A journey from being a mother to a teacher: Anjura Bibi, Pre-primary school teacher

“My son could read and write English at very early age. I was intrigued by my child’s ability to write stories in the 4th standard. Hence, I took personal interest to know about the methodology and system so that I could spread the same talent to other children.” -Anjura.Anjura

Even though women venturing out for work was not common in her community, Anjura surpassed all the barriers and moved out of four walls of her house to provide education to other children in her community.

38 years old, Anjura is currently teaching in a pre-primary school in Kalyani Roy
Memorial School, Deganga Block, West Bengal. Her son is studying Geography (BA first year) in Vidyasagar College, Kolkata. Anjura recalled her son taking ownership of his own learning. He used to take his own decisions ever since he was a kid in primary school. She said, “I saw my son growing up as a leader when he started imparting his school learnings to his fellow students.”

Anjura learned about Swanirvar from her son. Seeing her son improving through his hard work at school, she also started getting involved in school activities. She participated regularly in parent-teacher meeting. When Anjura got to know that Swanirvar trains teachers of her son’s school, she felt grateful about the fact that her son was a part of the school where Swanirvar has instilled strong teaching values on the teachers. Anjura said, “I was excited to learn more about Swanirvar when
one of the teachers told me that the training also included components like leadership growth apart from teaching methodologies.”

Every school selects highly active parents as resource parents who give orientation to other parents, and lead discussions in parent-teacher meeting in the school. Due to her active involvement and enthusiasm towards education, Anjura was made a resource parent of the same school.

Later, Anjura’s son got admitted to an esteemed central government school, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, with full scholarship in the 6th standard. He graduated from the school last year securing 89% marks. Anjura expresses her gratitude to the school where her son learned the value of education through Swanirvar.
A senior program coordinator of Swanivar, Prosanta proudly introduced me to Anjura saying, “Now, Anjula Bibi is not only a resource parent, or highly invested parent of our student, but also is a teacher in the pre-primary school, which is run by a Non-government organization.” I asked her, why did she choose to teach after her son moved to an esteemed school. Anjura responded, “My son could read and write English at very early age. I was intrigued by his ability to write stories in the 4th standard. Hence, I took personal interest to know about the methodology and system so that I could spread the same ability to other children.”

She has shown courage as a strong woman, who has not only taken ownership of redefining her identity, but also has taken the initiative to empower children through teaching.

According to Anjura, after attending trainings conducted by Swanirvar, she has grown a lot as a teacher and also, as a parent. She confidently said, “Before attending trainings, education to me was limited to textbooks. I wasn’t aware of connection of education with the surroundings and environment. Swanirvar training was an eye opener for me where I realized how our environment and surroundings are closely connected to what we teach to students. Now, I use teaching learning materials (TLM) more and less textbooks.” Anjura believes that she has learned how to incorporate the surroundings and nature in her teaching through the training she received from Swanirvar. She enjoys a lot to create TLM as that also tests her creativity. She proudly says, “With one TLM, we cover
many topics within textbooks, and it really amazes me.”

Anjura has been associated with Swanirvar for 20 years now. This association was initiated when she attended parents training conducted by Swanirvar. She has been receiving training as a teacher since last five years.

As an organization, Swanirvar works to enhance education system through various training and workshops for teachers, parents and children from government schools as well as other NGO schools. For pre-primary level training, Anganwadi supervisors and resource teachers get involved for their yearly planning along with organizing various workshops. Swanirvar also values parents’ involvement in their children’s education even at a school level.
Vibha has been supporting Swanirvar’s teacher’s training program since 2006. Apart from providing resources to Swanirvar, Vibha has been closely working with Swanirvar to enhance their strategy and organizational structure through constant mentoring. Anjula Bibi rightly said, “Vibha has not only supported us financially but also helped us grow through their guidance through many trainings.” When I asked her about Vibha, she responded merrily, “Vibha works for education improvement. I know Deep Ranjini Ji very well from Vibha. She has observed a parent’s training conducted by Swanirvar where I was also a participant. Deep ji gave ideas to improve our work during the training.”

At Vibha, we empower people, enabling them to find solutions for social problems. Anjura took the charge of her life and set an example in her society to brighten the
lives of many children through education. We acknowledge change makers like her and we are very proud of her.

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