On the occasion of Teacher’s Day on Saturday, the Punjab government honoured 10 teachers with ‘Young Teacher Award’, a new category introduced for teachers with a service period of less than 10 years but more than three years, to encourage young minds working on transforming government schools.
Earlier, teachers with a service period of 10 or more years were eligible to apply for state awards. Among the 74 total awardees was 56-year-old teacher from Patiala who was honoured for transforming his school where he has been working for two decades. He was awarded in category of teachers with ten or more years of service period. One of the recipients of the Young Teacher Award was 32-year-old teacher from backward district Mansa where she is working tirelessly to transform her school in a remote village.
Manpreet Kaur (32), teacher, Govt Primary School, Jherian Wali, Mansa
Every day Manpreet Kaur, who lives in Budhlada town of Mansa, travels changing two-three buses to reach Jherian Wala village in Jhunir block of Mansa, where she has been working at government primary school since September 2016. But even within less than four years of her service, she has transformed her school which, she says, was once a ‘desert school’. “When I entered the school campus on day one of my job, I said to myself that I can’t survive here. It was like a desert — no greenery, building in a shambles and zero learning aids for kids. I asked myself that if I am feeling this way, how can small kids survive and study here? There is hardly any direct bus to reach here from Budhlada so daily I change two-three buses and at least two hours go in travelling,” says Manpreet, awarded with ‘Young Teacher Award’.
She was awarded for 100% results of her students using ‘Learning by Doing’ teaching methods, infusing creativity among her students using waste materials, organising Bal Sabhas among other activities. “Our students practise handwriting skills through e-learning on a projector. Under Padho Punjab, my students from class 1 reached targets of class 2 and can confidently converse and introduce themselves. My class 5 students were also the highest scorers in exams. Now campus has proper building and learning aids (BALA) with colourful walls and furniture,” she says.
Beant Singh (56), incharge, Govt High School, Hamjheri village, Patiala
Honoured by Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla at a ceremony held in Patiala, 56-year-old Beant Singh is credited with transforming his school where he has been working for two decades now. In the past two years, more than 1,200 saplings were planted on the school campus, making it a greenery hub of the village and extra classes are held regularly for all students, nearly every day. “In 23 years of my teaching career, I have spent 22 years in this school, including 10 years as incharge (since 2010). I have seen it develop like my own child. We planted 1,200 saplings on campus in the past two years. There is hardly a day, be it vacations or any other day, that we miss extra classes before/after working hours, for poor and underprivileged students. Our students cannot afford private tuitions. Twice secretary education visited our school and hailed it as an example for others. With help of an NRI from Belgium, we have installed LEDs for audio-visual learning too. Ours is a government smart school,” says Beant Singh.
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