ICT for Students, ‘Angootha-Se-Akshar’ for their Parents — A Teacher Wins Accolades for his Initiatives
A teacher in rural Uttar Pradesh transformed a lacklustre school into a coveted institution by his progressive teaching methods and his initiatives to educate not just the children, but their parents too. The school won the School of Excellence award in 2020.
Virendra Singh 7 March 2023 12:31 PM GMT
Gahrela (Barabanki), Uttar Pradesh
In 2016, Manish Baiswar was posted as a teacher to the primary school in Gahrela village in Sirauli Gauspur block in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh.
“When I joined the school which is near a canal, there was often water flooding into the building premises. This made the school an unpopular destination for the children,” he told Gaon Connection. Baiswar set about trying to improve the environment.
“I created a garden, bought colourful garden furniture, planted a variety of flowering shrubs and created a field for them to play,” he said. The result was that more and more children began to come to school again, the teacher added.
Baiswar began teaching using video and audio teaching aids to teach concepts to the children. He used Information and Communications Technology (ICT) extensively. Student applications such as Diksha, E-Pothi, E-Pathshala, etc came into play in the classrooms.
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“Children began to enjoy learning and this also led to an increase in admissions in school, with children from neighbouring villages also joining in,” Baiswar said. According to him, it is not just the attendance, but also admissions that have gone up by 30 per cent.
It was a big change from earlier times when teachers had to practically beg children to attend school. They would go house to house in the village and make the children come to class, Baiswar said. Not any more.
“I love the way Guruji teaches in class and I make sure I do not miss a single day of school. The days I am unable to come are really sad days for me,” Shivani, a class four student, told Gaon Connection.
Baiswar’s efforts have had an impact on the grown ups in the village too. He started a drive that was called Angootha se Akshar. It was to encourage the unlettered guardians of students to learn how to read and write, or at least learn to sign their own names. “We did this after school or during the lunch break. This encouraged the engagement of the parents of the students with learning,” he said.
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The huge effort was acknowledged by the education department when the school won the State award for being a School of Excellence in 2020. Baiswar himself won the ICT award in 2019. These were but a few of the many awards the school went on to win. “This recognition and acknowledgement of our efforts have fuelled our energy to do more,” Baiswar said.
“Ever since Guruji has come to this school, it has been transformed. Now parents of children who were studying in private schools are withdrawing them from there and getting them admitted here,” Soni Varma, one of the parents, told Gaon Connection. Another parent, Sarojini, said with pride how she is no longer an angootha chaap, but she can sign her name.
The parents are happy that the children now willingly go to school and are in fact inpatient to go to class. “Before they had to be forced to go. Not any more. Also, the way they conduct themselves, their behaviour and their manners have improved,” Shiv Devi, a parent, told Gaon Connection.
Meanwhile, Baiswar ensures quality education is imparted to the students. And, he also shares his own personal passions of cooking, music and gardening with them and encourages them to have those hobbies too.
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