A schoolgirl teaches children from lower classes at a school in Bengaluru.
Bengaluru: The Indian education system is one of the largest and most complex in the world. With the increasing burden on teachers and focus only on marks, the education system has incentivised memorising over originality and skill. This is where the organisation, "Involve", comes into picture. It was started by three young social entrepreneurs, Divanshu, Samyak and Awnish Raj, two years ago while they were still in college. The organisation was born out of their love to develop the potential of students. It works with schools and provides its two flagship programmes – Young Student Leadership and Mentoring and Academic Development – as after-school support to ensure a lifelong experiential development of 21st century skills and a strong learning ecosystem.
Mr Awnish Raj told Deccan Chronicle, "We aspire to create an accessible and affordable ecosystem, where students are empowered with age-appropriate leadership and self-directed learning. Working with students and helping them realise their potential has given me the satisfaction I was always looking for. Though convincing schools and parents has been a tough task, it is great to see the same people turning up and talking about the transformation they have witnessed in their children. We are looking forward to reaching out to more schools in Bengaluru and transforming students into leaders of tomorrow."
Involve has many success stories. Saranya, a Class 8 student of one of Involve’s partner schools in Bengaluru, was part of the Young Student Leadership Program. She was asked to discontinue by her parents as they felt it was not helping her in academics. "Saranya, who was deeply involved in the programme gathered courage to convince her parents about the transformation she had experienced," he said.
The Involve team claims that today, Saranya is one of the brightest students in the Young Student Leadership Program. She is seen supporting her fellow students in their academics as well as other aspects of their lives. She has improved learning outcomes of eight junior students. "What more is to leadership than nurturing younger generations," he asked. Involve says Saranya’s is just one of many success stories that proves how their peer teaching programme is inculcating empathy, problem-solving and leadership skills among students, developing them into leaders.
"Looking at the way schools and parents have responded to the programme and the change they have seen, it has strengthened my belief in the power of peer teaching. Our mentors like Manveen Chadha and people from the Azim Premji Foundation, Mantra4Change, have helped us build this programme. The transformation it has brought in over 1,000 students is extraordinary," said Mr Samyak, another founding member.
Last year, Involve implemented this programme with their partner schools in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, impacting over 1,000 students. It showed academic improvement in around 20 per cent of junior students. Around 83 per cent of senior students improved significantly in their confidence and communication skills and learnt behavioural and management skills. The programme has won international awards for its innovation and strong implementation, the founders said.