Creating Global Opportunities: This Leader’s School Produces Gold Medalists, US Rocket Engineers

Creating Global Opportunities: This Leader’s School Produces Gold Medalists, US Rocket Engineers

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New English Medium School, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

Shantaram Malunjkar, New English Medium School, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

“The spotlight is now shining on rural students as they take center stage and represent their school at an international level. From small towns to global platforms, these young minds are breaking down stereotypes and showcasing the incredible talent that exists in the heart of rural India,” says  Shantaram Malunjkar, the driving force behind the New English Medium School in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. He is the one empowering many aspiring leaders like himself to showcase their potential on a global scale.

A vision for an English medium school in his village

When people lose their jobs, their primary focus shifts to finding a new job to meet their day-to-day responsibilities. But Shantaram isn’t most people. “Even after losing my job, I took a big leap to fulfill my childhood dream, staying true to my roots here in Akole,” he says with determination.

He realized that there wasn’t a single English medium school in his village offering quality education to students. This means many missed out on an education that could potentially transform their lives. 

Shantaram also observed that the majority of students in his village struggled with speaking and understanding English. This created problems during interviews or when seeking promotions at their jobs. This realization inspired him to start a new school that could change their way of living and earning. He recalls, “I aimed to create a positive impact and help our students in acquiring the necessary skills.”

Read More: Empowering a small village in Jodhpur through education

Starting with quality and experiential education

When Shantaram started the school, funds were scarce. He began in a rented space and even sold his wife’s gold to purchase a van for the students. In the first year, only 40 students enrolled, with Shantaram providing free education to those from low-income backgrounds.

He reflects, “Many doubted if this would last, saying the school might have to close down soon.” Yet, his dedication and ongoing efforts to bring positive change in society never wavered. This determination is the primary reason for his success in the education field.

Today, Shantaram’s school offers top-notch education that stands tall in comparison to the best schools worldwide, with students eager to showcase their talents. The curriculum is designed not only to challenge them but also to prepare them for success in the global job market.

He emphasizes, “Our teachers take students on visits to banks, police stations, courts, and farms so they can understand the roles and responsibilities of different individuals in society.” 

He further adds, “Such exposure boosts their confidence, making them unafraid to engage with anyone. These practices also help students gain insights into different cultures and learn how to collaborate effectively with people from various professions.”

Today, the school boasts of impressive facilities, including modern, well-equipped classrooms. Its dedicated and well-qualified teachers are committed to ensuring student success. This village school proves that quality education is achievable anywhere – even in rural areas.

Read More: Determined School Leader Transforms Rural Education With Quality Education And Strong Relationships

Creating something to be proud of

Many dream of representing their school, state, and country on an international stage. Evidently, the dedication of the school leader, who has guided the New English Medium School through its ups and downs, coupled with the efforts of its students, has truly paid off. Shantaram proudly shares, “One of our students earned a gold medal in a competition in Columbia, while another graduate is now in the United States, working on rocket engineering projects.”

Such achievements fill him with immense satisfaction, underscoring the fact that students from his small village school can indeed shine on the global stage.

Partnership with Varthana

Shantaram expresses, “I’m thankful to Varthana for their continuous support during our challenging times and the funds they provided, enabling us to construct a new school building.”

Currently, Shantaram’s school possesses all the required amenities and has expanded its seating capacity. He also highlights Varthana’s aid during the financial strains induced by COVID-19, when fee collection became a hurdle.

“Varthana was the first to step in when we needed funds for the school.”

Once the school reopened, Shantaram says they introduced yoga, meditation, and counseling sessions for the behavioral improvement of students. He points out, “During the pandemic, we noticed significant changes in students’ behavior, such as reduced concentration and growing addiction to mobile phones. These post-pandemic activities played a crucial role in getting our students back on track.”

Looking forward to the future ahead

Shantaram is a visionary, always seeking the best facilities, teaching pedagogies, and quality education for every student. “I’m always ready to offer the best to our students,”  he reaffirms.

This story isn’t just about the inception of a school; it’s about one man’s unyielding faith in the potential of young minds, irrespective of their background. It serves as an inspiration for all those who dare to dream beyond the ordinary, even when faced with adversity.


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