Imagine if all children are able to get the same opportunities to learn regardless of their socio-economic background. Imagine if all teachers are able to lead their classrooms the way they envision it, despite the constraints of resources & infrastructure. Imagine if all schools are centers of excellence, no matter where they are. This is what we do. We work on making our imagination a reality one day, for all children, all teachers and all schools everywhere in India.
In a country where nearly 30 million children are still out of school, it is audacious for us to think that access to quality education can be made possible. But we believe in the power of hope. Hope is inexhaustible. It drives us to achieve the impossible, it pushes us to think big, take risks and not be afraid of failing. And hope multiplies with the power of the collective. Individually we may not be able to change much. But as a collective, we’re able to forge movements that have the potential to transform the education landscape in the country. At Simple Education Foundation, we started out with this audacity of hope, a motley team of teachers, engineers, and storytellers alike. We’re Teach For India Alums, who came from diverse backgrounds, but banded together in this collective mission to build pathways that enable us to work towards education equity. We aspire to build structures/models that can transform and innovate learning and teaching in our public education system.
We’re two years old in this space of driving change for education equity. The insights from our various projects since our inception have emboldened us to take giant leaps of faith. In 2014, SEF came to life with a vision to create solutions that can open up access to quality education in low-income communities.
1. We started out with a tiny room in Tughlakabad in Delhi, working with a group of kids in their after school hours. From working with those 22 students in a small learning center in Delhi, we grew to impacting nearly 1500 students in rural Kashmir.
Our first big leap of faith was Project Taleem, which was launched in March 2016 in collaboration with the Directorate of School Education, Kashmir region. With Project Taleem we embarked upon designing and developing a whole school transformation model, where we focused on strengthening school leadership in 10 government schools in two districts of Kashmir. We’re also collaborating with the Directorate of Sarva Siksha Abhiyan(SSA) in the state to strengthen and implement training modules that impact nearly 85,000 teachers in that state.
2. In July 2016, we took another leap of faith and expanded our work to rural Uttarakhand under Project Paathshala. This initiative is designed as a ‘One School-One Village’ model. With Paathshala, we work directly inside classrooms to transform academic outcomes of students, and also work outside them to strengthen those stakeholders that can have a positive impact on transforming the school’s culture and growth as a learning institution.
3. In 2017, we will be taking on yet another ambitious project that we call as The School Network. As part of a transformation initiative led by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), we will partner with them to adopt one of their primary schools and take over the responsibility of transforming and running it as a center of learning.
SUPPORT & EMPOWER:
All our projects work on the theory of giving the power of transformation in the hands of the stakeholders (teachers, school leaders, students and local community) who matter the most. We’ve been fortunate to find support from a lot of people who believe in us, and our philosophy of empowering those within the education system to be agents of change. We strongly believe that if we’re able to trigger change even within a few classrooms or schools, then it will have a ‘trickle up’ effect that eventually calls for a systemic scale.
To empower these future changemakers, we need your support. In order to continue our work in designing solutions and tools that will dramatically overhaul the way our children learn in public schools, we need the power of the collective again. A lot of you have been our pillars of support for Project Taleem, but we’re now asking you to go beyond just one project and strengthen our mission yet again. Your support is imperative for us to sustain all our current work on the ground, and gear up for all that we’re planning ahead.
Your funds will be a lifeline to how we strengthen our projects on the ground. They will be used for paying salaries to our team, adding much needed resources to the schools we will work in, for covering operational costs and for building a solid research bank that enables us to devise better learning solutions for our students & teachers.
We maybe constrained in our resources, but we’ve no shortage of inspiration around us that motivates us to do our very best. In Uttarakhand, we have children who walk for an hour to come to school, because they feel joyful once they’re in the classroom. In Kashmir, our teachers are risking their safety and attending our training workshops despite the endless cycle of violence haunting the state. In Delhi, our students are constantly defining their own learning curve, by displaying incredible grit and rigour in the way they lead each assignment. We’re surrounded by inspiration everyday. And we’re hoping you’d like to be a part of that too. So be inspired, give a little and get back much more by supporting us at SEF.