CHHATTISGARH: Living through the Covid pandemic, government school teachers and volunteers in Chhattisgarh have found innovative ways to communicate with their students in their attempt to engage children’s attention. A primary school teacher, Nilu Mahikwar, in Durg district brings newspaper clippings daily to share interesting stories with students so that they are better listeners, speakers and can draw inferences.
Snehlata Toppo makes a novel use of mute cartoon films in various forms on her laptop and encourages her pupils to express themselves. Similarly, Devendra Dewangan in Narayanpur district encourages students to speak on a mike to do away with their fright. Students, fascinated by such unconventional ways of some of the teachers, identify them with interesting nicknames — Motor Cycle guruji (Rudra Pratap Rana), cinema wale babu (for Ashok Lodhi) and for motorcycle wali behenji (Deeplata Deshmukh). No offence made.
These teachers covered nearby villages and blocks carrying out professional roles. Such teachers are recognised as ‘Hamare Nayak (our hero)’ in the form of written blogs that narrate their teaching moments, and are posted on the official website of Chhattisgarh school education department daily. It allows teachers and students to realize each other’s strength that leads to newer ways of effective academic communication.
“Besides routine courses, there are many instances during the pandemic where the teachers either on their own or within their community assisted each other to broaden their scope of involvement with the learning process of students through more meaningful ways,” says M Sudhish, assistant director (Samagra Shiksha).
The objective behind the envisioned concept ‘Hamare Nayak’ is to identify novel teaching practices and to share them publicly with others on the official website. It’s more like a carrot in the “carrot and stick management techniques”, where a motivational approach involves offering a carrot (as reward for good actions) but without a stick (negative consequence).
Teachers Usha Kori and Satyendra Srivas who use puppets as part of their education curricula acknowledge that the idea has motivated them and other staff. It also led to change in their functioning and performance to achieve more acceptable output. There is no fixed criterion for getting nominated on ‘Hamare Nayak’ as it keeps changing depending on the priority over a period of time and the direction where the school education department is keen to move ahead.
For instance, when it was initially launched, the parameters on teachers’ selection as the ‘star’ were securing maximum online classes, creative ways to connect or the highest number of online classes attended by students. The focus later shifted to most number of assignments followed by the maximum number of offline classes taken by local teachers with most attendance of pupils.
“We are promoting Augmented Reality (AR) classrooms and identifying teachers using the technology and the AR virtual classes. The next criteria would be maximum assessment accomplished and the highest scores secured by students”, said Sudhish. Teachers from any level and the officials who worked towards scaling up the programme including the volunteer teachers and college students (willing to contribute as educator’s role) also fit into such ongoing exercise under ‘Hamare Nayak’.
Bharat Lal Baiga, a tribal student pursuing software engineering from Delhi University, stayed back in his village owing to the pandemic and formed a group of educated youths and started teaching the students. As the concept began drawing attention and the ‘Nayak’ stories gained wider appreciation, the department was delighted to witness a boom in attendance with more local community teachers and students showing up in their classes. Village sarpanches in tribal-dominated Bastar and elsewhere have come out in support of the ‘loudspeaker schools’, said senior education officer Vijay Sharma.
All these stories have been uploaded from different parts of the state both in English and Hindi. The two best practices on any given day were selected for the official web portal to motivate the teaching faculty and enhance the educational outcome. “The Hamare Nayak idea has led to fascinating stories on our portal. Students in remote areas were seen more into online classes, clearing doubts and completing their assignments”, says Alok Shukla, principal secretary, school education. Over 80% of the students are getting education via attending the Mohalla and online classes. Mohalla classes were recognized by PM Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and also by Niti Aayog.
Soren INVITED at Harvard
Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren will deliver a lecture at the Harvard University in February, 2021. Soren has accepted the invitation to deliver lecture at the university. The twitter handle of CMO says: “The CM has accepted the invitation and thanked the organisers. He will be speaking on tribal rights, sustainable development and welfare policies in Jharkhand.”