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We Women Want: Woman in the world of education

This week we are going to be in conversation with a group of teachers and school principals. We’re going to be talking to them what does it feel like to be a woman in the world of education? What does it feel like to be the earning member of the family? What does it feel […]

This week we are going to be in conversation with a group of teachers and school principals. We’re going to be talking to them what does it feel like to be a woman in the world of education? What does it feel like to be the earning member of the family? What does it feel like to just being themselves? This week the discussion takes place with Baljeet Kaur, the principal of MCD School, Neelam Goswami, teacher at the Private School and Savita Nijhara also a principal of MCD School.

Excerpts:
Q. Do you think that there are more boys and less girls taking admission in a school?
A. Not at all. Now there are more girls. And I feel good that my society is changing. The way people think about girls has changed. And even if it’s a street, neighbourhood, hut, everyone has a girl or a boy. If they don’t teach, then both don’t want to teach. But if they do teach, then the ratio has reduced a lot. It used to be a lot before, but not anymore.

Q. Being a woman teacher, do you have more female colleagues?
A. Yes, I have mostly female teachers. But I also have a male teacher, a special educator. The development of the children is women plus male. I think that girls are being now coming to the school. I think every girl is in school now. I don’t think any parents are in that way that they don’t want to teach girls. I don’t think that concept is there anymore.

Q. Now everyone is teaching their children, whether they are boys or girls also tell me the background of your children like what their parents do?
A. Most of the parents are from different backgrounds like some are from the labour class, some from the unemployed parents. But the background is normally below poverty line. Even I have parents who have studied from our school also they are sending their children to my school. I would like to add that the reason for the increase in the number of girls is because teachers, principals, NGOs and our department have played a major role in this. Not only have schools been opened, but surveys have been conducted at homes and there are many facilities in schools like midday meals, free education, free health check-up, school bag and many more. NGOs come and survey you, Anganwadi etc they also come to us with street children. So, all these things have a great role. We provide them all the stationery and even we give the money for uniform also. Also the girl child scholarship grant is also given by the government now.

Q. You are teaching in a private school so I want to know about the ratio of girls and boys; more or less or same?
A. No, ours is same. I feel that these days, wherever kids are coming from, they want to teach their daughters. Like earlier, all the girls in the village could not study. But now, everywhere, in the village, in the city, they study. So, for this we can say from Chowkhat to Chowpal. My mother, my grandfather was my teachers. So, I used to think that when my mother used to come, then our work would start. Sometimes it used to happen that my mother would keep the sari like this, and then my sister and I would wear the sari and teach each other. So, that’s how it started. And secondly, I used to take a lot of lessons in music and dance, but I always wanted to teach with dedication. I wanted to be a teacher. Even now, when I go to class, I feel that the students want to listen to me. I feel that the students are very happy in listening to me, whether it’s a lesson or something else. I start by telling them a story, and then I make them feel better in the classroom, and then I teach them. I liked your initial comment, that women are called nurturers, and in the smaller classes, women interact more with the children.

Q. So apart from teaching, do you teach them other things, like good values, how to behave etc?
A. Yes, I believe that values whether at home or school, a child must be aware of. So being a teacher, I observed that if I am a teacher, I am not only in a school, or a principal. I have to always carry my aura with me. We have to give values to them. So, there are small things that teachers have to do. In today’s date, the teacher is no longer a teacher, but a facilitator.

Q. We have to do our work and go home and take care of the house. So are women more efficient?
A. I think yes. I read somewhere that a woman can do 10 works at a time, but a man can’t. So I think this is absolutely right. When we do one thing, our mind is focused on four things. We have to decide what to do next. This is the same in our schools. We do one thing by hand the other thing is in our mind.

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