VISAKHAPATNAM: A teacher, who has been taking pains riding a horse to reach a school in an interior hamlet in the Visakhapatnam Agency, has received the best teacher award.
The travails and dedicated teaching of G Venkata Ramana, 24, teacher of Mandal Parishad Primary (MPP) school in Surlapalem, 27 km away from G Madugula, were recognised when Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao (Avanthi) presented him the District Best Teacher Award at the Teachers’ Day celebrations at Anakapalle on Thursday.
“When no teacher showed interest to go to the school on deputation, I took it up as a challenge. I was inspired by my native village Kilagada in Munchingput Mandal, where I saw the teachers literally struggle with students. Now there is zero dropout rate in the school,” Ramana said.
He is the only teacher in the school. The villagers are all praise for Ramana as he took teaching MPP school students as a challenge when many were shying away from coming to the ‘unconnected’ village in the Agency.
Reaching the village is the biggest challenge for anyone; there is no proper road for a distance of nine km. Currently, Ramana drives on his bike till Gemmeli and then goes on horseback for 9 km up to Surlapalem school. The MPP school has about 52 children from Classes 1 to 5.
“Earlier, I used to go on my bike to school. One rainy day, I fell off from my bike. Later, the villagers lent me a horse; now I ride to reach the school,” Ramana said.
Let alone taking up teaching in the MPP school as a challenge, in the beginning even communicating with the students and the villagers was a problem. They spoke in the local language, Kuvi. Ramana learnt Kuvi to converse with them.
Ramana, who did not know horse riding, made it a point to learn how to ride.
“There are no proper roads and no hospital nearby. The roads are so bad that one cannot even walk on the pathway properly. Even going on a horse is quite tough. But I do it for the children, who want to study. Being in the interior area, the students get little help. After repeated requests, around Rs 6 lakh was sanctioned for the reconstruction of the school building,” he said.