“I feel I’m stuck at 17,” says Manju Balasubramanyam Arif, principal, Delhi Public School (North), the only teacher from the state to receive ‘National Award to Teachers’ given by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
Preferring to be known as a Biology teacher, Manju terms her teaching experience ‘fantastic’. On Tuesday, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal gave away the award to Manju and 66 other teachers from schools across the nation in New Delhi.
“I always wanted to be a teacher and for me, it is not just a job. I am driven with the belief that schools should prepare children for the society. I teach children having different abilities. This, to me, is the best part about what I do,” she says.
Manju started teaching after completing her Bachelors in Science.
“I have been teaching for 22 years, with 8 years at DPS alone. Still, I feel like I’m 17. The oldest child in the school is 17 and that’s what keeps me alive. There is so much to learn from these children,” Manju says.
She has been recognised for her innovative teaching methods, notably the use of YouTube f o r s o m e Biology lessons. Sana Afraz, a class 12 student, remembers one of the experiences with Manju.
“When preparations for our school fest was on, she was sitting down in the council room filled with colours all over her and painting posters. We were perplexed, and asked her why she is painting.
She replied, This is my fest, pass me the red paint!” Sana reminisced.
Manju’s message to her students: “Tomorrow’s world is yours, and I have firm faith and belief that the world is in safe hands.”