Educationist Dr Jeremy Williams is scared of the prospect that young girls in developing countries face. He realized that many of these girls will get married off before attaining teenage. Then, begins an entire cycle of child bearing at a small age, social exploitation and lack of education. This circle goes on for generations in traditional, developing countries like India.
It was this realization that gave birth to the idea of Green School for Girls (GS4G). Across the world, 65 million girls don’t have access to education. It is a well documented fact that a society can progress at a much faster pace if its women are educated. Educated girls get married and bear children at an appropriate age. They can also land better jobs and become independent, rather than falling prey to exploitation.
Therefore, merging several philosophies to come up with the model of GS4G. Inspirations behind the school include John and Cynthia Hardy’s Green School, Bali; Bunker Roy’s Barefoot College; John Wood’s Room to Read; the Girl Effect movement; and One Girl.
GS4G is not a nonprofit or charitable organization. It is a social enterprise that wants to focus on maximizing economic, environmental and social welfare. Launched in September 2016, it aims to officially start operating from January 2017. Four schools in different Indian cities have already partnered with GS4G. After a successful pilot run in India, the team wishes to operate schools on similar model across several developing countries in Africa and Asia.
Dr Williams believes that knowledge is not something that the learner absorbs but something that the learner creates. “Participation in activism is learning rather than leading to learning. It means changing consciousness, not only on the part of the students who learn from it but also from the society that benefits from it,” he said while delivering the keynote speech at the recent The Future of Learning conclave. He also thinks that the biggest aim of education should be developing an ‘I can’ attitude among the kids.
Dr Williams will participate in this year’s Mumbai marathon soon. The aim is to raise funds for the operations of GS4G Clubs in India that will teach girls between the ages 8 and 10. Most girls belong to disadvantaged communities. They will learn various aspects of sustainable development, digital literacy and gender equality. You can also be a part of this social revolution of the GS4G team. Contribute to Green School for Girls’ fundraiser on Crowdera.