There are hordes of people in all sections of society who are willing to contribute to the betterment of education in the country. It is a misconception that people from the upper-middle class and elite are unwilling to contribute to social development, former chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Shanta Sinha has said.
She was speaking at inspirED, the fourth annual education conference of Teach for India, a non-profit organisation, held at the Indian School of Business here on Saturday. The theme of the conference was ‘Building Hyderabad as a model of excellence on the Indian education landscape’.
“Lack of empathy among corporates, elites or upper middle classes to the societal development is not true. Nothing can happen overnight, everything takes time. Let us allow everyone to contribute in whatever way possible. Let us not measure it as a big or small contribution. This is the way forward to develop education in the country by involving all stakeholders,” she said.
Echoing her views, Jay Altman, CEO of First Line Schools, New Orleans, said that every stakeholder was important for developmental goals to reach the target group. “Lack of holistic and good education is not just a problem of India, it is quite pervasive. A case in point is that after hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc in New Orleans in 2005, the place once boasted of robust industrial economy, schools there have found it very difficult to come to terms with changing times,” he pointed out.
Lack of infrastructure in government schools being the reason for the lack of quality education is a misconception, said Shaheen Mistri, founder of Teach For India. “The infrastructure in government schools is not a major problem, but what is needed is to attract the best minds to mentor kids from a very early stage of their education. That is what Teach for India is trying to do,” she added.
Established in 2008, Teach for India, based on Teach for America model, pool in high achieving graduates and working professionals to work in low-income schools for the period of two years as teachers and leaders.