Mr. Saurav Regmi is a Professional Recruiter at Teach For Nepal (TFN). He is a professional Educator and Counselor. Mr. Regmi has worked as an educator for more than 7 years and sees education in Nepal has a two-part problem. First, we have limited resources for quality educators. And, for those who are qualified, we have limited processes set up for them to succeed in their mission. So, Mr. Regmi joined Teach For Nepal as a recruiter to set up a network to get a steady flow of quality educators and then, mobilize them by instilling the values both he and Teach For Nepal strive for. Let’s dig up more about TFN with Mr. Regmi here.
1. Many youths seem to get excited to apply for Teach For Nepal Fellowship. What do you think about the youths’ attraction towards joining TFN?
Youth lookup for different kinds of motivation. Those types of youth who want to work for change and who believe in change, tend to commit themselves to the betterment of the nation join Teach For Nepal. We at TFN believe that in order to bring change in society, it needs to get started from the classroom. So, those youths who have a strong mindset of going into the community and teaching in the classroom for two years with the will of bringing change and sharing knowledge plus working for the change are more attracted towards joining TFN.
2. As a recruiting officer, what qualities do you see in a Teach For Nepal candidate to be fitted into the organization?
We constantly seek for the youths who are sound in academics and have good leadership exposure. They should be able to demonstrate our core values i.e, Integrity, Leadership, Excellence, Sense of Urgency, Sense of Possibility, Mutual Respect and Responsibility, and Continuous Learning. As Teach For Nepal Fellows, outstanding university graduates go to a certain community or a village and they need to teach either Science, Math, English, or Computer Science inside a classroom. Hence in order to teach these subjects, they need to have subject mastery and should be academically sound along with leadership skills. They should be able to accept certain challenges and should as well have the learning attitude to join the TFN.
3. What training and skills are provided to the TFN Fellows during the Fellowship program? What values does this Fellowship add to their professional career?
To apply for a TFN Fellowship, Individuals need to have the zeal to go to the classrooms and teach. Looking at our nine years of database, mostly fresh graduates (higher achieving) apply for the Fellowship program. We look for people who may have never considered adopting teaching as a career, but after they apply and get selected, we ensure that they work for the change in their lives. We have developed an intensive Seven weeks long training course. We call it the “Learning Institute''. It is a residential training program where a candidate has to go through an intensive training procedure for 48 days that covers lesson planning, classroom management, community relations, and much more. In addition to seven weeks of pre-service, the Fellows receive ongoing support and regular training during the two years of Fellowship.
Also after their placement in the schools, there is mini learning institute (MiLI) training every 4 months that lasts for 4 to 5 days. This is a platform where they share about their works, learnings, experiences in the community and the challenges they faced, the hurdles in their performances, and many more.
Upon completion of the Fellowship, the Fellow will have a broadened horizon. This includes a better understanding of the problem of education inequity, problems of the community, and their personal growth of working in a new environment beyond their comfort zone. The level of maturity and changes seen among the Fellows at the beginning and end of the Fellowship is drastic. But it is certain that the Fellows after two years of Fellowship will help the young individuals to walk from this Fellowship stronger and more mature to handle future challenges.
5. What does Talent Acquisition mean to you as per TFN values?
As there is a high number of youths applying for TFN, the recruitment process is slightly different and intense. We do not qualify everyone applying to be our probable Fellows. Since the selection process is rigorous, applicants will have to go through a multilayered selection process.
In order to get the best out of the best candidates, each year we visit different colleges, universities, and clubs to find the best talents. Every year, more than 3-5000 youths register for the program, and out of that, more than 2000 apply and only 50-60 get selected. Last year, due to COVID and delayed publication of results of the universities, the registration and application rates significantly dropped. Despite any situations, we do not compromise with our selection rubrics. We ensure to meet the best standards and quality of Fellows for the Fellowship For that we have a rigorous selection process to meet our standards. So, for me, talent acquisition is to find out where the real talent is, attract them and make them apply for the Fellowship by aligning the values of TFN.
6. TFN can also be referred to as the community of young changemakers. What other future programs is TFN planning to bring?
“One Day All Children in Nepal will attain an Excellent Education.” This is our vision. It is towards this larger vision that Teach For Nepal is working. The problem of educational inequity is complex and multifaceted. Currently, the focus is on improving teaching quality by placing outstanding graduates in the community school. It is because we believe that teaching is at the heart of the problem and a good teacher can greatly impact a student's life. TFN in the future looks to continue to improve its own Fellow training and support. And will continue to work towards the larger vision. We call ourselves a movement-leading organization of people working on ending educational inequity in Nepal where Fellowship is our core program. We are not a project-based organization. But having said that, we are always working on revising the fellowship program to make it more effective and sustainable.
7. While hiring the candidates, what do you prefer the most, Academics or skills?
TFN Fellowship is the core program of TFN. There is always a student and student learning at the center of TFN. And for this, Academics is a must. Our Fellows are placed in different schools where they have to teach either Science or Math or English or Computer Science. Also, we look for the youths who have the right mindset that aligns with our core values. Having said that, a higher level of skills is also necessary for a candidate to deal with the other factors that affect the learning of a child. When a youth goes to a community, he/she needs to ascertain certain challenges, where leadership skills play an important role. So, for me, both academics and skills are equally important to being a Teach For Nepal Fellow.
8. TFN recruits in bulk and isn’t it sometimes difficult to find the number of candidates required within the committed time frame?
It’s always challenging to find the right candidates. It’s never about the numbers. Finding the right candidate with the right motivation and commitment is a must and finding Nepali graduates is a tough task. Not only for TFN but every organization finding the best talent is always a challenging task. Every year, we get more than 3000 registrations out of which we are able to select on average 60 to 70 candidates. To date, more than 35 thousand youth have registered for the Fellowship. Out of that, we have received around 10000 applications and now there are 375 alumni and 67 Fellows currently placed in schools. This clearly shows that we are looking for specific kinds of graduates from a pool of diverse natured youth mass, which in itself is naturally challenging.
9. What metrics do you use while selecting the best candidates for TFN?
We believe and look after the combination of Leadership, Academics, Motivation, and Knowledge in a candidate applying for the Fellowship.
10. Can you share some of the hiring moments where your expectations exceeded the requirements of the candidates?
As mentioned earlier, finding the right candidate is a challenge but I feel that it is the same for many organizations. So there have been times when I had to make a careful judgment and assess if the candidate is right for the Fellowship. The expectation of TFN is to have Fellows with the right mix of academics and leadership so that the expectations of the organization are met. But I must also add that we work closely with the Fellows throughout by training and supporting them to be better teachers and leaders as well which will eventually not only benefit TFN but the entire community. This will help Fellows to groom themselves even after they have completed the Fellowship.
11. Your message to the youth who wants to bring change to the nation.
“It is easy to stand with the crowd, it takes courage to stand alone”, so if you dare to see the change, YOU dare to apply.
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