Monday, March 6, 2017

Jaweria Sethi, BSc Economics 2013,from Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS), was recently featured in Huffington Post for her school, Edopia, the first progressive, alternative and democratic school of Pakistan. Born out of her desire to establish a community-based learning facility, the school un-schools children.

In her interview with Huffington Post, Jaweria said that she was lucky to be a part of LUMS, an institute that encouraged her to think for herself. She said that her university life was the inspiration for the idea. Her experience as the Vice President of LUMS Entrepreneurial Society honed her enterprising skills and allowed her to bring the idea to life. 

During her years at LUMS, most of the friends recall her lamenting over the education system of the country. Comparing and contrasting her time spent at school with that spent at LUMS, she saw the value of a holistic learning experience. She felt that spending six hours a day, bound to the same seat, listening to reverberating facts and figures did not do justice to human potential. LUMS taught her that people learn the most when left to their own devices, driven by curiosity and active engagement.  Free time, conversation, exchange of ideas and mentoring allows people to take charge of their lives. She viewed the environment as an omnipresent teacher. Hence, she decided to start a facility that would allow children to become independent learners much earlier. 

Driven by her desire to live a purposeful life, she did not partake in the recruitment drive of 2013. Instead, she started designing her own path to tread on. Right after graduation, she went to participate in a project at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She spent one-year meeting educationists from across the world, studying different models of education and building her own model. 

On July 5, 2014, at the age of 24, she founded Edopia, a school for the changing world. The school operates on the principles of choice, voice, and mentorship. In this school children make school rules democratically, design their own timetable, learn life skills, run businesses and take a charge of their lives without compromising on core academics. 

Jaweria has also been working in Islamabad as a motivational speaker and entrepreneurship mentor. She is working with a Spain-based consultancy to develop a community-based model of education that could be adopted by the masses, in Pakistan and abroad, to facilitate human potential.