I am Rajaram. I am working in the field of education for the underprivileged in India for the last several years. I have been doing this as a part of Asha for Education. I used to work as a software engineer. But for the last 4+ years I have been volunteering full-time for this cause.
Asha for Education has been working with the goal of education for the underpriviledged in India. While education has a significant value for the individual, Asha also sees education as a catalyst for social change. I have been with the Asha Chennai chapter since its inception in 2002. Early in our chapter’s life, we decided that the best way for us to work towards the mission of Asha was to work with government schools. We believe that the emphasis of education needs to be real understanding and confidence in using the concepts learnt in real life. Rote learning is a malaise in Indian education system that needs to be eliminated. These changes have to start bottom up and therefore we decided we will mostly work with primary schools.
Asha Chennai is currently supporting about 100 government schools spread across Tamilnadu. I am involved personally in our efforts at all these schools. We support the schools by providing teachers where required and also learning teaching materials. In recent years we have been looking at ways to employ technology to enhance education at all these schools and beyond.
Reasons for this Blog
The blog would provide me a platform to explain and develop my thoughts related to these efforts. We have made conscious choices in various aspects of our functioning starting from why we have chosen to work with government schools to how to use technology for education at a primary school level. The blog provides me an opportunity to explain these choices.
I see a vast disconnect between the well-educated Indian elite and its vast majorities. The day-to-day lived experience of the vast majority in India is completely unfamiliar to the educated elite. This applies to education as much as it applies in say health-care, commute, work, life at home etc. I hope to provide some information to bridge this gap at least in the field of education through this blog.
My hope is also that this blog helps me connect with others who are interested in this area so that ideas can be shared. Informed people who want to sincerely make a difference to the world are hard to come by. If I find and connect to a few such people through this blog, it would have more than served its purpose.
Finally I have chosen the path to volunteer in this effort full-time. While there are broader moral or philosophical reasons for this choice, it is also derived from the immediate joy I get when seeing caring teachers doing their job with dedication and also to see other organisations doing wonderful work in their own spheres. The blog will also provide me a space to showcase such excellent work and the simple pleasures that I encounter in doing this work.