ShikshaLokam

India Education Collaborative

The story behind uniting changemakers from across the country to create lasting impact

It was in May 2020, when the pandemic had brought the entire world to a standstill. The lockdown in India had cut off almost all the connections the government had with children in the country, including the learning touchpoint – the state run schools. However, there were some anomalies.

Let me draw your attention to one state in India – Punjab. While grappling to cater to the medical needs of the people of the state, the Punjab state government was still able to get over 7500 teachers connected with over two million parents in a matter of just three days to enable learning for children at home. Teachers made parents as co-partners to ensure continuous learning at home. 

Bringing the community together on the journey towards continued learning helped all stakeholders. Parents felt heard. Teachers became aware of challenges faced by parents and children and thus, prepared learning solutions accordingly. Teachers, thus made parents partners to ensure continuous learning at home. The government was able to access data to devise further engagement and learning strategies.

What did Punjab do differently that helped thousands of children in the state? 

The Collective wisdom of the Punjab Education Collective enabled creation of  unique solutions in the  challenging  COVID situation. Four Organisations with different skills and expertise (understanding of scale and urgency, local contexts, awareness about communication tools, sense of technology and nurturing a  community) came together to join hands with the government. The cumulative impact of multiple stakeholders coming together reinforced the belief in us [at ShikshaLokam] that orchestrating collective action is no more a choice but it is the need of the hour.
Laying the seeds of collective action in  Punjab to enable systemic change across the country
The genesis of India Education Collaborative happened at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. My colleague Khushboo Awasthi was there to collect the Collective Social Innovation Award 2023 by The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship on behalf of the Punjab Education Collective. Over there, she met the energetic founder of Catalyst 2030, Ms. Jeroo Billimoria, who also put Khushboo in touch with her co-founder Ms.Urvashi Sahni. Khushboo was quick to realise the shared passion among the three, towards amplifying collective action in a country like India.This interaction gave birth to an idea of instituting an India Education Collaborative (IEC) to support 250 million children access holistic learning opportunities and participate in creating a thriving society.
Launch of India Education Collaborative
Every year, at ShikshaLokam, we hold a global dialogue on education leadership – InvokED. The theme for InvokED 2023 was Mission to Movement. The idea or the theme this year was to catalyse collective action to enable education leadership. In today’s world, where the pace of the growth of a problem exceeds the pace of solutioning, coming together, collaboration and co-creation is more relevant than ever

Hence, InvokED 2023 became  a perfect opportunity and the moment  to launch the Indian Education Collaborative. Catalyst 2030 and its member organisations like ShikshaLokam, Dream a Dream, Breakthrough, Mantra4Change, Study Hall Educational Foundation and others came together  to formally launch IEC. It was a sight to behold to see 50+ organisations light the lamp to mark their commitment to collective action.

Like Mahatma Gandhi aptly said “All good thoughts and ideas mean nothing without action”, the IEC took up its first initiative by organising a Brain Date during InvokED 2023 itself. 

IEC member organisations orchestrated dialogue spaces with the education ecosystem to discuss and identify the next steps towards the G20 education themes and outcomes .

 Along with the participants, the host organisations collated the recommendations in form of a white paper aligned to the G20 Education Priorities, now submitted to the G20 Committee.

Currently, member organisations are co-creating roles and structures for the collaborative .The team is also imagining how we can evangelise, design and orchestrate right programs through this Collaborative. The IEC will be driven by shared values, programs and actions .

The complexity of the education inequity challenge warrants all hands on deck. We envision this collaboration to power the ability to inform public policy, develop and disseminate knowledge, mobilise funding, conduct R&D, and implement programs. India needs increased multilateral collaboration with governments, market players, high net worth individuals, philanthropic organisations, and investment partners.The cumulative impact of multiple stakeholders coming together will be immense, visible through the enhanced student outcomes across the country.

In case you would like to join the Collaborative and contribute in driving systemic education change, write to me at  priyanka@site-staging.shikshalokam.org

Meet the Author

Priyanka K Mohan

Priyanka K Mohan

Priyanka K Mohan is an education enthusiast on a mission to tap into the potential of every child. Since 2022, she has been driving ecosystem development initiatives at ShikshaLokam. With a diverse background in organisations like Wipro, Teach for India, and Wells Fargo, Priyanka brings a wealth of experience. She is also the founder of Yakshadegula, where she combines her passions for education and performing arts. As an accomplished artist, Priyanka strives to make Indian performing arts accessible to all. Her infectious enthusiasm and dedication make her an invaluable asset to the education sector, shaping the future and empowering young minds along the way.

Priyanka K Mohan

Priyanka K Mohan

Priyanka K Mohan is an education enthusiast on a mission to tap into the potential of every child. Since 2022, she has been driving ecosystem development initiatives at ShikshaLokam. With a diverse background in organisations like Wipro, Teach for India, and Wells Fargo, Priyanka brings a wealth of experience. She is also the founder of Yakshadegula, where she combines her passions for education and performing arts. As an accomplished artist, Priyanka strives to make Indian performing arts accessible to all. Her infectious enthusiasm and dedication make her an invaluable asset to the education sector, shaping the future and empowering young minds along the way.