Jigyasa - Help Fulfil My Children's Desire to Learn | Milaap

Jigyasa - Help Fulfil My Children's Desire to Learn

Hello,

My name is Avikant Bhardwaj and I am a fellow at Teach For India. I teach 38 extremely curious grade 8 students at Government Higher Primary School Kadapaswamy Mutt. My background includes a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mathematics & Computing from IIT Delhi, along with over five years of experience as a quantitative analyst at some of the top investment banks before leaving it all to join the Teach for India fellowship.

         

Most of my students come from impoverished communities around Vijayanagar Educational Block in Bangalore. They are the children of daily labourers and factory workers who work long hours for minimum wages. However, my students do not let their backgrounds define or restrict them. They are highly motivated and are able to articulate their future aspirations of either becoming policemen, scientists, or even the next Prime Minister of India.

These aspirations are what drives them to come to school every day. They come into my classroom to learn and work with me to find a way to eventually achieve their goals. While one can admire and applaud their motivation, one can also see the crushing reality of the place they come to in search of an impetus. The classrooms in my school are tiny and cramped; They are piled with antediluvian racks and desks which are laborious to move around and are sometimes hazardous to sit in. The blackboards are worn out and certain areas are even completely unusable. 90% of our classrooms have no technology available to use in them. How is a child supposed to come into this environment and be able to attain an excellent education? How are teachers supposed to prepare children for the 21st century in classrooms like these?  What can I, as an educator, do to help these children and best equip them for the future?

           

One may assume that simply adding a few benches and a blackboard would resolve this issue, but such solutions do not take into account modern views on education and the idea that our students must be prepared for tomorrow. Transforming education today requires educators to shed the traditional notion of a teacher imparting knowledge to their wards and instead turn to the idea of a teacher as a facilitator helping students realise their creative potential and instiling within them the confidence to face uncertainty. We need classrooms that encourage teamwork, creativity and dynamism - spaces where students learn from their peers and learn to ask the right questions. My goal is to create a space where students feel safe, comfortable and excited. It is my firm belief that the learning space should embody the variety of learning within. Our 20th-century infrastructure will simply not do for the future, and to this end, I have partnered with The Better Design Foundation (TBDF).

TBDF is an organization started by ex-TFI fellows with experience in architecture and interior design. In partnership with FRDC - a large retail design studio, they have formulated a well thought out scalable solution to our current infrastructure issues. Our current classrooms have limited student-teacher interaction, inefficient space utilization, and a lack of diversity in learning mediums. Over the next year, I will be working with TBDF to transform my classroom in terms of equipment, technology, and structure keeping student outcomes at the centre of this transformation. You can find more information on exactly how we imagine the classroom to look like here. Most importantly, I will be shifting my classroom from an instructional model to a collaborative one. My classroom will then serve as a model to other teachers, other schools, the local government, and to large institutions motivated to make a difference.

  

UPDATES
1. The Better Design Foundation conducted Design Thinking sessions with the students in my classroom to understand their needs better. The students came up with some great ideas and insights to help us design improvement in the best possible way. Please see this video to get a glimpse of the session.

2. The improvement model plan has been created by The Better Design Foundation (please see image below). It allows for improved movement in the classroom, increased mode of information dissemination, greater visibility for the teacher, and a lot more conducive environment for collaborative learning.


Right now, we have the opportunity not only to transform the lives of my current students but to also disrupt the entire education system. With all that said, we will not be able to do any of this without your support. A portion of the funds raised will be used to provide basic amenities like electricity, fans, lights, etcetera and then the larger chunk of it would be used for customized, flexible furniture - which includes height-adjustable desks, innovative seating, white and blackboards, LED TVs, an in-room library and solar power systems ensuring the classroom is self-sufficient and sustainable - I will be working with TBDF to ensure the classroom has varied layouts and plans to accommodate every student that passes through my classroom and their unique needs. Every donation, no matter how small, would make a difference. We would be collecting funds and posting all the expenses which you can find here. You can also find our expected cost break up below. We will also be sharing regular updates with you. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at avikant.bhardwaj2018@teachforindia.org or to The Better Design Foundation at contact.thebetterdesign@gmail.com.

                           
Thank you,
Avikant Bhardwaj
2018 Fellow
Teach For India
Ask for an update
25th July 2019
Hi all,

Thank you so much for contributing generously. It has almost been a month and we have quite a few updates on our end.

1. The Better Design Foundation conducted Design Thinking sessions with the students in my classroom to understand their needs better. The students came up with some great ideas and insights to help us design improvement in the best possible way. Please see this video to get a glimpse of the session.

2. The improvement model plan has been created by The Better Design Foundation (please see attached image). It allows for improved movement in the classroom, increased mode of information dissemination, greater visibility for the teacher, and a lot more conducive environment for collaborative learning.


3. To understand the vision and philosophy of The Better Design Foundation, please have a look at this presentation.

We will be sending regular updates to keep you informed about how the money is being utilized.

It would be great if you can help spread the word with your friends, family, colleagues, and anybody else who you think might be interested in contributing to this project.
Hi all,

Thank you so much for contributing generously. It has almost been a month and we have quite a few updates on our end.

1. The Better Design Foundation conducted Design Thinking sessions with the students in my classroom to understand their needs better. The students came up with some great ideas and insights to help us design improvement in the best possible way. Please see this video to get a glimpse of the session.

2. The improvement model plan has been created by The Better Design Foundation (please see attached image). It allows for improved movement in the classroom, increased mode of information dissemination, greater visibility for the teacher, and a lot more conducive environment for collaborative learning.


3. To understand the vision and philosophy of The Better Design Foundation, please have a look at this presentation.

We will be sending regular updates to keep you informed about how the money is being utilized.

It would be great if you can help spread the word with your friends, family, colleagues, and anybody else who you think might be interested in contributing to this project.
Content Disclaimer: The facts and opinions, expressed in this fundraiser page are those of the campaign organiser or users, and not Milaap.
Rs.50,500 raised

Goal: Rs.300,000

Beneficiary: Avikant Bhardwaj info_outline

Supporters (17)

R
Ramya donated Rs.1,000

To infinity and beyond!

NL
Nikhil donated Rs.1,000

All the best! 👍🏼

V
Vidhu donated Rs.1,500

What you are doing is commendable. Mugdha and you are very indpirational. Hope this amount makes a small impact to your cause. This is from Keshav and me.

PS
Priyanka donated Rs.2,000

Good luck Avikant! Priyanka

BB
Bopanna donated Rs.1,000

Avikant! Given I've seen first-hand the kind of effort you put in everyday and the amazing results within the classroom, more than happy to help out, albeit in a very small way. Good luck with everything! Would love to hear how it turns out!

AM
Anand donated Rs.1,000