Written by Madhav Bahl, a grade 8 student
In December, a Maharashtra’s village teacher won the Global Teacher Award and received $1 million as part of the prize.
What is the Global Teacher Prize?
The Global Teacher Prize is an annual award given to teachers from around the world who have made an outstanding contribution to their profession. The award aims to “acknowledge the impacts of the very best teachers – not only on their students but on the communities around them”.
Who won in 2020?
The winner of the 2020 Global Teacher Prize was Ranjitsinh Disale, an Indian teacher at Zilla Parishad Primary School in a small village called Paritewadi that is located in Solapur district in Maharashtra.
Ranjitsinh Disale was actually studying engineering, but he left that midway due to bullying and ragging. He was determined to bring about change in children’s lives, so he became a teacher.
What are his achievements?
Disale changed the lives of children in the school where he taught.
When he arrived at the Zilla Parishad Primary School, it was a crumbling old building and there were hardly any books available for the students. He decided to change things and made the textbooks available in the local language for the students. He learned the local language and then translated the books. Also, he used unique QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments.
Ranjitsinh also changed the content, activities and assignments in the QR coded textbooks to create a personalized learning experience for each student.
The impacts of Ranjitsinh’s innovations are very clearly visible or understood; obvious..
For instance, there are now no teenage marriages in this village and there is a 100 percent attendance by girls at the school. Also, the school was recognized as the best school in the district with – 85% of its students have got A grades in the annual exams. Moreover, one girl from the village has now graduated from University. This is something that was seen as impossible before Ranjitsinh arrived.
Teachers impact on a student
Teachers have a very significant, lifelong impact on all of their students. This impact involves not only the teaching of particular academic skills but other important life skills like hard work, determination and not cracking in tough times. Teachers are like our second mothers