Inspiration is the source of every journey; it is the fire that ignites in the heart and keeps burning. It is often dependable on the individual to burn out with the fire or just let it go. The ones who are able to keep this light ignited lead the people. And to people, they are the leaders who lead the change.
Leaders and change are often co-relatable, and along with it comes power. As said, with great power comes great responsibility; it becomes even more important to handle it carefully.
Responsibility, power, leadership, and ability are all products of education. It might be debatable to differentiate between education and literacy; however, the core of personality is education.
We at ‘The Education View’ had an opportunity to interview one such educated person whose fire is his desire to create change in the field of education. Already established as one of the prominent leaders, Abhishek Ghimire, CEO of the International Association of Educational Leaders (IAEL), understands education and its importance like no other.
Let’s look at the insightful interview we had with him:
Please let us know about the saga story of your career since its beginning.
I was born in 1986 in an educated family in the Himalayan area of Nepal. Most of my family members are teachers. Having been brought up in an educational environment, I got inclined toward the teaching profession. I continued my teaching profession along with my higher studies at the University.
After teaching in several schools throughout the nation, I came to realize that something was not right with our system of education, as students are evaluated on the basis of exams and grades, which I don’t think defines intelligence and believe is outdated. Students should rather be prepared for the future, succeeding in imparting 21st-century skills.
It is a disappointment sometimes to see young children not being encouraged to understand what they are learning and pressure for grades that crush their imagination and creativity. In an effort to change this, I left teaching and continued as a teacher trainer to encourage teachers to change the traditional education system.
During the mission, I visited the entire nation, meeting thousands of teachers, parents, and students with motivational seminars and pedagogy workshops. Along with this, I also started television programs on a few national television channels and started having discussions on current educational issues. I have written textbooks. I have also organized several national-level contests and events to ensure the holistic growth of the students. I have given interviews on Radio and Television and written several articles in almost all National Daily published in Nepal.
After spending around 20 years in the education fraternity as a teacher, writer, school principal, trainer, leadership coach, journalist, and educational activist, I came to realize that there should be a kind of revolution in education if we need reformation. As a result, I started National Educational Campaign in Nepal in 2018.
The campaign’s mission is to advocate for empowering community schools where more than 80 percent of students from poor and marginalized families study. Recently, I initiated the ‘Progressive Education Movement’ in Nepal, aiming to impart 21st-century education practices in classrooms.
To support this mission in Nepal and all other educationists of the developing nations, where we have almost similar stories of struggle, we have established and initiated ‘The International Association of Educational Leaders.’ With this association, we are creating access to prominent educationists and educational leaders. I am leading this association as CEO.
Tell us about the mission, vision, and core values for your future success. What is your envision for your institute/organization and for you also?
My primary mission is to uplift all underachieving community schools of Nepal to global standard schools, creating opportunities for millions of students representing poor and marginalized families to compete globally with 21st-century skills.
My mission is to bring back those children to school who had left their studies to support their families and to fight against poverty.
My second mission is to unite like-minded educational activists and leaders from around the globe and encourage them to work on a common plea in terms of educational reformation.
The government, public, and community schools are in bad shape, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries. This is due to various natures of instabilities prevailing in the global world.
My final mission is to take leadership to raise my voice all over the world, requesting underdeveloped nations to invest in quality education. My dream is to create an understanding on a global level that the money invested on education is far better than that on weapons and wars.
I cannot do all these alone by myself. So, I am more focused on community mobilization projects and government collaborations to accomplish the objectives.
Being a prominent leader, how do you manage to influence others?
As a leader, I always focus on making changes. I concentrate on solving problems. And I always keep people and employees as the priority. I always feel that I am working for them. I have realized that leadership is all about supporting, encouraging, and empowering others to accomplish their goals.
I take challenges and problems as an opportunity. Actually, I love challenges. I choose to go with the most challenging and toughest jobs. But the challenge I take should be expected to serve humanity.
Ironically, I don’t know how to influence people! Because I don’t work to influence! In my opinion, influence is created with our actions in the process of transformation. I think influence is created when we our actions inspire others to think more, do more and grow more ! And, I am always concerned on this part, trying to show by examples rather than telling what to do.
What challenges did you encounter during your journey, and how did you overcome them?
As I have mentioned earlier, I have always loved to face challenges. Struggle and failures are prominent parts of success. A leader has to face multiple and parallel challenges. But, in my case, I always believed that I had other options. I always told myself that no one would do it again if I quit! This pushed me up and always above the higher step.
The major obstacles in my journey would be financial problems, the factors contributing to the success of my mission, and the lack of priority given to education. It is always difficult for anyone to work against traditional mindset of the people who deny or oppose change.
I have been frustrated several times, lost, and broke! But again, have realized that it is only the purpose of my birth on this planet and have continued my mission again!
Do you provide any global exposure in your institute?
We are an international association, working to unite educators globally. We always act with Glocal (Global +Local) Approach. That is, we solve our local problems with global perspectives. So, we always focus on creating global exposure in our organization.
What major factors keep motivating you towards your goal, and how do you inspire students to select an interesting career for their bright future?
My major motivation comes from looking into the innocent eyes of children who are deprived of education. This gives me an answer- the purpose of my birth, the goal and objective of my life!
How do you feel when you get to know that others are following in your footsteps, and what else do you do so that people keep following you?
I feel happy and realize that I should be more responsible and humbler! This motivates me to learn, do, become, and grow more!
Being an inspiring leader, what would be your message to students across the world?
Dear students, please follow your dreams. Please, find a purpose in life; find the real zeal in you. Identify the best gift you can give to this beautiful planet to support humanity and protect nature.
Start small but dream BIG! Trust your inner potential, listen to your heart and go for it! Never give up on what you are really trying to do. Obstacles come along the way to teach you a beautiful lesson. So, embrace it. Nobody can help you if you are not willing to do anything. But no power in the world can stop you if you are really determined to do it!