On Teacher’s Day tomorrow, Gaon Connection is set to launch a book dedicated to rural teachers
‘100 Tales of Teachers Transforming Education in Rural India’ is a one-of-its-kind collection of stories of teachers from across the country. This book, which is part of Gaon Connection’s Teacher Connection project, will take the readers into the world of educators and their students.
गाँव कनेक्शन 4 Sep 2023 6:20 AM GMT
On Teacher’s Day tomorrow, September 5, Gaon Connection, which is India’s biggest rural communication and insights platform, has a unique offering for its readers — 100 Tales of Teachers Transforming Education in Rural India.
This one-of-its-kind collection of stories of teachers from across the country, with a strong focus on teachers from rural and tribal areas, is dedicated to the 9.7 million plus teaching workforce of India.
The book is a curation of 100 stories of teachers and chronicles the challenges and achievements of classroom heroes, who have hitherto remained faceless. It is an open source report and will be available for a free download on Gaon Connection's website — www.gaonconnection.com — tomorrow on September 5. It has been put together by Gaon Connection Insights, which is the data and insights arm of Gaon Connection.
“Across India, hundreds of thousands of teachers have made small and big sacrifices, and make small and big contributions — some visible, most invisible — to their schools and their students every day. These contributions shape lives, but they are never documented. Our long term campaign "Teacher Connection" grows out of this eagerness, this hunger, to celebrate teachers every day -- not just on Teachers Day,” said Neelesh Misra, founder of Gaon Connection.
It was earlier this year, on January 3, which is revolutionary teacher Savitribai Phule’s birth anniversary, when Gaon Connection launched its long term project, Teacher Connection, to document stories of teachers across the country. 100 Tales of Teachers Transforming Education in Rural India has been released as part of this project.
The 281 page book is in eight broad sections — Beyond The Call of Duty; Strengthening Foundational Literacy And Numeracy; Reimagining Education; Leave No One Behind; Rural Libraries; Sports Stars Of Rural India; Out Of Syllabus; and Educate. Enable. Empower. The book has 40 contributors.
“Teachers build nations but they are not acknowledged enough. Teachers in rural India fight battles every day and win invisible wars, but no one applauds them. Teacher Connection is our effort to celebrate teachers,” said Nidhi Jamwal, Managing Editor, Gaon Connection.
“Using Gaon Connection’s biggest strength, our community resource persons spread out in 425 districts of the country, we met teachers in some of the remotest locations in the country — from a village in Kargil, a tribal hamlet in Nagaland, an adivasi village in a tiger reserve of Panna in Madhya Pradesh. Their stories are a part of the book,” she added.
India has over 640,930 villages and almost each village has a primary school. That is why it comes as no surprise that India’s teaching workforce is amongst the largest in the world.
Nearly 9.7 million primary and secondary school teachers form the backbone of our education system, which has 1.5 million schools and 248 million students enrolled from Grade 1 to Grade 12.
Of the total schools in the country, 84 per cent are located in rural areas. And 69 per cent of our schools are run by various state governments that employ about 51 per cent of the teaching workforce.
But, despite their huge strength, very little is known about the teaching workforce in rural India. They educate, groom and influence their students to become upright citizens of our country. But we never see their faces or hear their voices.
“In 100 Tales of Teachers Transforming Education in Rural India, you will both get to see their faces and also read their inspiring and heartwarming stories,” said Jamwal.
“Teachers are among the most selfless people in the world. The Indian teacher, more so — the guru-shishya tradition is in our DNA, it has soaked our culture and values and worldview. We at Gaon Connection hope that our efforts shall somewhere make a small contribution to bringing back to the Indian teacher the respect and position in society that they used to have earlier,” said Misra.
Apart from the stories on innovation in education and teachers walking an extra mile to educate rural children, the book also has stories of sports coaches, music teachers, and teachers working with special needs children. The book chronicles lives of teachers who have gone beyond their classrooms and helped children and brought about change.
The book also hails the proactive education policies of the Government of India that has introduced several schemes and guidelines to help teachers. The NIPUN scheme [National Initiative for Proficiency in Reading with Understanding and Numeracy] launched by the Union government in 2021 is showing remarkable results, as reflected in stories included in the book.
The section titled Strengthening Foundational Literacy And Numeracy covers teachers who have used these government guidelines to revitalise their classrooms, increase attendance and enrollments in their schools and provide the students an opportunity to make something of their lives.
Apart from this book, Gaon Connection also brings out a monthly e-magazine, Teacher Connection, with stories of teachers, and information and resource material for educators to become better teachers. The e-magazine is also available for a free download on Gaon Connection’s website.
The Gaon Connection Insights vertical regularly brings out open source publications that provide insights into rural India. It releases an annual publication — The State of Rural India Report — which summarises the key developments and events in rural India in a particular year.
In addition to the annual reports, Gaon Connection Insights has conducted three rural surveys across India and published three exhaustive reports on these surveys. These rural survey reports can also be downloaded for free at www.gaonconnection.com
The Gaon Connection Insights platform has been created to give voice to the concerns, issues, challenges and achievements of rural India in the corridors of power. It's an attempt to bring the voices in the margin to the mainstream and fill the gaping vacuum between the two.