Tag - education

Help Haji Public School get a reliable solar grid.

Raised Rs. 9,31,000 with the help of 217 supporters.

Thank you for your interest in this fundraiser. We are SauraMandala, a group of like minded people who intend on picking up causes that bring about long lasting change and impact into society.

Find us on Facebook at – www.facebook.com/sauramandala.in

As our pilot project we aim to

‘Provide a reliable solar grid to power smart classrooms at Haji Public School,Breswana’.

Haji Public School is located in Breswana, a high altitude agrarian Himalayan village in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The school caters to the students in the region and surrounding villages and currently educates  about 350 first generation learners in its three branches. The school runs a successful volunteer program to be able to impart education to the students.

Why Breswana and Haji Public School?

– We have been previous volunteers at the school and have faced all the problems first hand. It is also our personal effort to give back to the school and village.

More details at www.hajipublicschool.org

What is SauraMandala?

-SauraMandala is a group of people who want to be the change they want to see.

– Right now it is three people

Nagakarthik – Electrical engineer by education, ex-volunteer at Haji Public School and has experience with solar energy for remote communities and regions for about 2 years now.

Prateek – Computer Science engineer by education, ex-volunteer at Haji Public School and is extremely passionate about societal development.

Keerthi – Mechanical engineer by education, ex-CISCO and is an avid traveler with his heart set on bring about change in society.

More at www.facebook.com/sauramandala.in

What is the scope of the project?

– To provide a solar powered grid at each of the three branches of Haji Public School.

– To setup smart screens with educational content to aid volunteers and local teachers in classrooms.

What challenges will you be addressing?

– To address the lack of dependable electricity to light up classrooms and run labs due to the terrain, weather and power cuts.

– To aid the volunteers to use audiovisual aids in classrooms to explain concepts better to these kids who have had limited exposure to the world outside.

– To introduce the kids to the internet and experiential learning.

What are the challenges you will face?

– Breswana is not connected by road, this makes it difficult to transport materials, all the components will have to be transported on horseback or carried up.

Isn’t it cold there, will solar panels work?

– The region receives abundant sunlight during the months that the school is operational ( March to December)

How will I know where my money is going?

– We believe in complete transparency and will follow the same for the project. There will be frequent updates both from our end and the school to keep us accountable. We are happy to address any concerns that you may have, please feel free to contact us. You can find a rough breakup of costs here.

Is this a one time gig?

No. We plan to learn from this project and replicate it in different regions. We also plan to expand to more community level projects in the regions that we work in.

Why don’t you approach a corporate sponsor instead?

We would love to work with a mix of corporate and individual sponsors for our projects, we believe that joint efforts will have more impact. If you are a corporate who shares the vision and want to get involved, please contact us, we would love to work with you.

We are proud to announce our campaign partner Tespack, from Spain. Do check them out, they have some amazing products and have done some stellar work in different parts of the world.

If you or anyone you know, who is struggling to pay for their education, go ahead and start a fundraiser on Ketto.

Crowdfunding education on Ketto: An online revolution lifting burden from NGOs and individuals

Ever thought how different life would have been, had your parents not sent you to a school? We are definitely fortunate enough to have had a stable educational journey. But, not everyone is as lucky as the educated minority–as us! You wish life was that easy on those underprivileged, who are gifted with the same amount of brains, but are never pushed across the boundary, due to lack of funds.

That has spurred several charities and NGOs to take a notice of our youth’s living rawness. Though the landscape seems to be changing, but at a snail’s pace, you would agree. We need more, much more. Perhaps raising money from a large number of people usually in small increments, via the Internet might help?

Crowdfunding essentially. Just imagine the magnitude of impact it can possibly create if our population of 1.5 billion decide to come along to increase the literacy rate? (That massive number… Woah!)

Crowdfunding is for anyone and everyone

In this materialistic world, dreams are expensive. Especially the ones that involve education. Gone are those days when crowdfunding used to be an alien concept: to learn as well as to execute. With the advent of internet, it’s become much easier. Almost anyone and everyone can start a campaign on our website to raise funds in support of the marginalised of the society as well as for themselves.

We have already talked how crowdfunding – the new kid on the block is proving to be an effective tool. Remember Shweta Katti’s story? (A girl, born and raised in the red light area of Mumbai, was sent to the USA by raising funds for her education on our platform). There are more of such examples that have changed lives. Let it be your turn to start a campaign next.

How does Ketto help in the execution of the cool concept of crowdfunding?

Whether you are an NGO supporting education as your cause, or a student who needs funds to pay that pesky tuition fee, Ketto is the platform for what you’re looking for to fund everything from paper and crayons to tomorrow’s next big discovery.

When we say, crowdfunding is an easy and productive method to raise funds from a large number of mass, we mean it.

You ask, how? We give you the answer:

  • Crowdfunding helps you pay in-full for education by spreading the costs among numerous contributors all over the world (less stress)
  • Instead of graduating with thousands and lakhs of rupees of student debt, students can choose to use Ketto to fund college and graduate school. It completely slashes out bank loan as an option (relief, right?!)
  • It doesn’t cost a penny on Ketto, you can simply start your campaign by signing up on our website
  • It’s as easy as Facebook, no kidding! (If you still find it difficult, Team Ketto is there to help, don’t worry!)

India, as a developing country has seen movements like Teach for India taking our country by a storm in recent times. Just like TFI, there exists a massive number of NGOs which are striving hard to make a visible difference in the life of children living in rural areas.

Education is deemed to be the primary concern for our nation. As they say: Padhega India to Badhega India (Education is the key to India’s success). It’s time to cheer up, buck up and fire up your dream to go abroad for higher education, or give the underprivileged their right to education. It’s time you grab your key to tomorrow on Ketto.

The Year That Was (Highlights of 2014)

Review of year 2014

Catch the highlights of Ketto’s journey through the year 2014.

By co-founder and CEO, Varun Sheth

The year 2014 has been eventful, to say the least. We launched Ketto 2.0 in June 2014 and it’s been one milestone after the next since. The second half of year 2014 amazed us. Over 300 campaigns ran on Ketto this past year.  Over 6000 supporters rallied together from more than 20 countries to raise above Rs.2 crore for some awesome, heartfelt causes. There were some incredible campaigns that really showed the world what generosity of spirit is all about.

It’s been an incredible journey for Ketto. We saw a huge rise in individual participation, with people starting their own campaigns for social change. We also launched a new feature called the “microsite” which allows NGOs, events & corporates to run their own fundraising website on the Ketto platform.

We’ve rounded off the year with more amazing developments. Ketto has now opened its doors to creative projects. So artistes, musicians, filmmakers, creators of all kinds can now start crowdfunding their creative projects on our crowdfunding website. Talk about ending the year with a bang!

We can’t wait for 2015 to get started!

Here are just a few highs to remember 2014 by.

sportsSports

Indians came together to support their sportspeople. Several campaigns were run by and for Olympic Gold Quest and GoSports Foundation. Luger Shiva Keshavan, speed walker KT Irfan, rifle shooters Ayonika Paul and Pooja Ghatkar, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, para-athlete Rajni Jha and swimmer Supriyo Mondal are just some of the wickedly talented sportspeople who got the funds they needed to train and participate in the Winter & Youth Olympics, Asian games and commonwealth games! And yes, they won several medals along the way!

 

marathonsMarathons

There have been several marathons that campaigners have used to propel their social causes forward. Hyderabad Marathon, Bengaluru Marathon, Mumbai Marathon, Boston Heartbreak Marathon are just a few. Then there was Pinkathon, the marathon event that raised awareness for breast cancer. Several marathoners chose to start campaigns to raise both awareness and funds for breast cancer treatment. Footsteps4Good was another themed marathon that asked participants to fundraise for a social cause. Several participants chose to do it online on Ketto, much to our pleasure!

 

animal welfareAnimal Welfare

Our furry friends were not forgotten. TIGI Foundation ran an amazing campaign to build an animal shelter. The NGO pulled out all the stops by organizing a football event and promoting it with a campaign on Ketto. Bollywood stars like Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Imraan Khan and several others attended and played on the football field. All in support of TIGI’s fundraising campaign. What an event it was!

It wasn’t all glitz and glam though. NGO Alokparna Sengupat ran a campaign to protect animals from being needlessly sacrificed at Gandhimai, raising funds and awareness for the noble cause.

 

Womens EmpowermentWomen’s Empowerment

Women’s empowerment took a big step this year. The NGO YUWA joined forces with the channel Star Sports to help send a football team consisting of Jharkhand’s tribal girls to participate in the USA Cup. They ran multiple campaigns and promoted their cause on television as well. The result? Well, the girls went to the USA Cup and did India proud.

Khabar Lahariya, a rural-language newspaper run entirely by rural women, ran a massive 12th anniversary campaign to keep their groundbreaking newspaper going strong. Many individuals started campaigns in support of the newspaper, and their anniversary campaign certainly was a happy one!

 

kashmirDisaster Relief

The devastating Jammu & Kashmir floods saw Ketto spurring into action. We partnered with Care India and within minutes, help began to pour in from all corners of the globe. Celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Bachchan, Kunal Kapoor, Dia Mirza and Nargis Fakhri began campaigns in aid of the flood victims. Fans of the celebrities rallied in support of their favourite actor’s campaign and some even began their own campaigns to support the cause further. The initiative showed the true spirit of our nation’s people.

 

healthHealth

Jasmeet Singh Gandhi ran an amazing campaign for the cause of childhood eye cancer. He called his campaign Umeed 1000, and chose to bicycle 1,000 kilometres from Mumbai to Bengaluru to raise awareness and funds to treat children affected by retinoblastoma (eye cancer). This incredible campaigner promoted his cause heavily and drew in seven corporate sponsors in addition to individual supporters. What a campaign this was!

 

educationEducation

The red light area and all its inhabitants may be taboo in polite society, but people sure did come together in support of a worthy cause. Shweta Katti, the daughter of a sex worker, had earned a scholarship to study at New York’s Bard University but needed funding for living and other expenses. Her campaign on Ketto got her all the funding she needed. This was a campaign that brought a young girl’s dream to life!

 

dcbEmployee Engagement & Hiring

Here are some heartwarming campaigns with Corporate Social Responsibility. DCB Bank used Ketto’s crowdfunding platform as a task for one of their recruitment rounds. Several prospective employees were given a deadline within which to raise as much as they could for the Jammu & Kashmir flood victims. A healthy competition with heart!

 

personalPersonal Causes

We had some fascinating campaigns run by people for their own noble causes. Like Bhakti Sharma, an open-water swimmer, who campaigned to raise funds to swim the Antarctica (the coldest ocean on Earth). There was also the campaign for teenage karate prodigies Bhavisha Singh, Sharmila Gharu and Divya Kathawate that gathered hundreds of supporters. The girls have won hundreds of medals but are still unknown. Logical Indian decided to campaign for the teenagers and hundreds of very logical Indians joined the effort too!

Then there’s Vivek Vashist’s memorable campaign. A Teach for India fellow, he planned to bicycle from Delhi’s India Gate to Mumbai’s Gateway of India to raise awareness about the environment and funds to participate in the International Antarctic Expedition. What an inspiration!

And the most endearing campaign of them all is for Vijayan and Mohanna, an elderly Kochi couple who owns a little tea stall. What is so inspiring about them is that they have travelled the world with the earnings they make. They take a loan to travel and then work the next three years to repay the loan. The news website The News Minute decided to campaign to help them visit the United States since their age is causing banks to reject loans. The campaign raised a good amount for the Kochi couple, and we wish them happy journeys!

 

Social EntrepreneurshipSocial Entrepreneurship

Aakar Innovations, a for-profit social enterprise founded by two young and passionate social entrepreneurs, began a brilliant campaign to raise awareness and funds for women’s empowerment. Their initiative involved not only educating underprivileged women on sanitary habits but teaching them how to make low-cost sanitary pads and promote sanitary awareness. A truly empowering initiative!

The year that was has been an amazing ride for Ketto. We can’t wait to see what the future holds. Here’s to the future. Here’s to a better world. Here’s to seeing some incredible creative projects come to life. To infinity and beyond!

– Varun Sheth

From Rural Fields to Football Fields! (YUWA campaign’s superb success)


front-yuwa-thumbnail1Ketto helped raise a whopping INR 50 lakhs (INR 51,86,460 to be precise!) for the YUWA India Trust campaign, to send a football team consisting of 15 underprivileged tribal girls from Jharkhand to the 2014 USA Cup.

Founder and CEO of Ketto, Varun Sheth, stated: “623 funders backed the campaign that closed in 30 days flat through June. Star Sports came on board with us to help promote this campaign as our goal was on a higher side and we needed them to promote the initiative across television and power it online too.”

That’s the power of crowdfunding for you!!

Check out the super-successful campaign! 

Read what the media says about the YUWA campaign and your very own Ketto! 

Revolutionising Learning: Reniscience Education

reniscience education blog picThere are a lot of opinions regarding the standard of education in India and the efficiency of teaching methods in schools today. Reniscience Education is an education consulting firm that has its finger on this pulse and is attempting to revolutionise the Indian education system. They work with teachers, children and schools to bring highly engaging, self-directed learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

“Reniscience Education LLP is an education consulting firm born out of a desire to promote learning that is empowering, joyful and relevant to the learner,” states Founding Partner Purvi Vora. “We believe that all teachers are capable of teaching in this manner, no matter what their constraints. Our goal is to encourage and support these efforts at every level – classroom, school and curriculum. By empowering, we mean practices that foster choice and voice, that free the learner from ONLY one way of knowing, that create an emotionally-safe culture, that support meaning-making, that allow learners to feel successful and bring a high level of engagement through the learning process.”

Reniscience Education was founded in 2011 by two veteran science educators – Purvi Vora and Sangita Kapadia – who are determined to take science education in India into the 21st century through every opportunity that comes their way.

The City as Lab conference (being crowdfunded on Ketto) is one such attempt to provide children from marginalized communities an opportunity to participate in authentic research about their city. In true Project-Based Learning fashion, students will generate their own research questions, collect and analyze data, write a research paper that will undergo blind review and then present it in front of an authentic audience of educators and scientists.

“We have followed three basic criteria in selecting students for our first City as Lab Research Conference,” explains Purvi. “They must be from 5th to 9th Std, they must be enrolled in a government school or an NGO-supported programme, and they must be willing to work in groups of two to four.”

City as Lab is a three-month long research project that culminates in a day-long event on Sept 20th at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai. Students are guided by their teachers in generating research questions relevant to their lives and their city, collecting quantitative or qualitative data, analyzing the data, understanding the implications of their research, writing a research paper, revising it post-feedback from the panel and finally presenting it to an authentic audience. Since the teachers are continually supported through training and on-going coaching, the hope is that they will be comfortable and enthusiastic enough about the pedagogy to continue using it in their classrooms post the conference.

“Teachers undergo an initial day-long training programme that takes them through the process they will subsequently take their students through,” Purvi clarifies. “They then regularly submit their students’ work to us and we provide immediate feedback and suggestions. In addition, our coaches also conduct demo lessons in their classrooms to model the process, as many teachers struggle with setting norms, facilitating group work, differentiating, pushing student thinking without imposing their own ideas, etc. We have a team of five coaches who are in charge of certain schools and are always available to answer questions that teachers may have. In addition, we have created detailed lesson plans for every step of the process. These lesson plans span about 40 hours of teaching time. These are made available for free via G drive or hard copies.”

On the subject of making learning more effective, she states, “We need to invest in our teachers’ on-going professional development. For too long, the focus has been on teaching and we need to start thinking about LEARNING. In the 21st century, learning no longer means completing the syllabus, covering content and doing well in standardized tests. If anything, this is a huge disservice to our children. Students need to be equipped with skills like critical thinking, information fluency, effective communication, creativity and a problem-solving attitude. The purpose of schooling should be to develop resourceful, ethical citizens who have a high degree of agency.  To do this effectively, we need teachers who meet the same criteria, and to achieve that we need professional development that is effective, backed by research and models best practices.”

Purvi continues, “We need to stop viewing professional development through a workshop model, which is often disruptive, discontinuous and expensive. Teacher education needs to be turned on its head, no matter the board (SSC, ISCSE, CBSE, IB…), to make it completely relevant, joyful and empowering for the teachers!”

On girl child education, the educator comments: “Even today, and especially in India, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics  (STEM) remain male-dominated fields, not because of a lack of talented women but more often than not, because of the expectations from family, peers and society about what it means to be a girl. When I told my parents I wanted to be an educator, their response was ‘that’s a great career for a woman.’ I fail to understand, to this date, what makes it so ‘appropriate’ for girls. As if our girls don’t face enough pressure already to look, dress, eat, walk and behave a certain way, the hidden messages in the everyday, ‘harmless’ things we say to them (sometimes with the best intentions) further limit their aspirations, passions and  potential contributions to the STEM fields.”

Having led a charter school in Mumbai for three years, admission time has always provided Purvi with first-hand evidence of the bias that parents have. “Daughters were happily enrolled in our school while the boys were sent to ‘better’ private schools that demanded fees,” she shares wryly.

But the current state of affairs has not dampened the educator’s spirit nor diluted her vision for the future. “Our vision is that we start viewing education as a serious profession that requires thorough training, expertise and on-going professional development; that it becomes a profession that attracts talented, intelligent young people who are passionate about teaching and learning; that we accept the fact that today’s children and tomorrow’s adults need to be critical thinkers, participative and empathetic citizens with a high sense of agency… and that all of this has to begin in our schools. Our vision is that schools become places where the true LEARNING is the focus for every child, and the PROCESS of learning is empowering, relevant and joyful for every stakeholder. Our attempt is to contribute to this change in our own way by partnering with organizations, schools and individuals who are ready for change.”

Are you ready for change? Come, be a part of it!

Nimaya Foundation: Transforming the Future

nimaya blog image

“‘Nimaya’ means opportunity,” shares Samyak Chakrabarty, co-founder of Nimaya Foundation.  He, along with his fellow co-founder, Ayesha Thapar, have been creating such opportunities for the children of Shree Ganesh Vidya Mandir Primary.

The foundation’s name “reflects our goals of empowering by providing opportunity,” he elucidates. Created in 2012, this Mumbai-based NGO aimed solely at empowering women “from under-resourced communities by enabling them to use their skills in entrepreneurial contexts and achieve economic independence.”

Dharavi, a paradoxical balance of under-resources but high efficiency of work, became Nimaya’s focus area.  “It is also a very enterprising community, thus, we felt that there is a lot of scope to uplift people here,” he adds.

The plight of the school was brought to their notice by a lawyer who incidentally had done his own primary schooling there. Once the goal was set – to ensure these bright Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribe children continued to get an education – the founders began to build a solid framework for the Marathi-medium school to blossom in. “We engage with educationists who help us better develop the school’s curriculum and introduce new subjects that the children have not been exposed to.”

Samyak is also the Managing Trustee of Thincquisitive Foundation, an organization that undertakes projects to effect positive change. He associated it with Nimaya’s initiative to support the school. The result – an enhanced curriculum including subjects such as sports, arts, spoken English, music, dance, general knowledge and an introduction to technology – now allowing the children a holistic educational experience for the children.

Constantly striving to offer the children unique experiences, Nimaya has organized enjoyable, imaginative events such as the Harley Davidson Mumbai Riders Club Christmas party. This particular event was made possible thanks to a donor who is a member of the club.

With a small unit of four people devoting themselves to improving the quality of life of the women and children of this Dharavi community, the involvement is entirely hands-on. “We interact with these communities on a weekly basis,” he asserts. “We are actually launching our pilot programme this year,” he says, referring to the entrepreneurial programme for the women of the Dharavi community. “They are a group of women whose children attend Shree Ganesh Vidya Mandir. They are already showing a great deal of promise and are excited to kick-off their business training in September.”

These women were selected using specific criteria. “They had to be below a certain income bracket, have a desire to start their own business, know basic reading/writing/mathematics and be able to commit to a year’s worth of training and full-time work,” Samyak elucidates. “The current pilot project features 8 women who want to learn tailoring so they can someday launch their own brand of clothes. They are from a low-income background, have two-three children on average and are very enterprising. They are Marathi-speaking and are eager to contribute to their household incomes and further their children’s educations.”

The mentoring programme is set in place. “We have two tailors who have been working in the social space, teaching tailoring to impoverished adolescents for 22 years. They will be training our group of women. We also have a business trainer, who is a fluent Marathi speaker, and experienced with working with rural women. They will be teaching them the basics of starting a business.”

The programme is three months long, with 2 hours of training 5 days a week. “This will alternate between basic stitching techniques and embroidery. One day a week, they will be taught business basics; this includes book-keeping, budgeting, etiquette training for client meetings and idea-generation,” he lists.

“We plan to recognize these communities’ potential by building upon their skills and helping them break free from their current socio-economic situations,” he concludes.

We wish Nimaya Foundation and its beneficiaries the very best through their on-going campaign on Ketto, and for the future. And, though we repeat ourselves – may their tribe increase!

Seeds of Change

4. Seeds of ChangeA lot has been said and quoted by influential figures and the government as well. A lot has been promised and vouched for. However, the laws and measures that are put out by the government seem fair on paper. It’s easy to believe that things are rosy. But the fact is to the contrary – the implementation of the words is yet to be had..

There are loopholes in every system. Some can be filled out while some are smeared out but to what extent are we as a public willing to forgo such mistakes? A lot of this leads to discussions and debates while a very few lead to actions. This very act of bringing about a change in society was brought out by a lady named Beena Rao. A woman who is a staunch believer in the bringing about of change in the lives of the underprivileged, she transformed her vision into reality.

She started out by beginning a free coaching institute for slum children where the turnout was more than 1,200 students wanting to learn and attend these classes. She realized that in spite of the introduction of RTE’s and educational schemes, there still remained a huge dropout from schools. To fix this, she started her own non-profit organization that employs over 34 volunteers across Surat, Gujarat.

She simply states, “My satisfaction is immeasurable! It’s wonderful to see positive change in these children.” All of her hard work was done voluntarily just on the basis of a vision she wished to follow. Her strong determination has not only led to bringing her personal satisfaction and sense of achievement, but it has also led to the education of over 5,000 underprivileged children. All of them waiting to learn and grow.

Reinvention At Its Best

4The shaping of our mind occurs at an early age. It is the initial years of schooling that mould us – in fact, more than mould us. However, with the increase in information technology over the years, the charm and essence of traditional forms have lost its entities. For example – the art of storytelling.

Vikram Sridhar is a young, educated man with a passion and love for storytelling. He started teaching little children by narrating stories. These stories weren’t just from a novel or a fable, these were stories woven around wildlife conservation and the environment. Instead of just expanding the mind of the students about another world, Vikram takes an initiative in building the process of social conscience among children at an early age.

The reason he does this is because he says, ‘Children catch things very fast and if it is interesting, they will definitely remember it for a long time’. Going by this, he uses his stories to not just share knowledge but shape their thoughts and draw them into becoming socially aware and proactive individuals.

Weaving captivating stories could be anyone’s forte but to thread them into moral science lessons that can be enjoyed by the young minds is a genius idea. He believes that people need to connect more and break free from gadgets. To concentrate and preserve the environment, we need to do more than just reading (and subsequently forgetting)!

Education Is Empowerment

1. sex workersLiving in a society where almost everything is easily accessible, we tend to undermine the power of education. Most often, education is taken for granted. It is not something a country fancies, but is something we all need.

The Right to Education is one of our fundamental aspects in the Constitution and this term is bounced off easily and deliberately, without understanding its importance. The right to educate oneself should not be restrictive to any individual, irrespective of occupation or kind. However, sometimes in the constant categorization and division of people that takes place in our society, many are denied of such a right.

A brave act was enacted by a lady named Madam Bandaval residing in the city of Sangli. Apart from running her own brothel she took the initiative of starting the first school ‘For sex workers by sex workers’. At first the idea was made fun of by the neighbourhood by stating “What is the use of educating 40-50-year olds?” However, because of an increasing turnout, the school now runs successfully, educating the sex workers.

There are no teachers in this school. The sex workers learn and teach amongst themselves and broaden their horizons. Some of them even state that they no longer want to be a sex worker because they believe they now can find better jobs.

Sometimes, it isn’t about laying down big descriptive laws on paper. Sometimes it is about taking a single step that can culminate into a huge difference and a better life for a large number of people. ‘Madam’s school for sex workers’ takes that one single step.

We So Need An Education!

Education

A lot has been said about the education system in India: that it’s more of a literacy drive than a path to true learning and knowledge; that it’s merely about rote learning and testing memory skills, and so on.

Although there is truth to these remarks, the context within which the education system in India functions today also plays a role. Gone are the days of the gurukul system where the student-teacher ratio was 1:1, where the child bonded and learned about life from his guru.

With modernity came changes – some positive, some negative, as is always the case. The British brought specialised formulae, modern subjects and new ideas into the Indian education system. The gurukul gradually disintegrated, giving way to the flurried education system of today.

In the 1830s, Indian education got far more systematized and has continued to cement itself structurally right through India’s independence and after. Today there are several kinds of schools in India – public, private, international and institutions for higher education in India as well. Education Boards include the Secondary School Certificate (SSC), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and recent years have seen the International Board (IB) being introduced as well.

Public schools run or supported by the government are inexpensive but are low on quality education, since they lack facilities, infrastructure and teaching staff.  Crowded classrooms where the student-teacher ratio goes even beyond 50:1 add to the inefficiency of the system. Unfortunately, 80% of Indian schools fall under this sector.

Middle-class parents opt to send their children to private schools. Though the infrastructure is better here, the curriculum is restrictive, with rote-learning the infamous modus operandi. The newer schools now opt for an international curriculum (the IB format) which is believed to be the better option. The fee for an IB education, however, is unsurprisingly high. The quality of education, again, is often questioned.

There are obviously several fissures in the Indian education system. Although the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) was passed in 2009, there are approximately 8.1 million children who are still out of school. Those who attend school often drop out eventually. Statistics report that although primary school has a miniscule drop-out rate, 27% of children do leave school by Std 5. 41% are out by Std 8 and 49% by Std 10. These percentages jump significantly in the case of children from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.

What can we do to change this scenario and improve the quality of education in India? A step in the right direction would be to support one of the several NGOs campaigning on Ketto to raise funds for underprivileged children. To make a bigger change, you could start a campaign page of your own , in support of an NGO.

Don’t wait. Start now. Get in touch with us today: support@ketto.org