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

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

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Jay shree public school

Seema Sharma, Jaishree Public School, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh

Education is a fundamental right of every individual regardless of gender, but unfortunately, discrimination still exists in many rural societies in India due to a lack of awareness and backward thinking dominance. Seema Sharma, a woman from a rural background in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most ambitious women school leaders in her fraternity. Her struggle to achieve basic education shaped her journey.

From a young age, Seema had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and an unbridled curiosity for the world. She longed to attend school like her brother and learn new things every day. She wanted to explore her potential and unearth new talents.

Despite her father’s objections, Seema was determined to receive an education. She convinced her brother to teach her basic literacy and numeracy skills at home, using their old school books. She was a quick learner and soon surpassed her brother in her passion for knowledge. As Seema grew older, her resolve to obtain an education grew even stronger. Although she wanted to go to school like her brother, her father refused to allow it. She understood the significance of education and realized that she had to persuade her father to let her go to school.

Finally, one day, Seema’s brother stepped in. He recognized how ardently his sister wanted to learn and convinced their father to let her attend school. 

Seema was overjoyed, but she soon realized that there were very few girls in the entire village who attended school.

She was determined to change that, knowing that every child deserves the right to an education, regardless of their gender. She was determined to ensure that every child in her community had the chance to learn and grow, just like she had. She began talking to the other girls in the village, trying to convince them to attend school with her. However, it was a difficult task, as many families still held onto traditional beliefs that girls didn’t need an education. 

Despite the challenges, Seema persevered. She worked hard in school and eventually completed her primary and secondary education. Seema had a burning desire to pursue higher education and become a leader in her community. However, her family was anxious about her future. Once she completed her intermediate education, she was married off and moved to Dhakrani, the biggest village in Uttarakhand.

Purpose behind starting the school

After moving to Dhakrani, Seema expressed her desire to continue her studies to her father-in-law, who was a graduate in agriculture. To her surprise, he wholeheartedly supported her and even offered to fund her higher education. An elated Seema enrolled herself in a BTC course and worked tirelessly to achieve her dream of getting an education. Upon completing the course, she took the initiative to give tuition classes to children in the village, hoping to make a positive difference in their lives. Her family was a strong reason to back her by arranging appropriate rented space for pursuing her tuition career.

Seema’s dedication to teaching soon became apparent, and she had around 50 students in the year 1999. Villagers saw her devotion and encouraged her initiative, leading to an increase in the number of students. And, Seema decided to lay the foundation of Jaishree Public School in their village in the year 2000, beginning with a small building and only a few classrooms.

As more parents became aware of the school’s existence, they began enrolling their children, and the school expanded quickly. In 2006, the school received recognition from the state board of education and became a high school. Jaishree Public School is now the pride of the village, with parents thrilled that their children could receive quality education close to home.

Also Read: How Zeal School is improving English proficiency in rural students

Contribution to girl child education

Seema’s dedication and passion for education has had a profound impact on the lives of countless children in Dhakrani. Her desire to help others learn and grow is the driving force behind the success of Jaishree Public School. And now, she aims to encourage the participation of young girls in school. She has started offering compensation for every girl’s enrollment fee and raising awareness in her community about the importance of girls’ education. Her efforts motivated parents to send their daughters to school, resulting in a successful campaign that increased enrollment from 150 to 650 students in 2014. By the end of the campaign, the school had an almost equal ratio of male and female students. Additionally, she is dedicated to hiring more teachers to help her in providing students with quality education and personal attention.

Support from varthana

As the school’s enrollment rapidly increased, it became clear that the school needed to expand its infrastructure and resources to support its students’ learning and growth. However, despite the school’s popularity, good quality infrastructure remained an essential amenity that needed to be improved. Seema knew that they needed funds to further develop the school, but they didn’t know where to turn. 

Then, one day, at just the right time, representatives from Varthana visited the school and processed a loan of 5 lakh rupees, and later topped it up with an additional 10 lakh rupees.

With the funds received, the school was able to build new classrooms and better playgrounds for the children in their village. The students were ecstatic to have a new and improved learning environment, and the teachers were grateful for the additional resources they could provide their students.

However, like most schools, Jaishree Public School also suffered from the learning gap caused by the impact of Covid-19. When schools reopened two years later, the students had fallen behind in their learning outcomes and classroom retention. The teachers were worried about the future of their students and their ability to catch up.

Thankfully, Varthana was there to help once again. They provided the school with remedial content called the Unlock Program to bridge the two-year learning gap. The students were given access to engaging and interactive content that helped them catch up on their missed learning.

The school leader, overwhelmed with gratitude, said, “From providing financial to remedial support, Varthana has always been our backbone. Even during the pandemic, their support has helped our school grow. We will always be grateful for their assistance.”

Her future Vision

Seema is now looking forward to driving modern education practices and techniques that empower children in a better way, leading them on an idealistic path and transforming her village. “My goal is to create 100% efficient outgoing students from my school, and I am willing to provide them with more hands-on practice with technology,” she says. In addition to adding value to her larger purpose of educating every girl in the village, she believes in molding their future into a better and more progressive one.

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