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Volunteer Opportunities in Education

India is a developing country with lot of challenges. Youth of India needs to consider these challenges as opportunities and work to make India a developed country and grow themselves along with the country.

Education is one of the sector where there is a huge challenge in India. Even though Education is one of the fundamental rights in India with free Primary education available, literacy rate of India as per 2011 Census stands at 74%. Many children especially girls still don’t go to school with parents forcing them into labor work.

The Crisis

Have a look at the following shocking stats of students in class 5 of a Government school in Bengaluru:

  • 70% of students can’t read a simple English text
  • 80% of students can’t solve a simple subtraction problem
  • 90% don’t know Krishna appears in which Indian epic(Ramayana / Mahabharata)

Reason

There is a huge shortage of teachers in Government schools in India. Also the few teachers who are there are hardly interested in teaching and spend very little time teaching. There is a lack of motivation among teachers which in turn results in students not being interested in studies and perform poorly. Due to this most of the middle class parents in India prefer to enroll their children in Private schools paying hefty fees. The poor can’t afford it and have no option other than Government schools or worse not sending their kids to school. This makes it very unlikely the poor student excels in studies and go for higher education. Ultimately they can’t get high paying jobs or start big businesses resulting in poor remaining poor and increase inequality between Rich and Poor.

Looking at this crisis situation in the country there is a huge need for Volunteers in Education sector who can teach English and Maths. These are the two subjects students typically perform worst. There are lot of NGOs working in this sector and anyone interested can join them and start contributing.

List of some of the prominent NGOs

  • TeachForIndia – This is a Times Group CSR initiative which awards fellowships every year for teaching full time in government schools.
  • Youth For Seva – Youth For Seva(YFS) is a Volunteer movement with Education as one of the main focus areas. It was started in 2007 and operates in multiple cities of India.
  • Bhumi – Bhumi was started in 2006. It is a Volunteer organization focusing on educating children from Orphanage, Slums and Villages. Classes are mostly held on Weekends in Shelter homes or Community centres.
  • Asha for Education – Non profit Organization focusing on education for underpriveledged children.

Getting Started

One can register as a Volunteer on the website of these organizations or contact them for more information. Typically orientation sessions are conducted for the newly registered volunteers, where one is introduced about the organization and the activities they are involved in. After that you can start volunteering for the opportunities available. Most of the organizations work with mostly Government schools. Some may also work with Orphanages, Slums and Villages You can opt to teach in a school on weekends or weekdays, do scribe volunteering, help organizing cultural events, do online volunteering etc.

Self Volunteering

With rise of volunteers NGOs needs to be able to scale to accommodate more volunteers. But this is a big challenge as it requires more number of Leaders who can find new opportunities and have skills to communicate with the volunteers. In case you are not able to find a suitable volunteer opportunity at any NGO/organization, you can chose to do Self volunteering. Simple way to do this is to find a nearby Government school where you live and talk to the Head-staff there and ask for an opportunity to volunteer. They will be more than happy that you are there to volunteer and ready to give you the opportunity. Also if you chose a school which is close by to where you live, it will reduce the commuting time and you can maximize your time volunteering. You can chose whether you want to volunteer on weekends or weekdays, how long you want to volunteer etc. Due to the poor state of students regular classes are needed for learning to be reinforced. So it would be great if you can volunteer for about an hour on 3 or more days a week.

Advantages of Volunteering as a Teacher

Children are highly curious and have infectious energy. Mingling with them and playing and teaching them will rub off their energy on you and it can cause a great transformation in yourself. It can make you happy and peaceful with the feeling that you are contributing to making a difference in life of these children. It can improve your confidence and communication skills. Having Volunteer experience can add lot of weight to your CV in case of higher studies abroad or in Job interviews.

Reference guide for Volunteers

If you are looking for what to teach as a Volunteer, this link has lot of reference material which can help you.https://youthforseva.org/education/

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