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Opinion17th November 2015

An oath to change, a walk to inspire: Chalk Walk 2015

STIR Education, a member of the Ark family, is building the largest independent professional movement for teachers across the developing world. The aim is to motivate and empower teachers to become skilful practitioners who impact student learning.

In India, the 2014 national assessments determined that 47% of children in Grade 5 could not read a Grade 2 text. This was a national scandal. Many blamed India’s teachers.

Last month, STIR, a teacher-led movement to improve children’s learning in developing countries, launched a unique campaign to combat this perception and to inspire teachers to reclaim their moral purpose.

From an idea to reality

Sharath Jeevan, STIR Education CEO said, ‘Chalk Walk aims at bringing a revolutionary change in the mind-set and approach not only of teachers, but the students, parents and other community members towards teachers and the teaching profession.’

Sharath continued, ‘A piece of chalk acts as a crucial tool in the hands of teachers to impart knowledge to their students. Chalk serves as a symbol of the commitment pledged.’

Each teacher who joined the campaign took an oath, reiterating that they are and will continue to be the solution to the present learning crisis.

Chalk Walk 2015 began on Teachers Day in India, September 5th. Over 7,000 teachers across India participated and organized oath-taking ceremonies in their schools. They networked, they celebrated and they made it clear they were proud to be teachers.

Their oath:[[{“fid”:”77461″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:”the Chalk Walk 2015 oath”,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:”the Chalk Walk 2015 oath”,”field_tags[und]”:””},”type”:”media”,”link_text”:null,”attributes”:{“alt”:”the Chalk Walk 2015 oath”,”title”:”the Chalk Walk 2015 oath”,”style”:”float: right; height: 259px; width: 400px;”,”class”:”media-element file-default”}}]]

I am a teacher and a changemaker.

I will work be the best teacher I can be.

I will support all my children to learn.

I will collaborate with other teachers to improve learning for all children.

I will be part of a movement that restores the faith in teaching

The campaign culminated on World Teachers Day with huge events in Lucknow and New Delhi. Hundreds of teachers, principals, government officials and eminent educationalists came together to showcase the images and stories from the oath-taking events held across the country.

Darshan Bharti, a teacher at Lucky Playway Public School is excited about the long-term results of her participation, “Chalk Walk campaign helped us realize the relevance of our profession all over again. Now I have a 5-year vision for my school where learning will be the top-most priority.”

Moving forward

To build on the momentum of Chalk Walk, these teacher changemakers will now take STIR’s Classroom Practice challenge. They will meet and collaborate to develop innovative solutions to challenges in their day to day teaching.

And, the Chalk Walk movement is already spreading: 5,000 teachers in the STIR network in Uganda recently began their own Chalk Walk campaign.

Ultimately, it is all of these teachers who will bring about the improvements in the education system Indian children deserve. It starts with re-instilling pride in the profession and will end with improving student results.

For more information on ChalkWalk 2015 or STIR, please visit