Mumbai: Shaheen Mistri, founder of Akanksha
Foundation and Teach for India, said focus of the education
system must be overall development of children and not
"Education should not be result-driven. There is a need
to redefine the education system, which should be the overall
development of children, preparing them to lead the world and
building values and self-confidence," Shaheen told reporters.
Shaheen, one of the founding members of Teach for India
and founder of Akanksha Foundation, an NGO, undertook the task
of educating the less privileged children.
She said of late it has been noticed that more and more
poor parents too are willing to educate their children.
"As the disposable income rises they even transfer their
children to English medium schools," she added.
With regards to the Muslim community, Shaheen said,
language barrier is a problem.
Shaheen is toying with the idea of adopting `Charter
School` model followed by the USA. "The model focuses on
imparting education to lower income group of children, funding
is done by the Government and private parties run it. I feel
the model must be tested in India as well."
Akanksha, a non-profit organisation began in 1990 to
educate slum kids. She also started Teach for India in 2008, a
nationwide movement of graduates and young professionals who
for two years teach full time in under-resourced schools.
Akanksha started with educating ten children from a slum.
Today it is providing education to 3,500 children, she said
adding there are 58 Akanksha centres in Mumbai and Pune.
On the two-day Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship
held in Washington last month, Shaheen who met President
Barack Obama said, "It highlighted the importance of
entrepreneurship, job creation and community development,
identified ways to advance economic and social
entrepreneurship," Shaheen said.