KARAIKAL: The life of 46-year-old U Sivakumar, a visually impaired teacher, is a study in perseverance and would inspire many like him to take odds in their stride.
A Tamil teacher, Sivakumar handles classes XI and XII at the Ambagarathur government higher secondary school in Karaikal.
He does not stick to just textbooks but uses technology to make learning fun for students. Sivakumar also takes time out to help physically challenged people who aspire to become teachers.
Blind since birth, he has been a teacher at the school for the past three years.
His students state Sivakumar’s classes are equal to if not better than those taught by teachers who have the benefit of eyesight.
Said a student, “Our Tamil ayya is an excellent teacher, we never even feel he is visually impaired. We found it boring when other teachers taught us literature and grammar, but he has made learning exciting.”
Driven by the passion to beccome a teacher Sivakumar studied MA (Tamil) as well as B.Ed and MPhil. His is currently pursuing his Ph.D.
“I achieved my dream of becoming a teacher in 1998,” Sivakumar told Express,
“I joined the government elementary school in Karaikal. and within five years was promoted to a middle school. After seeing the quality of my teaching, the government gave me the opportunity to handle classes XI and XII.”
Sharing his teaching ways, Sivakumar said, “I use Braille textbooks to take classes and I do not use blackboard often. The day before I teach class, I work on the subject matter at home. My wife is a good artist and she will prepare charts which I use in class. Sometimes, I use projectors and computers in our school lab.”
Grateful for the help and cooperation of his students, Sivakumar said he has always stressed his pupils get above 150 marks out of 200 in public exams.
“In the last academic year, my student Madhu Shalini scored 177, the highest score among those I have taught,” he said with pride.
With 15 years of experience, Sivakumar received the Dr Radhakrishnan Good Teacher’s Award in 2016.
The Social Welfare Department of Puducherry presented him the ‘Most Efficient Award’ in 2005.