Posted by: janpierce | January 12, 2013

Madhav Chavan wins the WISE prize for international education programs

IMG_0528  The education of the poor in India is often scandalous. Government schools may look quite nice, but the level of instruction within the classrooms is appalling. Often teachers don’t even attend classes, leaving children to run the school grounds from morning to afternoon. Or, children sit in rows and recite words with no understanding of content. Private schools are less appealing to the eye, but provide better instruction. However many of the poor cannot afford the fees for books and uniforms. A large number of the better schools in India sprung up through the work of Western missionaries. They continue today to serve the children of India, but more often reach the children of middle class families, leaving the poor of the villages and slums of the cities with only Government school options.  I was encouraged by this article and video about a man named Madhav Chavan, a leader in education reform in India who recently won the WISE award for the work he’s done in upgrading education for thousands of poor Indian children. Working in the slums with little in the way of resources, he’s been able to improve the level of learning. One of the most interesting and sensible things he’s done is train tenth standard students who planned on dropping out of school to be teachers in their own communities. The training encourages the older students to learn and have a vision for a career of their own. The younger children have the benefit of improved instruction in a setting familiar and safe. You can watch a video of Chavan’s work here:

Be sure to watch the latter part of the video to see volunteers who were trained to teach and then returned to their own villages to gather the children and instruct them. What a wonderful cycle of giving and receiving.



  1. I love your writing

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