Teacher Speak: A 100 stories from rural classrooms, now in a book by Gaon Connection
On Teachers Day, Gaon Connection publishes a hundred stories of rural teachers called ‘100 Tales of Teachers Transforming Education in Rural India'.
गाँव कनेक्शन 5 Sep 2023 5:28 AM GMT
It is Teachers Day today and Gaon Connection celebrates the heroes of the classroom with a curated collection of 100 stories which speak of their tireless work, commitment and enthusiasm.
The stories in the book titled 100 Tales of Teachers Transforming Education in Rural India is dedicated to the 9.7 million teachers in rural India.
A total of 40 community journalists, freelancers and resource persons from 11 states in India, have shone the light on the lives of these educators who sometimes work against all odds to ensure their students get the best shot of making something of their lives.
The 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.
Managing Editor Nidhi Jamwal in her foreword for the book, described the journey of the book and credits Neelesh Misra, the founder of Gaon Connection for the idea . She wrote, “It was during an editorial meeting that Neelesh Misra spoke about the need to document stories — in video, text and audio formats — of teachers and educators in the villages of the country. He referred to it as the ‘Teacher 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.
Jamwal thanked the network of community journalists who contributed to the book.
“Using Gaon Connection’s biggest strength — community resource persons, community journalists, network of contributors and freelancers 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…”
She pointed out that 84 per cent of schools in the country were in rural areas. And 69 per cent of schools are run by the state governments that employ about 51 per cent of the teaching workforce.
“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,” Jamwal said.
There are stories here of sports teachers, music teachers and also those who have had a positive impact in rural areas. These are teachers who have gone beyond their classrooms and helped children and brought about change.
The book also hails the proactive education policies of the Union Government 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.
The chapter 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.
The Teacher 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.
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.