Select Page

Episode 130 | 11 AM Eastern

This is the third of three episodes that we are devoting to education in India. As we had said in the introduction to the first of this series (#123 and #129), with 1.4 billion people, 27% of whom are under 15, India has significant educational needs. Its multilingual, multi-ethnic culture throw in further challenges. Scale, complexity and diversity — it is all here.

A word about the image that we created for this episode. It is a painting titled “Education” by Bindi Priya from the Madhubani region in North India. It is a form of ritual painting whose point of origin is unknown, demonstrating impressive skills of formally unschooled, but internationally recognized village artists – and how these artists are responding to modern conflicts that confront their changing society. This painting in particular tells a story, a story of education, panel by panel – as in a comic. It starts at the upper left where a young girl is crying because her brother is going to school but she has to help with housework. It describes her getting married, being mistreated by her inlaws, returning home, and contemplating taking her own life. She, instead, decides to get an education and goes to school, and becomes a teacher, passing on her knowledge to the next generation. Note the books all the way around the frame. A powerful image, that speaks to the value of education and learning – and its power to liberate. And also to the talent that there in all of us.

Today we will meet with representatives of two organizations focusing on student centered learning. Priyanka Krishna at Quest Alliance and Joseph Phillip at Reap Benefit.

More about our guests and the organizations below the video

About Quest Alliance
Quest Alliance is a not-for-profit that works to bridge the education and skills divide through inspiring and empowering youth, students, and educators to build 21st Century skills through technology-enabled self-learning experiences. At Quest Alliance, we believe individuals would thrive if allowed to build their learning pathways and place themselves at the center of their learning journeys. For this, we foster 21st-century skills among young people by transforming existing learning ecosystems and bridging critical gaps across the school-to-work continuum.

Our schools’ program runs across Class 5 to Class 10 in government schools working with learners to inculcate 21st Century skills and STEM mindsets, while our work with the teachers and school leadership with a blended learning professional development program to develop 21st-century learning environments with a focus on project-based learning, computational thinking, digital literacy, and career exploration. Our skilling program works with the Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) ecosystem, building 21st-century skills, work readiness, and career skills ensuring 50% of young people find and remain in jobs.

About Priyanka Krishna
Priyanka Krishna is a researcher at Quest Alliance, where she undertakes and manages research projects in the schools and skilling space. While her undergraduate training is in information science engineering, and she has experience working in the corporate sector, her discontent with how she was taught at school had her move to work at the grassroots for education in some remote areas of the country. She is a Commonwealth Scholar and holds a masters in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London.

About Reap Benefit
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report states that 40% of India’s population will live with water scarcity and 35 million people face annual coastal flooding by 2050. According to the International Labour Organisation, India could lose the equivalent of 34 million jobs in 2030 due to global warming.

For India’s 485 million youth, there is a need to reimagine the way education can help navigate these challenges. Reap Benefit is on a mission to build a nationwide movement of 10 million action-oriented youth (called Solve Ninjas) with the 21st century green skills to solve India’s alarming climate and civic issues at a hyperlocal level.  These skills include collaboration, critical thinking, communication, applied empathy, and grit that are activated through action.

Using a combination of grassroots mobilisation and technology, we have been able to work with 112,018 Solve Ninjas across 12 states in the country.

About Joseph Phillip
My career began as a Product Engineer, I decided to move out of engineering because I wasn’t very good at it and I also wanted to do something that would make me happy, which was working with young people . I joined Reap Benefit 4 years back as a mentor and now look at the learning and development of Mentors at Reap Benefit as part of the People and Culture team. Our mentors are at the frontline creating experiences that are fun, challenging and inspiring that motivate our Solve Ninjas to take actions solving environment and civic issues.