Teacher’s Diary: When a ‘village olympic’ helped tribal students connect with education

A sports teacher in a primary school recalls how tribal students in Sirohi district, Rajasthan, were deprived of proper education. However, they proved their mettle in a sports tournament, and were lauded for their performance.

Mastan SinghMastan Singh   27 March 2023 1:54 PM GMT

Teacher’s Diary: When a ‘village olympic’ helped tribal students connect with education

Before being appointed as a government school teacher, I was posted as a private school teacher in Rajasthan’s Sirohi district which has a significant tribal population. The day I took my maiden class, I realised that the level of education in the students was unsatisfactory.

Not only were they incapable of grasping what was being taught in the classes but were also shy while interacting with the teachers as they had never talked to people outside their tribal communities.

As a teacher of physical education, I tried to assess their calibre in sporting activities and I was amazed to see their fitness levels. It dawned on me that these students were not able to perform well in the academics because they were never ever appreciated for their abilities.

Also Read: “What have I achieved?” — a rural primary school teacher asks herself and then finds the answer

It was then that I decided to do something that would earn them recognition and boost their confidence. I proposed the idea of organising a sports tournament and that is how the inception of a ‘Village Olympics’.

As I had expected, these students from the tribal communities excelled in the tournament. The district administration in Sirohi was fascinated by the display of athletic performance by these little known students.

These kids topped the medal tally in almost every competition, and it made them instantly popular amongst the senior bureaucrats. Some of the students also won cash prizes worth Rs 100,000 and it helped them focus better on their studies.

The academic performance of these students improved significantly and presently they are doing well along with participating in the sports tournaments across the state.

#TeacherConnection #Education #Rajasthan 

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