Having been brought up in an arrangement which not only is devoid of quality education but also structurally reinforces gender biases, I had always wanted to work at the intersection of Gender and Education. SwaTaleem offered me both and some more. Everything from ELM week to STEM and Gender sessions to designing and facilitating lesson plans involved a plethora of learnings with an equal share of challenges.The workshops conducted by Bharat- making Math fun and easy to learn, and Kavya- locating and breaking gender stereotypes- gave us a new perspective in problem solving and critical thinking, which furthered our skills to work with the girls of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya. During the ice breaking session, I was surprised to find out how receptive the majority of the girls are to learning. I had to reflect and question my own preconceived notions about the girls being shy and reserved. Furthermore, facilitating lesson plans was exciting and taxing at the same time- the actual response and impact may deviate exponentially from your expectations. One lesson plan that stuck with me was the one involving reading books and reciting it in the class. I was surprised to see how the girls went out of their way to creatively translate the books into skits and role playing activity. This made me realize that the girls have immense potential and deserve so much more than what is being offered to them.
I had always thought that it takes a balance of skill sets and passion to bring about any kind of change to the world. After working on the project for 4 months, I realized that perseverance and patience are indispensable in order to deal with such intricate and deep rooted social problems. I look forward to religiously working on making and delivering more impactful lesson plans and, contributing to SwaTaleem in more meaningful ways.
About the Author: Jaskirat Kaur
Jaskirat, a Young India Fellow and a Business Economics graduate, hails from Shahabad- a quaint small town in Haryana. Her interest in gender was ignited when she got elected as the Gender Champion of her college. She hopes to work in the domain of education and make a difference, however small it might be.