We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
What do you get when 101 student leaders come together for six days of learning, sharing, debating, creating, and teaching? A revolution—the Kids Education Revolution, to be exact. Ranging in age from eight to 18 and hailing from seven cities across India (plus Armenia and the UK), the students gathered in Mumbai in February for KER Week, the culmination of a year of regional events designed to spark and foster student leadership. Hosted by Teach For India, KER Week brought together students from diverse backgrounds with educators from Mumbai and beyond to experience how powerful education can be when the two groups work in equal partnership to define it.
Throughout Days 1 through 3, the young leaders participated in the KER Revolutionary Retreat. In groups large and small, they shared their experiences creating change in their schools and communities, practiced the principles of design thinking, envisioned their ideal learning environments, and expressed their hopes and dreams for the future through spoken word, song, dance, drama, and more. Each in their own way, the 101 Revolutionaries highlighted the critical importance of student voice in decisions that impact their education and their lives. And the adults in the room listened.
On the evening of Day 4, the Revolutionaries were joined by students from across Mumbai for KER Night—a series of performances inspired by the theme “Why Does Student Voice Matter?” that they presented to an audience of more than 500 local educators, policy makers, and corporate and social sector leaders. The compilation of powerful musical performances, slam poetry, and a provocative student panel left little doubt in the audience’s mind that these young people not only had something to say, they were determined to make themselves heard.
KER Week’s culminating event, the Kids Education Revolution Summit, brought together 450 local educators for two days of reimagining education alongside the students. In hands-on workshops and interactive sessions, the Revolutionaries led the adults through a series of innovative learning experiences and reflective discussions. When it came time for the Summit—and the many events of KER Week—to draw to a close, the students and teachers shared countless hugs, more than a few tears, and a palpable sense of excitement that the Kids Education Revolution was just getting started.
Watch the video above to experience KER Week for yourself and visit the KER website to learn more about the Kids Education Revolution.