Building a school to be proud of
Usha Rani, headmaster, Government Higher Primary School, Kothanur, Bengaluru
When Usha Rani was posted as headmaster of Government Higher Primary School, Kothanur, Bengaluru, around five years ago, the school lacked basic infrastructure. She was determined to make a difference. “They say that a teacher can single-handedly change the fortunes of an entire village. I decided to be that teacher,” she said. Ms. Rani used every opportunity to invite alumni, non-governmental organisations and donors to the school and get them to commit to improving the school’s infrastructure. She renovated the building, ensured that teachers were given the right tools and computers to conduct classes. She didn’t stop at infrastructure alone. Ms. Rani continues to mobilise funds for students who complete class 10. And today, her influence extends beyond the primary school. She has helped at least six schools in the vicinity to develop infrastructure by tapping into the donor network.
He made school fun again
Panchaksharaiah B. Mudholmath, associate teacher, Government Higher Primary School, Neeralagi, Gadag
Having worked as a teacher for over 15 years, Panchaksharaiah B. Mudholmath was disturbed by the growing academic stress that students faced in an increasingly competitive society. And that’s why he introduced ‘no bag day’ in his school every Saturday. This deceptively simple initiative did more than just ease the burden on children’s sagging shoulders. With no bags, the day’s timetable changed accordingly. “We have several extra curricular activities such as seminars, folk games, and quizzes so that students look forward to coming to school,” he said. ‘No bag day’ has been implemented in his school over the three years now. For many students, Saturday is their favourite school day, said Mr. Mudholmath.
Giving spark to the sporting life
Rameshappa G., PE teacher, Government Junior College (high school division) Vijayapura, Devanahalli taluk, Bengaluru rural
The lack of adequate infrastructure and facilities to promote sports was no deterrent for physical education teacher Rameshappa G. Despite having minimal resources on hand, he has helped hundreds of students make the mark in athletics at the State level. Mr. Rameshappa constructed a 400-metre running track in the school and from time-to-time ropes in donors to provide shoes and jerseys. He also ensures that his players get their share of nutritious food before tournaments. As many as 104 of his students have participated at the State level, while six have participated in the national level.
Taking the fear out of maths
Susheela R., science teacher, Government Model Higher Primary School, Cleveland Town, Bengaluru
Students and their fear of numbers and fractions was something Susheela R. had to contend with all through her professional life as a science teacher. “Before I retire, I wanted to make mathematics simple, something students would enjoy,” she said. Ask her students and faculty members, they will say that she achieved just it. She makes three-dimensional models, uses flash cards and audio-visual guides to show her students the role of maths in real work. Ms. Susheela used ordinary objects to explain to students complex mathematical concepts, and in doing this she encouraged young minds to look beyond the number line.