Teacher Spotlight: Meet Nirma
Nirma overcame great challenges to follow her dream of becoming a teacher. Now she’s using reading to encourage her students to realize their full potential.
Ms Nirma Swami was in 12th grade when she was married. When she decided to follow her dream of becoming a teacher, she had great challenges to overcome – safe and reliable public transport wasn’t available, and she faced bias in her community against women who left the house to work. Plus, she had a young kid to take care of at home.
But she convinced herself and those around her that she could do it. She gathered the support of her husband and family, who helped her travel to teacher training and then to her place of work. She started to feel strong, capable, and independent as she worked towards her dream job.
Today, Nirma works as a teacher at Kachnariya Night School in Rajasthan, India, where she encourages her students to realize their full potential through reading. Thanks to Worldreader’s Read to Kids program and the BookSmart app, she has access to hundreds of digital books and activities to complete with the class.
Nirma says that at first, she was fascinated by the idea of having all these stories at her fingertips but was worried because she didn’t know how to use a tablet. During the Read to Kids training though, she felt supported and encouraged and found that her confidence in her own skills grew both as a teacher and a person.
She now loves using BookSmart and a projector to lead interactive storytelling sessions that make reading more engaging for students. She especially likes to project book illustrations and allow children to use their imagination to develop their own stories around them.
Nirma has seen first-hand what the power of reading and consistent education can do, and she wants her students to be able to follow their dreams just like she did. She says:
“If you’re not educated then people can take advantage of your illiteracy. Education and schooling are necessary because only good education can make you independent”
Too many women continue to be denied an education
A girl who finishes secondary school is less likely to become a child bride and for every year she spends in school, her earning potential increases by as much as 25%. We know that a literate woman not only reads for herself – literacy has been linked to more active political participation, and parents who can read raise healthier, more educated kids. In other words, women who read help build happier and healthier communities for all and contribute to intergenerational progress.
Yet more than two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population are women and school closures disproportionately affect girls and mothers.
You can help girls achieve everything they dream of
Readers benefit from better education, employment opportunities, and health. When you give reading, you give opportunities that last a lifetime.
Today, you can help teachers like Nirma harness the power of reading in their communities. You can give their students the tools they need to keep reading anytime, anywhere, in and out of school.