Hello, I am Vishala Ramswami, Correspondent of SVA School for Girls. This blog will chronicle the journey of our school in using education to drive social change and enable economic mobility for underprivileged girls in rural India. If you work in the Indian education sector and have viewpoints or stories you would like to contribute, please get in touch. The more discussion and varied opinions we have, the richer this blog will be as a resource on female education in rural India.

I will post material under five broad topics that will be tagged for easy searching:

Academic: I will share all the highly contextualized, cost-effective teaching training modules that Vedika and Sarah (former Teach For India fellows) have developed to help our teachers increase their efficacy, empathy and skillset. The full training syllabus will be accessible from this blog and can be used by teachers in schools that follow the Samacheer system set out by the Tamil Nadu government. I will also share our teachers’ feedback on each module, once the module has been implemented.

School Leadership: As a novice educationalist, I am just beginning to learn how to motivate teachers and improve teaching performance, how to create an effective and democratic learning culture and how to use data and documentation to create efficiency accountability. I will share my personal journey here and explain how I am working towards developing these skills. I will also post advice from more experienced educationalists on how they acquired these competencies.

Community Engagement: For our students’ lives to be transformed, it is vital that we engage parents and the wider village community. We need to make them fully invested in their daughters’ education and willing to challenge harmful prevailing social norms. This process of social change will be slow and hard; I will share everything our school does in this regard and what outcomes we experience. I will also share success stories from other schools in India and around the world, where female education has been used to effect social change.

Extracurricular: Creative arts, physical education and play all have their role in providing a holistic education for children and helping theme develop critical thinking, public speaking and leadership skills. I will share the resources that are helping us develop a multi-faceted approach to schooling and also describe precisely how we are incorporating creativity, sports and play into our day at school.

Our context: In this section, I will post articles, statistics and news stories that help illustrate the socio-economic context and unique challenges for female education and empowerment in rural India.