Rural Teacher Program
“ If the rural school does not have sufficient number of classrooms and are perennially understaffed with one teacher teaching four classes, no amount of digital intervention will make any significant dent in the quality of learning ”
Dr. Ajit Kanitkar
Development Consultant at the Tata Education and Development Trust
Majority of India still lives in villages and so the topic of rural education in India is of utmost importance. A survey named the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), shows that even though the number of rural students attending schools is rising, more than half of the students in fifth grade are unable to read a second-grade text book and are not able to solve simple mathematical problems.
Quality and access to education is the major concern in rural schools as there are fewer committed teachers, lack of proper text books and learning material in the schools. Quality of teachers at Government schools is another major concern. Most of the teachers do not themselves know the language that they are teaching. A recent video of a school teacher teaching students in a rural Government school is alarming. Every single spelling of the days of the week, the twelve months that she was teaching was wrong. Sunday was being taught as ‘Sundie’. When asked about the number of days in a year her answer was 300.
Investing in a teacher’s capabilities is probably the most sustainable way of bringing about a much-needed improvement in student learning and needs active support from the Government. In this direction we started the rural teacher program in 2017. The program is to strengthen the rural schools by providing qualified and trained full time teachers. These teachers are recruited from the local community and trained before they start working in the schools. The rural teacher is an agent of change, they address the need of quality learning and build the leadership competencies of children in rural schools. This Rural Teacher program is currently active in Khammam District (Telangana State) and Vanaparthy District (Telangana State).