Thirty-four teachers from schools across the country were given the CBSE Teachers Award 2018-2019 by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Thursday. Twelve of the teachers are from Delhi schools. From trying to make math less intimidating and creating opportunities in fashion to encouraging social work, here are some of those whose contributions were recognised.
Manjul Malhotra: SLS DAV Public School
As a teacher of fashion studies to students of classes XI and XII, Malhotra has had many an issue to address — motivating students, convincing parents of the value of fashion studies and teaching students that fashion is hard work. Fashion studies is a vocational subject in the CBSE and is offered in Malhotra’s school as an alternative to mathematics.
“A lot of my students are not very strong academically; it’s for me to show them that this is a skill that can help them grow… I also have to counsel parents to convince them that their kids will not become tailors and can, instead, run MSMEs which can provide opportunities for many people…,” she said.
She has played a role in getting a fashion lab set up in school. She also conducts mentoring programmes and organises visits to NIFT, Pearl Academy, Delhi Haat and the State Emporia.
Sapna Makan: Bal Bharti Public School, Rohini Sector 14
A math teacher for the last 22 years, Makan has found ways to integrate teaching with dance, cooking, sport and tribal art to make the subject more interesting.
For instance, students are roped in to perform Bharatanatyam to teach Euclid’s geometry through mudras and patterns. “Through making chapatis, I teach them about conversion of solids — the shape changes but volume remains the same. I integrate probability and pythagoras theorem with sport — by throwing a volleyball and studying its trajectory,” she said.
Makan said she tries to dedicate one period a week to these activities.
Rahul Sofat: Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute, Subroto Park
As a math teacher for classes XI and XII, Sofat’s emphasis is on making the subject less intimidating. “There is a rat-race for high grades in schools but there has to be a transformation in the way we teach the subject. We need to move away from rote learning and towards conceptual understanding — the phobia will go if we can engage their creativity,” he said.
Sofat develops mathematical kits to conduct activities for various concepts, and said he has developed around 60 different activities. His school also has a separate section for children with special needs.
He has worked as a resource person for NCERT and for the development of content for Massive Online Open Courses for the MHRD’s SWAYAM portal.
Suruchi Gandhi: Bal Bharti Public School, Dwarka
As the principal of her school, Gandhi pushes her students towards community work.
“Every school is in a rat-race to produce doctors and engineers, but we have only had one Mother Teresa! I truly believe that schools should work more on this aspect,” she said.
Last year in a tie-up with Sulabh International, her students had helped set up makeshift toilets and washbasins in slums located near the school: “Students conduct computer literacy classes at Basti Vikas Kendras, they have contributed to flood relief efforts… they have been trained to perform CPR.”