Message – From Azim Premji

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A lot is being said about our education system. That the system encourages rote learning and memorisation. That it does not encourage learning of concepts and is limiting in the way it engages children. That children only learn how to negotiate examinations by memorising and quoting verbatim from textbooks. That children in general do not enjoy schooling and this further causes deterioration of the learning process.

It must be acknowledged that there are systemic issues that cause these problems. But at the heart of all this is the engagement of teachers with children within the school. This engagement is the crux of the education system and it directly impacts the child’s experience and hence her learning. It is natural that most recommendations for improvements centre on the classroom and the teacher-student interaction.

This puts immense pressure on the teacher to perform, to be constantly updated with information, to experiment and to make the classroom experience interesting, engaging and creative. This is a tall order and it is important for teachers to get all the support they can.

We have a large community of educators across our country and many of them are engaged in observing, learning and experimenting to understand the process of learning better. There are various pedagogical methods employed by teachers that motivate children to be active participants in the classroom. It is being seen and discovered that children have a natural inclination towards learning and it is possible to encourage this to make the classroom an interesting and engaging place. It is imperative that teachers across the country learn from these experiences.

There is a lot of research and various studies that give new perspectives to education. There is work being done towards getting deeper insight into the way the child learns. Various organisations employ results of research to create tools and resources to be used in classrooms. It is important for teachers to have access to this information and a medium to translate these generalities to the practical and usable.

Educators need to take courage from the fact that many of their peers across several schools in the country have chosen to change. What is required is a framework for educators across the country to interact and network, to exchange ideas, to create an atmosphere of learning that will in turn create positive change in their classrooms.

The role publications can perform in furthering this has largely remained untapped. Publications need to be encouraged as supplementary sources of information to teachers. Publications can play an important role in disseminating information and networking teachers across the country. Schools need to encourage and nurture this medium to ensure that classroom engagement doesn’t become static or repetitive. With the internet becoming ubiquitous and a standard channel of information, we need to use the power of this medium to catalyse the process of information sharing.

There are very few publications in the country continuing their effort to reach out to teachers. Teacher Plus has been providing this platform of sharing and collaboration for teachers since 1989.And true to the spirit of learning, this magazine is infusing itself with energy and enthusiasm to reach out to the teacher community. Teacher Plus is envisioned not just as a publication and a deliverer of information, but also as a means to network teachers and provide a forum for teachers to engage with the larger community of educators across the country. To this end, it is being made more frequent and easier to access in its dual avatar on paper and on the internet.

The importance of publications cannot be overstated and it is imperative that every publication working towards supporting, motivating and encouraging the teacher community is strengthened. On behalf of the educator’s community and everyone committed to education reform, I wish Teacher Plus the best in this effort. The effort to help energise classrooms with the spirit of enquiry and learning, the spirit of experimentation and constant discovery and rejuvenation. And this will lead to the change we aspire, a changed classroom infused with a craving to learn, a compelling need to question and the irrepressible motivation and energy to continuously evolve itself closer to the ideal.

Wipro Applying Thought In Schools

“Wipro Applying Thought In Schools” is Wipro’s initiative to help in societal change and development. This initiative is long-term, deliberate and focused. The intent of this initiative is to improve the Quality of education – so that life opportunities and possibilities are expanded for everyone, including the most under privileged.”

That children are natural learners, that we need to let children expand their natural thinking prowess, that children need an environment that encourages creativity and an adventurous spirit, that lack of learning in our schools is a direct result of what our examinations expect of our children – rote and memorising, that there is an urgent need for a revamp of the process of education in India is evident.

This fundamental change by its very nature has to be organic and evolutionary, and we believe there has to be a continuous effort towards ensuring the idea of change and the efforts towards change are nurtured and sustained.

Wipro Applying Thought In Schools is a thoughtful and deliberate effort to engage deeply in education reform. As a corporate, we believe our leverage is in networking and advocacy; and we should use this actively in our initiative and not restrict our participation to monetary help.

Through this initiative, we work with civil society organisations across the country and sustain and nurture this eco-system of thought leaders and organisations working towards education reform. This network helps create organisations, build capacity in organisations to influence and initiate change and provide the collective strength and momentum to the education reform movement. In this eco-system while there is collaboration and coalescing of efforts, each organisation has the space and flexibility to work independently within their framework.

This engagement is diverse and supports development of organisations, specific experiments inspiring models for systemic change, publications, research and advocacy. We engage with more than 30 social organisations across the country and through this initiative we have reached out to more than 1000 schools and 9000 educators.

We see this as a contribution to ensure that the thought process and the need for change are alive and we strive to engage more organisations committed to social change, committed to the ideals of a just, humane and equitable society.

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