The sorry state of education in Bihar owing largely to the lack of access to quality education by the students coming from an underprivileged background prompted Kislay Sharma, a research scholar and a teacher to start the “Jagriti” Campaign. Under the Jagriti campaign, students of class tenth to twelfth coming from a poor background are given free coaching.
Kislay Sharma has been teaching students since 2012 and by now has coached more than 1000 students.
Bihar is one of the states which is said to have a poor standard of education. In 2017, the performance of students in the class 12th examination conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) 30.11 per cent students passed in science; 32.13 per cent in arts and 73.76 percent in commerce. Kislay Sharma a research scholar from Patna refused to be a mute spectator and do something to improve the situation.
Kislay Sharma, completed his education from Patna. He completed B.Sc and M.Sc in Mathematics from the Patna Science College, Patna. It was during his last year of college that he bagged the opportunity to do an internship at the prestigious Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University(NYU).After completing his four months internship at NYU, he returned to Patna to complete his post graduation. After this, instead of going for a high paying job, Sharma decided to form “Jagriti”.
On being asked what inspired him to start Jagriti, Kislay Sharma said,” I was taking tuitions for students during my college days since 2012. Somewhere down the line I realised that the students coming from a poor background are unable to receive quality education due to the financial constraints, this greatly affects his/her future prospects. This made me take up teaching full-time”
Kislay Sharma says that his father, Dr. VB Sharma, a physics teacher himself, always thought of teaching as not just a profession but as a social responsibility. He always wanted to contribute towards the standard of education in the state, so after Kislay Sharma completed his education, he realised his father’s long cherished dream and formed the Jagriti Campaign.
Jagriti campaign, which was started in the year 2015, gives students coming from the poor background, a complete exemption from paying the fees. “We collect fees only from those who can afford to pay. Other students coming from a poor background, which are about 50-60% of the full strength are exempted from paying the fees”.
He says that to ascertain whether a student is from a poor background, strict checks are conducted by his organisation.
At Jagriti, students are given coaching in physics and mathematics. He teaches mathematics, while his father conducts classes for physics. The classes are conducted in building owned by a family friend who has lent his support towards this noble cause by renting the building for a minimum amount which has been constant since 2013.
His organisation depends solely on word of mouth publicity. And since its inception, Jagriti has seen a gradual increase in the number of students. Starting from just 40-50 students, the number has now increased to 150-200.
He also conducts parent-teacher meeting every three months, he says, “ We conduct parent-teacher meeting every three months so that the parents know the progress of their wards. We see enthusiastic participation from the parents. We discuss with them about the areas in which their children and improve. Due to this we have seen substantial improvement in the students’ performance.”
Challenges and future plans
Talking about the challenges he has faced, he said,“Initially when we started “Jagriti”, the number of students coming to us for coaching was very small and the numbers did not increase for quite some time. That period especially required us to be very patient.During that time my father provided me the necessary morale boost and now our efforts are now slowly showing results.”
When asked about the future plans, Sharma told TLI,”In the course of time we intend to provide coaching to students right from standard 8th to 12th.We believe that if a student gets quality education/coaching for five years, it would prove to be very beneficial for his/her future. We also aim to provide banking exam preparation by the end of this year”.
He also talks of expanding his organisation in other places,”We also plan to expand our organisations to other places specially towns and villages where we would be able to reach out to more such students who are willing to learn but are limited by their poor financial state”.
His efforts are getting recognition now. He was also conferred by the state government for his endeavour.
Message to the TLI community
In his message to the TLI community, he said,”Bihar has been lagging behind in the area of education. I am not ashamed of accepting this fact. But I am also trying to give a solution to this problem. I would like to urge everyone to identify the problem in his/her society and work to give a solution to it.It doesn’t matter how much we earn or how lavish our lifestyle is, true happiness always comes when we know that our contribution is helping in the betterment of our society and our country”.
The Logical Indian appreciates Mr. Kislay Sharma’s efforts. His dedication to bring about a change is truly commendable. TLI hopes that this would inspire everyone to identify the flaws of the society and work towards correcting them.
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