When ASHOK Kumar, principal of the Government Senior Secondary School, Kotra Kalan, Mansa district, was conferred an award at a state-level function held at Mohali in honour of Teachers’ Day, he fondly recalled the pride he felt when the Class X and XII board exam results were declared this year.
“For the first time, we had a 100 per cent pass result in our school. Though no one was on the merit list, seven of them scored above 80 per cent in Class X and three did the same from Class XII. I generated Rs 26 lakh in funds from government schemes as well as donations to change the skyline of the school as well as work on the students’ phobia of the English language,” Kumar told The Indian Express.
Kumar joined the school as principal in 2017. “Last year, over 30 students from private schools had shifted to our school, of which 5-6 were from CBSE schools as well,” he said.
A total of 55 teachers were awarded on Thursday. Focus was more on teachers responsible for overall development of students. An extra effort to change the mindset of the masses regarding government schools was also an important factor while deciding the winners.
Next to him was Jagjit Singh Walia of Moosa village, whose self-made Smart School has forced three private schools of the area to be shut down. Walia had even refused promotion offered in yet another school as he wanted to focus on Moosa school’s students only as of now.
Manjinder Kaur, a teacher in Government Primary School, Noorpur, Jalandhar, said her school’s strength has increased from 200 to 328 and is now equipped with learning aids. Navdeep Singh, headmaster of Kotli Saru Khan, Amritsar, said, “I spent Rs 3.5 lakh from my own pocket to improve the condition of the school apart from generating funds from government schemes. The school strength has increased by 200 per cent and even I often teach them with the help of tabs.”
Rajinder Kumar was all smiles when he was honoured with the state award. He works in the Government Primary School, Vada Bhaika, Faridkot. Many of his students are part of the education department’s campaign videos. Kumar was offered promotion as a science teacher in high school, but continued to work here.
Surinder Singh of Government Primary School, Gobind Nagri, Malaut, said, “A few years ago, education department officials had even stated that this school cannot run because of less strength, lack of infrastructure. I took it as a challenge. Today, the strength of this primary school has reached 90. Few of my students have been admitted in Navodaya Vidhayala. I teach my students using Oxford dictionary, teaching aids.” Mahinder Singh Shailey was among the team of teachers who prepared mathematics books for students. He also helped prepare e-content for government schools apart from improving the results of his school — the Government Primary School Mahalam, Ferozepur.
On Thursday, 55 teachers from across the state were honoured with state awards for their contributions in academics, infrastructure and all round development of students. School Education Minister Vijayinder Singla was chief guest.