22 Jun 2013, by Swarnika Prakash
Sixty Five years ago, as the clock struck midnight on the 15th of August, 1947, India’s first ever Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru said, “Long ago, India had made a tryst with destiny, and it is time she redeems her pledge. As the world sleeps, India awakes to life and freedom.”
And it was a hard won freedom. It was a freedom earned by shedding the life-blood of its sons and the heart-blood of its daughters; millions of men and women who kissed the noose because they believed in a dream. A dream of an India where all classes of men live equally, where there is no fragmentation based on religion, an India which does not tolerate the oppression of a man by another.
Sixty five years since independence, and this dream is yet unfulfilled. Why? Is it because the government does not care? Before we go trashing the administration, let’s take a hard, long look at ourselves. What we, as individuals, have done to realize this dream? We all live our lives, a family, kids, and a comfortably paying job. Is that enough? Do we owe nothing to the countless millions who sacrificed everything they had so that we could have a future?
I do. I owe my existence, mind, body and soul, the fact that I’m still breathing, to them. I’ll do whatever it takes to make that dream come true. E4D makes me believe that I’m not alone in trying to achieve the India of our dreams. We at E4D, believe that an education can shape the way people think and act. Education is a catalyst which will speed India’s road to all that she dreams to achieve. E4D intends to make that happen.
3 May 2013, by Ted Moallem
Perhaps it’s a bit too early to celebrate, but E4D definitely hit a milestone yesterday (2 May 2013), as we registered and started training our first six E4D participants!
The six ambitious young women, ranging in age from about 17 to 26, all presently live and work full-time service jobs in the vicinity of the Brahmapuram area of Vellore, Tamil Nadu. Their goals in joining E4D are quite varied — one plans to learn computers, with the goal of advancing in her current job, while another matter-of-factly declared her intention to become a police officer. All six women require further education to achieve their goals, but they cannot risk losing their current jobs.
As part of the registration process, the new participants each spent 1-2 hours with one of our awesomevolunteer academic counsellors — Sonali Deshpande and Spandana Chervu, thank you so much for your patience and commitment!
Sonali and Spandana had the dual task of teaching the women basic computer skills and gathering information about their educational objectives. By the end of the first session, each participant had created her first email account and learned how to login/logout, copy/paste text, and compose/read email messages. They will return later today to complete the intake process, after which they will begin an online course covering the basics of MS Windows and Office Suite.
Proactive People Survey!!
21 Jun 2013, by Ted Moallem
Okay people, wherever you are, whenever you have 5 minutes to spare,
WE NEED YOU to start surveying “regular” Indian folks, aged 17 and up —
They might be your friends, siblings, parents, cousins, or anyone in
your extended family.
They might be housekeepers, home makers, shop workers, auto drivers,
servers, gardeners, carpenters, petrol station attendants, security
guards, pickpockets, cow herders…
They MUST be Indian residents, and have basic literacy in at least one language (any language)
Brief, fixed interview format —
Your job is to ask the questions, in whatever language appropriate,
and note the person’s responses, for entry into our form:
Please survey as VARIED a group of people as possible.
Thank you for supporting E4D!
13 Jun 2013, by Pranjal Jain
When I came to know about the “Education for development” project. I thought this is what I actually wanted to do in my life. A feeling came into my heart that I can change the Education system of India through E4d. This is the big platform for me to act and get results.
I feel that there is a lack of quality education between the school and College. What is lacking? That is the question! I strongly feel that what today’s university is offering is just the pressure. One thing because of which we Indians are not able to grow intellectually is the pressure. Our teachers just want to give us the pressure, so that they think we can perform better. But giving pressure every time is not good.
So much pressure kills the innovation and creativity of a student. This system is destroying the future of our nation.
There is no place for Innovation or New Idea, only Cramming. Just cram when you are in school or in college.
Just run for the good grades. We are not taught how to approach a problem neither given a space to think.
These were the thoughts that came when I heard of E4d. Thats why I joined the project. I wholeheartedly worked and is regularly working for the same.
I have a punch line for E4d -
“We at E4d are the revolutionaries of today’s modern India. Want to improve the thinking of every Indian and all those who think that India cannot Succeed.”
PERKS IDEAS for an E4D Indiegogo Campaign?
12 Jun 2013, by Ted Moallem
“A perk is something you offer people in exchange for their contribution. Perks give contributors an additional non-monetary incentive to support your campaign.” [http://www.indiegogo.com/crowdfunding-tips]
Akshat Wahi suggested that we can give away “E4D Stereo Can Speakers” (custom i4d design) as an Indiegogo perk — for example, if someone donates >$100 to the E4D campaign.
What other *awesome* perks can we offer prospective donors? Please add your ideas in the comments below….
21 Apr 2013, by Ted Moallem
Education for Development (E4D) is a non-profit social startup based in southern India. We provide free-of-charge higher education (>10th standard) and livelihood-enhancing training to previously neglected demographics, facilitating access to online course modules, basic lab facilities, and creative capacity-building workshops addressing the locally relevant challenges.
We’re working to revolutionize secondary and tertiary education in India and the developing world. It’s a huge task, and we need bright, ambitious, socially minded people (like you!) in order to achieve and extend our vision. We are looking for highly motivated students, recent grads, and any else with a passion for alternative education and the dedication to make the world a better place for all.
COME WORK WITH E4D!
We need enthusiastic interns to join our team in India and contribute to the development and operations of E4D. Ideal candidates would work with us on-site for a minimum of two months, and would be interested in a continuing collaboration with E4D after returning home.
We’ll provide local housing accommodations, at no cost, to any intern or visiting staff. For those who can commit to extended internship (> 3 months), E4D will consider requests to directly cover travel expenses. (For MIT students and recent alumni who are interested in shorter-term internships, we will work with you secure funding for travel/stipend through the MIT Public Service and India initiatives.)
If you’re interested, please email us (email@example.com) with a resume/CV, and describe your interests and background as they relate to E4D’s work.
More About E4D…
Our Strategy: Here in India, we are acutely aware of the EdX and D-Lab initiatives, and their potential to completely upend conventional practices in higher education and mainstream technology development. Our educational model aims to bring the two philosophies together — we are creating community centres, where academic counsellors guide students in the selection and completion of computer-based coursework (e.g., MOOCs, tutorials) and specialized staff coordinate community Innovation Workshops. E4D provides students with access to the required facilities (computer/internet and labs/workshops), in conjunction with routine, individualized academic assessment and career counseling. Our flagship centre is located in Vellore (Tamil Nadu), and we are preparing to open two additional E4D centres in Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) and Tirupattur (Tamil Nadu) in the next few months.
Our Motivation: Based on extensive personal experience in one of India’s top-ranking, ever-expanding, private universities, we know that the present educational system does not hold the way forward for India — quite the contrary. The current system has tens of millions of Indian students vying for precious few spots in India’s top universities. The most prestigious national universities accept roughly 1% of applicants. Students who take up positions in private universities spend their last few formative years subjected to whims and biases of profit-seeking and publicity-minded administrators, with minimal regulatory oversight from the government. Transferring between Indian universities is not generally an option, and so, from day 1 of freshman year, undergraduate students at many private universities are trapped, with virtually no leverage, and everything to lose. Female students in particular bear the brunt of every bias and “cultural norm” held sacred by faculty, staff, and administrators, and must learn to accept the social status of cattle.
Meanwhile, roughly 80% of college-aged Indian youth have no prospects for higher education. Close to 100 million Indians can do little but wait for the current system to expand to accommodate them.
Our Mission: E4D offers a different way forward. Beginning with a handful of Centres in southern India, we are building a higher educational model focused on reaching the masses, rather than building universities. We seek to minimize infrastructure and costs, while taking full advantage of freely available online educational resources. Our goal in the next few years is to demonstrate an effective, rapidly scalable strategy, which can then be implemented on a broad scale, funded predominantly by national, state, and local governments, along with private and corporate benefactors.