynamic and talented but several crucial factors were responsible for them to be unable to carry out their educational journeys.
However, some of them do continue despite facing various kinds of challenges while struggling to compete with upper-class students. I was also one of them. I faced several kinds of problems and challenges in my life due to the lack of proper education, unavailability of good teachers and lack of resources. Now I realised that whatever, I have missed in my life, I don’t want another child to go through that. Because whenever I look at them, I see a mirror-image of myself. This is my main cause and motivation to join this movement.
At present, I have learned enough through experience. We have so many new ideas and creative things to engage with these young students, I want to realise them practically. I hope to see these children attain the best education.
I believe that education is the finest way to learn many new things in life. An excellent education makes a good human being through the realisation of the self while generating meaningful knowledge for the betterment of society. A quality education also means that the students would be capable of dealing with any issues and problems in a logical, analytical and critical way while learning things in a creative and innovative manner. I would set a single goal for my students – to challenge themselves every day, make mistakes but learn from it and don’t repeat it. I achieved this goal only when I was able to prepare for them fearlessly, ready to face all kinds of challenges, at any moment of life.