Every child is the most important person in a parent’s life. It is the desire of most parents that the child should fulfil their dreams and grow up to become a top corporate CEO, a famous medical doctor, a champion sports icon or excel in any other field of the parents’ vision. The parents put all their energies in this pursuit of the child’s future. Jayashree Srivastava contends that this ‘parent centric approach’ can at best lead to only partial success and happiness of the child. She argues in favour of a ‘child centric approach’ to parenting. Every child has a unique set of talents, skills and interests which may be very different from the perceptions and expectations of the parents. Siblings and even twins are not likely to have the same set of talents and strengths.
The innate talents, skills and interests of children are not always evident and parents need to discover and nurture them through patience, acceptance and motivation. Jayashree discusses the importance of these aspects in a parent-child relationship. She also emphasises the importance of inculcating self-discipline, morals and ethics and family bonding so that the child grows up with emotional well-being into a valuable and successful citizen of the world. Jayashree deliberates on each of these aspects in her book which is filled with numerous real-life examples.
Jayashree’s journey into the path of touching and influencing young lives began with her interaction with Mr. M N Kapur, a Padma Shri awardee and an educationist of great eminence. Mr. Kapur saw in her the spark of a teacher he envisioned, somebody who can motivate and explore the potential of each child making them life-long learners, and invited her to join his school as a teacher. Making the best use of professional mentoring by Mr. M N Kapur, Jayashree imbibed many of the thoughts and ideas that he professed. Today, she can say with pride that young people whom she has guided are not only top scientists, bankers, corporate professionals, businessmen but also famous designers, musicians, sportsmen, artists, and dancers.
Jayashree was selected in 1989 for a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Temple University Philadelphia. This was a greatly enriching experience in an international environment with the participation of teachers from different continents.
In 1990, she was invited by The British School, New Delhi to launch their ‘A’ level history program under the Cambridge international curriculum. At The British School, she served as the Head of the Social Sciences Department and on the Board of Governors of the school where she got actively involved in policy making. Jayashree Srivastava was the first President of the Centre for Education Growth and Research and has also served on important bodies of the Central Board of Secondary Education of the Government of India to design and launch its international curriculum. At this time, Ishan Vidya Prep Pvt Ltd, a venture she launched 9 years ago focuses on various aspects of education and preparing young people for life.
In recognition of her contributions, she has been awarded the Femina Women Super Achiever award in 2017 and Exceptional Women of Excellence award in 2018 by WEF.