B S Ravi, headmaster of Zilla Parishad High School in Telangana, had a tough task at hand. The school where he teaches is surrounded by cotton fields and children in nearby villages worked as labourers there. “I realised that these children were working as labourers instead of attending school. So as part of community mobilisation, I went door to door and convinced parents to send their kids to school. Today we have good enrollment and modern labs,” said Ravi.
He was among 45 teachers who were awarded the national award by Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday. Under the revised guidelines, the number of awardees was brought down to 45 from around 300. Most teachers awarded have used IT applications and technology to make learning interesting, whether by way of apps, or modern laboratories.
Among those awarded was Manu Gulati, a government school teacher at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya in Rohini, Delhi, who has used Information and Communication Technology and music and dance to make teaching English more fun.
Basruddin Khan from Haryana’s Mewat, who has been a teacher for over 24 years, got the award for encouraging girls in the area to join school. “In 1995, there was just one girl in our area who had completed Class XII. But we went from house to house to enroll girls and also held remedial classes.
Khangembam Indrakumar Singh from Manipur won the award for his efforts towards refurbishing the school building, changing teaching practices and special residential programmes for slow learners.
Speaking at the event, Vice-President Naidu said school education should be imparted in mother tongue throughout the country. “I would like to advise the government, not only the central government but the state governments as well, that education must basically be in the mother tongue,” he said.
A total of 6,692 applications were received from teachers from all over the country. Every district selected three best teachers and forwarded their names to the committee under the state secretary of education who made a short-list.