Education

College students mentor school-going children

Teaching science the fun way  

A group of friends from school sowed the seeds of Talent Quest for India (TQI) in 2010. Twenty seven-year-old G Ramasubramaniam, one of its founding members, who now works for a corporate house, says the team and vision for TQI evolved over the years, beginning with his college days at SRM University.

A few incidents organically shaped TQI’s core values.

“A school friend, who won a coding competition, owed his victory to me as I was a good listener. During a visit to a government school, where my mother was a teacher, children openly shared their dreams and aspirations when I asked them about it. It underscored for me the fact that youngsters wanted to be heard, wanted to share their dreams and aspirations,” says Ramasubramaniam, an alumnus of Modern Senior Secondary School, Nanganallur.

At college, Ramasubramaniam realised that stage fear and difficulty with spoken English held students back. So, he and two of his friends SS Kandavel and Madhusudhan Balasubramaniam designed a project called “Express”, which sought to impart a variety of skills including news reading, translating movie dialogues and acting to boost spoken English skills, through gamified modules. That was just the beginning, and over the years, the network of Express volunteers and participants have grown organically.

“TQI thus initiated other programmes to develop students holistically and also to make them socially responsible individuals,” says Ramasubramaniam.

Some of its other projects include Ullas, Daan Utsav, Chhote Scientists, Kanaa, and One Year One Cause.

Thirumalai Kumar, who has been associated with the non-profit for the last five years, says they were able to spread their volunteer network mainly by word of mouth, as also by virtue of having a decentralised structure which allows each volunteer to function like a leader.

“I had fear of speaking before an audience but this platform helped me shed my inhibitions. All of us are focus on our strengths,” says Kumar, a core team member working with a corporate. “I picked up leadership, collaboration and soft skills here.”


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 2:10:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/college-students-mentor-school-going-children/article35388033.ece

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