Chalti Phirti Classes

Changed my job from being an IT Engineer to now a social activist. I have now joined Teach For India as a fellow. I now teach in D.O.E. school in Sangam Vihar.

My class consists of 96 girls and I along with my co-fellow Swati Agarwal try hard to provide them some good education. In this attempt we have tried to run class in the kids home to build ownership among our kids. Here is a write up about the same.

How many times, we hear our mummy or dadi saying, “Tutuion teacher aa gae! (Tution teacher has arrived!)”. This makes me realize how invested our parents were for our studies. They were eager to provide us with a shielded and conducive environment to study at any cost!
Now I teach 96 girls, with my co-fellow, at Teach For India, in an under resourced DOE school; Actually it’s an underutilized-resources school. I wonder do the parents of my kids also get equally excited about their wards’ education, as our parents used to be.

On my journey to end education inequity, many times I have heard these phrases -“parents as partners” and “building ownership in parents”. But I wonder, “What can I do about it?” It’s this question that often occupied my mind; and after a series of community visits, followed by de-briefs with my co-fellow, we came up with the plan of starting Chalti Phirti Classes (classes on the go!) – education anytime anywhere”. It is our brainchild project, aimed to build ownership not only among the kids but also among the parents.

The idea is to run “extra classes” after school inside community, hosted by one of our kid’s parents!

With this idea, we started making announcement in class about the whole project and if some can accommodate 98 girls under a single roof. To our amazement many girls have raised their hands. We were surprised to know about the space, where 96 girls can dream about their future.

The next part was to talk to the parents, visit their house and analyze the location of the house (mind you, its not easy to travel in Sangam Vihar, keeping in mind the safety of the girls). We looked at many places and talked to many parents trying to chalk out the strategies. Then one day our biggest moment of success come, when our kid, Mohini said that didi and bhaiya, why don’t you take extra classes at my place.

Mohini’s house is a brand new abode, where they are yet to shift. After a single visit of the house and its location we decided that we are going to have Chalti Phirti classes here. I also like to mention the relationship that we share with her parents that they immediately gave us the key of their brand new house, without even asking a single question and raising any doubts. Mohini’s brothers (one elder and another one younger) were also engaged in the class, from taking care of the logistics, they have started taking ownership of their own studies.

They came to the center all prepared with their books and doubts, such was their interest and investment in studies.

You Can see Mohini’s brother taking interest in what being taught in the extra classes.

Overall we felt like, we have an army of super-girls. The support and trust showed by the parents in us was really empowering.

I really hope that with this attempt, in sometime, we can have various centers inside the community, where parents and children get a platform to interact with each other, gain exposure to opportunities, indulge in quality discussions to work together to fight with problems they face and so on. Our job is to invest into them deeply and build a culture, so that even after we are gone, our impact remains.

Student taking ownership of their studies


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