Reading Yatra


About READing Yatra: An early grade reading focused multi-city travel program

READing Yatra is an immersive early grade reading focused multi city travel program that aims to provide an experiential learning platform for early-mid level working professionals and aspiring change makers. Yatra will help these professionals gain and share insights on successful, evidence-based innovations in early grade reading; range of existing reading methodologies and approaches for strengthening reading among primary schoolchildren; lessons on the factors critical to achieving scale and impact; an opportunity to interact with the visionaries behind the project; apart from gaining hands-on field experiences.

Highlights of the READing Yatra
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Immersion

Through coursework, discussions, workshops, and expert guidance, yatriss gain knowledge and insights into the early grade reading levels and challenges across cities, districts on the itinerary.

IMMERSION
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Integrate

As the yatra progresses, knowledge and understanding gained integrates into the classroom, discussions, and community activities which creates lasting impact and a well rounded experience.

INTEGRATE
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Insights

Traveling from district to district gives yatris the opportunity to glean actionable insights through comparing the similarities and differences of reading pedagogies through an academic lens.

INSIGHTS
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Innovate

The in-country experience provides hands-on experiential learning, giving ystriss access and the ability to engage with people, places, and cultures, ultimately allowing for cross-learning, perspective shift, and personal growth

INNOVATE
Partners

Through an extensive two round process of Early Grade Reading Innovation Challenges held in 2014 and 2015, READ Alliance is currently supporting six organizations that will impact the reading skills of more than 100,000 under-served school children living in the tribal districts of Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.

Our partners come from diverse areas of work and expertise, ranging from the corporate, multilateral agencies, media houses to not for profits operating on the ground. This diversity leads to the realization of one of the most important objectives i.e. to find innovative ways of pooling resources and talents based on each partner’s core strengths.

QUEST, STiR Education, Meraki Foundation, RoomtoRead, Educational Initiatives, Agragamee, Spark the Rise, Planet Read, Karadi Path, Humana- People to People India are some of the organizations associated with READ Alliance.

Over a period of two weeks starting from 16th July 2018, READing Yatris would get an unique opportunity to visit and observe the workings of a few of these organisations.

Program Design

READing Yatra provides an opportunity to understand different reading programs, share challenges and allow for cross learnings within different organizations. During the journey, the yatris would visit 5-6 intervention sites, and spend a day every site for immersive learning.

The partners with whom the selected Yatris would engage will be based on several themes which are relevant to early reading space. The themes have been identified keeping in mind how they can meaningfully contribute towards enhancing the understanding of various concepts and reading programs.

Libraries

To give the yatris a better understanding on how school libraries facilitate the larger literacy program.

Teachers

To give exposure about the on ground realities and issues faced by the teachers.

Assessment

To give yatris a chance to know and delve deeper into the workings of the assessment system.

Mother Tongue Instruction

To give yatris a sense on the importance and relevance of instructions and their efficacy when given in regional languages.

Parent Community

Exposing yatris to socio-economic issues prevalent in education sector which are beyond classrooms and management.

Visit to partner sites to review selected innovations and methodologies through interviews, stakeholder meetings, qualitative observations of the model being implemented in the classroom  to understand the causes of that success so that it may be effectively replicated or broad-based. The yatris will also do extensive use-case summaries and prepare documentation of the same.

*The tentative intervention sites based on the identified themes are- Educational Initiatives (Rajasthan), QUEST schools (Maharashtra), Room to Read libraries(Delhi), STiR education (Delhi), Meraki Foundation (Delhi).

A day long collaborative workshop would be held in Delhi post the Yatra field visits. This will enable the Yatris in identifying barriers to collaborative decision making and explore how stakeholders would like to work together and model new, valuable, and complementary ways of collaboration in addressing these challenges in an innovative way for early reading. The final outcome of the workshop would be a document which the yatris would prepare based on their field observations.

Our Selection Procedure
Online Application

Interested candidates can apply online till 15th June 2018

Personal Interviews

After a rigorous screening process, the shortlisted applicants would be invited for telephonic or in-person interviews depending on their availability.

Final selection

A total of five promising and committed young professionals would be selected for the READing Yatra.

Who are we looking for?

Although a professional focus on reading/literacy is desirable, however, all professionals who are engaged in furthering the cause of primary and secondary education in India – in any capacity – are encouraged to apply.

The Yatra aims to bring together a diversity of knowledge pool and bridge the gap between technology professionals and pedagogues so as to create a robust knowledge framework which can enrich and inform ideas across categories of for-profit entities, not-for-profit organisations, public sector entities, foundations, educators, international organisations, and philanthropists etc. 

However, early to mid-career professionals from corporate/development sector with about 3-6 years’ experience in any one or more of the following areas can apply:

  • Research
  • Teaching/Teacher training
  • Curriculum – design/development/implementation
  • Program – design/development/implementation
  • Product – design/development/implementation
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I apply?

Ans: The selection process is online. There is no application fee, interested individuals need to fill an online form. On the basis of the responses, shortlisted candidates would be invited for a telephonic/in person interview.

Q: Who is eligible to apply?

Ans: Professionals between the ages of 23-30 can apply. Though the eligibility criteria is mentioned but we strongly encourage candidates who are passionate about early grade reading should apply.

Q: What kind of educational background and skills are required?

Ans: We seek applicants from a variety of backgrounds, both professionally and personally. Candidates should demonstrate a deep interest, passion, and commitment to educational development in India. Candidates must show humility and an eagerness to learn within a cross-cultural context. Ideal candidates possess strong professional skills, relevant volunteer or other practical experience, and applicable academic credentials or training. They show a potential for leadership and are entrepreneurial, innovative, and creative in finding solutions and navigating unknown environments. Candidates must be flexible and adaptable, and possess exceptional ability to build meaningful relationships across cultures in the social development space. A sensitivity and ability to work with vulnerable communities, as well as the humility and passion to “learn by doing” is essential.

Q: What are the language requirements?

Ans: Fluency in English is required. It is not a requirement for Yatris to speak the local language.

Q: Why are the Essay type Questions important?

Ans: The essays are your chance to tell us about yourself and your interests.. As they are extended answers, you will be able to use them as an opportunity to demonstrate to us in detail why you are a strong candidate for the Yatra. Please therefore spend time developing your understanding as well as thinking about what you want to tell us before writing your response. Please also ensure that you have checked your essays for spelling and grammar errors as well as to ensure that you have answered each question fully. We recommend that you draft your essays off-line before proof reading and then copy-pasting them onto the application form, to ensure that the essays you submit are of the highest quality.

Q: How and when do I know about my selection?

Ans: On the basis of the interview, shortlisted candidates will be informed via mail and over the call within a week of their interviews.

Q: What does the interview process look like?

Ans: After reviewing the online applications, long-listed candidates will be invited for a brief phone conversation/in-person interview with a member from the selection comittee. Based on these interviews and an assessment of which candidates are best suited for the Yatra will be selected and will be intimated via phone calls and emails. *READ Alliance does not make travel arrangements for candidates coming to an interview, nor do we reimburse any expenses related to attending the interview. Candidates are expected to make their own arrangements and pay for all expenses incurred by attending the interview in person.

Q: Do i need to submit letters of recommendation?

Ans: No, we do not require recommendation letters.

Q: When do I need to submit NOC from my employer?

Ans: Before the commencement of READing Yatra, the selected yatris would have to submit a NOC from their organizations.

Q: Who is this READing Yatra for?

Ans: If you seek challenge, thrive in unstructured environments, and enjoy independent problem-solving, this is the program for you. If you’re a person looking to gain hands-on experience and a unique glimpse of what working in the Indian development sector looks like, then this is the program for you. If you’re looking to learn about a very different aspect of development work and India, and you’re willing to let this guide you beyond your time of service, then you should consider applying.

Q: What are the Yatra requirements?

Ans: Yatris are expected to complete the following tasks during their visits: Meeting or exceeding expectations of the yatra, including upholding your commitment to READ Alliance and your host organization Participation during the immersive site visits and Thematic Conference Adherence to the policies and agreements between the yatri, READ Alliance, and partner organizations Full completion of Yatra Timely submission of the knowledge document All Yatris are expected to complete the full program, while upholding basic values and principles of trust, honesty, and integrity. Yatris are expected to embrace and engage with multiple challenges, and take a lot of initiative in the structuring and completion of their visits.

Q: What will my 2 weeks look like?

Ans: READing Yatra would commence from Delhi, and from there the yatris would visit the partner organizations over a period of two weeks. During these visits the yatris would get an opportunity to gain insight into the workings of these organization and get hands on experience on how they function. The Yatra would conclude at Delhi with a thematic conference where the yatris would document their observations.

Q: What do you expect of the Yatris?

Ans: The Yatris are expected to engage with the partner organisations at various levels. The length of the working day may differ depending on the host organization or current ongoing work. Yatris are expected to abide fully by their host organization’s work schedule and workplace policies.

Q: Do I need to pay for the Yatra?

Ans: No, READing Yatra is a fully paid program. The yatris are not expected to bear any travel or lodging expenses during the partner visits.

Q: What is the provision for lodging and boarding?

Ans: The yatra begins from Delhi, and the Yatris would travel to different location sites. The yatra will conclude with a day long thematic conference with the Yatris in Delhi. For the immersive sites visits.

Q: Can I speak with a team member regarding my application or any other query?

Ans: We are happy to provide you with assistance during the application process. If you would like to speak with us, please contact us at rida.hamid@vihara.asia and specify your questions and areas on which you need clarification or support.