President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday handed over the National Award to Teachers to 46 teachers from across the country for their innovations and teaching methods.
Many of the winners work in rural schools and their efforts have increased enrolment and quality of education in remote areas such as Barnoti in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua region, Amini Island in Lakshwadeep, Mendra Kalan in Chhattisgarh and Thingsulthliah in Mizoram.
“Through this award, your efforts and contributions to nurturing the intelligence of students and building their futures are being honoured… Knowledge and skills can be obtained later as well but the important foundations of character development are set in school. The primary objective of teachers is that their students become good people. In order to develop good people, teachers need to instil honesty, discipline and integrity in their students… If they become doctors, they’ll become good doctors. If they become lawyers, they’ll become good lawyers… for their families, they will be good parents, good children, good siblings and good spouses… they will contribute to the country by being best citizens. By making them good people, you as teachers are important contributors to national development,” said President Kovind.
Among the awardees, several have worked towards school development and increasing enrollment by engaging with the local communities and involving them in the school’s functioning.
“In a school, there are many teachers and many students. But if it is lacking in infrastructure, where will the teachers go to teach and where will students go to study. That is why I always maintain very cordial relationships with the local community, parents and alumni,” said Toni Pertin, who teaches at Government Higher Secondary School Dambuk, Arunachal Pradesh.
Last year, members of the alumni donated Rs 2 lakh to the school with which they purchased reference books for Classes X and XII. “Because of the use of these books, the Class X pass percentage increased to 100% and the Class XII percentage to 91%,” he said.
Archana Barua actively involves parents in getting children enrolled to her school, No.1 Alubari Junior Basic School in Margherita, Assam. “I have asked all parents to keep an eye out for any children in their whereabouts who are of school-going age and are not enrolled in school and to persuade the parents of those children. If they are unable to convince them, I personally go to the homes to speak to them,” she said.