These teachers improved schooling and enrolled economically weaker students; will receive National Teachers Award 2021
When Ajit Kumar Sethy joined a government school at Kanamana, Odisha, he was disappointed to see the school lacking basic infrastructure and amenities such as electricity. It only had two classrooms and was in terrible condition.
As a science teacher at Zilla Government School in Bhadrak, Odisha, Ashok Satpathy was concerned that not many children were enrolled in school and most weren’t keen on joining it.
Both Satpathy and Sethy were determined to change the scenario of schooling in their respective areas and worked towards it. Sethy decided to work towards improving the condition of the school, helped set up three additional classrooms, electrify it, and had separate gender-based toilets constructed. Moreover, recently, a nutri garden was set up in the schools and RO facilities were installed to provide clean drinking water to students as well as staff.
“In the past, since no one paid attention to the school infrastructure, villagers were unwilling to send their children to the school”, Sethy told TNIE.
These transformations were instrumental in increasing the enrolment from just 50 students in 2017 to 108 at present. Sethy, who is now the Headmaster of the school, also put in efforts to make learning a joyful process. He composes songs related to various subjects to keep students interested and increase their grasping capacity.
Similarly, Satpathy put in tireless efforts and was able to enrol 50 students from economically weaker backgrounds to get them educated. He went and interacted with their parents one on one and helped them cover the financial cost.
“I have been connecting these students with alumni of the school who are willing to sponsor their school and higher education. This way, 50 such students have not only come under the school fold since 2001 but also are getting access to secondary learning materials”, Satpathy told TNIE. The school now has 650 students studying in Class VI to X.
Their transformative efforts were recognised by the Ministry of Education and they’ve been chosen for the National Teachers Award 2021. This year, there are two awardee teachers each from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim, Odisha, Bihar, Gujarat, and Rajasthan, reported India Today.
(By Vrinda Garg)
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