Maharashtra: A Rural School Where Making Car Sensors and Rain Sensors Is Child’s Play
A teacher at a government school in Beed district motivated the local community and crowdfunded Rs 1,500,000 to set up a technology lab, an astronomy lab, buy microscopes, and install solar panels at the village school.
Komal Jadhav 9 Aug 2023 6:29 AM GMT
Pargaon Jogeshwari (Beed), Maharashtra
Situated at a distance of almost 500 kilometres from the state capital Mumbai, a government school in Maharashtra’s Beed district is a shining example of what motivation and community participation can accomplish.
The Zilla Parishad Kendriya Prathmik Shala, in Pargaon Jogeshwari village, is equipped with smart classes, a robotics training set up, an astronomy club, and a science lab where students learn to make gadgets from sensors. Many of the rural students of this school from class 1 to class 7 are already experts at making car sensors and rain sensors.
These modern advancements in the school’s infrastructure have been possible because of the sustained efforts of Somnath Walke, who has been teaching at the school since 2014, and has managed to raise Rs 1,500,000 through community contribution towards the transformation school.
Several years of hard work and dedication by Walke convinced the villagers to contribute towards the betterment of the primary school.
“In 2014, I started motivating the villagers to contribute money to provide better education facilities. The parents usually sent their children to the government school in the nearby Ashti town. I reasoned that if the local school got better, they wouldn't have to send their children 13 kilometres away to Ashti,” Walke narrated to Gaon Connection.
Till 2022, in eight years, Walke managed to raise funds worth Rs 1,500,000. The funds have been utilised to install solar panels, buy microscopes, musical instruments, setting up a technology lab, an astronomy lab, in beautification of schools by painting graffiti on the walls, and ensuring smart classes in the school.
Predictably, the students do not want to miss coming to the school.
“I don’t want to stay back home when the school is shut. I like it here. There are so many things to do here, I feel bored at home. I can go to the music room and play various instruments or experiment with gadgets in the science lab or see how things look under a microscope,” Pramod Bhosle, a 14-year-old student of class seven, told Gaon Connection.
Car sensors, rain sensors and 3D printing
The school is equipped with a technology lab where classes related to technology are organised.
“Our students have made two types of gadgets, there is a car sensor and there is also a rain sensor. The car sensor helps the car in cramped parking spaces. It starts buzzing when the obstruction is too close to the car,” explained Walke.
“The other sensor is the rain sensor which raises an alarm when the rain drops fall on it. It can help people who are inside a building to know whether it’s raining or not,” he added.
Also, there is a separate 3D printing machine that prints out three-dimensional objects.
“The students have made objects like paper weights, toys, show pieces and small decorative objects,” the teacher said.
It wasn’t an easy journey for Walke to transform the school. He started working as a teacher in 2005 when he was posted at Chinchala in Paithan tehsil of Aurangabad. Then in 2014, he joined Pargaon Jogeshwari Zilla Parishad school.
“Initially, when I joined there were posts for two teachers but I was the only one teaching here. There were a total of 54 students in the school. The school walls were worn out and students rarely attended classes regularly,” Walke told Gaon Connection.
But now the school is the talk of the town. There are a total of 186 students who are taught by a total of eight teachers. What used to be a barely noticeable school in 2014 has transformed as a centre of attraction in the village.
The rural residents of Pargaon Jogeshwari village have had a vital role to play in the transformation of the school.
“The biggest driving force which motivated the parents to donate to the school was improvement in the academic performance of their children. The parents were amazed to see that the children grew confident in their subjects and developed an unprecedented interest in studying,” the teacher shared.
Meanwhile, one of the guardians who had come to the school to take his child home agreed with the teacher's remarks.
"My daughter used to study at an English-medium private school in the town. Upon seeing the quality of education in the government school in Pargaon Jogeshwari village, I got her admitted here. I knew about the quality of this school because my son was already studying here. He not only speaks fluent English now but also knows computers very well,” Shahaji Bhonsle, whose children study in classes five and three, told Gaon Connection. “He also plays a variety of musical instruments.. I'm happy to see my child learn new things here. This is all because of Walke sir," Bhonsle added.