A Woman From A Low-Income Background Opens a School in Rural Maharashtra With No External Support

A Woman From A Low-Income Background Opens a School in Rural Maharashtra With No External Support

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Prayas English Medium School, Yavatmal, Maharashtra

Sunita Kale, Prayas English Medium School, Yavatmal, Maharashtra 

Background

Education is a powerful tool that can open doors and create opportunities for individuals all around the world. It goes beyond gaining knowledge – it’s about the manner in which that knowledge is delivered and received. Sunita Kale, hailing from a humble background with no external support, courageously founded a school in a rural setting. Her story illustrates how a commitment to delivering quality education can positively impact future generations and illuminate the path to a brighter future.

“Success does not depend on the best infrastructure and facilities in the school; it’s about the satisfaction of giving your best quality education to children,” Sunita declares.

Inspiration

In her early career, Sunita managed another school, handling its daily operations. Her exceptional teaching skills and management abilities ignited her ambition to start her own educational institution. Reflecting on her own journey, she notes, “My goal was to establish an affordable private school, making sure quality education was accessible to a wide range of students.” Owing to her relentless commitment, Prayas English Medium School came into being in rural Yavatmal, with a specific focus on providing education to economically disadvantaged students.

School’s journey and growth

Sunita highlights, “Parents believed in our teaching methods and the strategies we use, which allowed us to enroll over 450 students in the inaugural year.” Even though the school leader faced challenges like limited facilities and incomplete infrastructure, her dedication convinced parents to opt for her school over others with relatively better amenities. 

“It’s no secret that parents want the best education for their children, envisioning their future success,” she stresses. 

“While various factors contribute to a student’s achievements, one significant aspect is their continuous improvement over time. When parents witness their children making steady progress, they tend to feel content about their educational decisions, leading to an increase in enrollment for us,” she elaborates.

Given this emphasis on student progression, Sunita indicates that “a growing number of parents are gravitating towards schools that champion excellence in education. This positive shift is expected to continue as parents increasingly search for schools that provide their children with an exceptional education.”

Read More: How One Visionary Woman Leader Is Making A Difference In Girls’ Education

Pandemic and the initial challenges

During the pandemic, students grappled with learning loss, a reality Sunita reflects upon with great concern. “Teachers did their best by transitioning to online teaching,” she says, “but the lack of resources like smartphones and internet facilities in the village posed significant problems.”

In response, the school introduced community classes. Teachers took necessary precautions and conducted classes within local neighborhoods. She elaborates,”These community classes gave students an opportunity to make up for missed classroom hours. They provided personalized attention and allowed interaction with peers in small groups. This approach significantly aided in compensating for students’ learning gaps.”

“Even after the school reopened, teachers continued to offer bridge courses to strengthen the basic foundational knowledge and help students grasp current grade-level studies.” Sunita affirms with a smile.

Read more: Quality Education, Empowered Teachers, Engaged Parents: This School Leader’s Winning Formula

Varthana’s support

“When I needed financial support, Varthana came forward as a blessing,” Sunita highlights, acknowledging that without their help, the school’s growth would have faced major hurdles. She notes that the funds were used to build more classrooms and procure teaching materials. “This expansion facilitated an uptick in enrollment, ensuring ample seating for students in classrooms,” she believes.

Vision

Sunita’s vision for the school includes organizing additional sports, cultural events, outings, and science exhibitions. She expresses her ambition to provide top-notch digital education to her students and to focus on improving the school’s infrastructure.

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