A Maharashtrian teacher has won recognition for his efforts of teaching using conference calls and stories. This teacher did not allow the coronavirus-induced lockdown to come in his way of continuing the classes for his students in rural areas.
The teacher, Balaji Baburao Jadhav (35), who belongs to the Sangavi village under Renapur tehsil of Latur district in central Maharashtra. He has been selected for the Honey Bee Network Creativity Inclusive Innovation Award 2020.
Baburao is a Zilla Parishad teacher at Vijayanagar in Maan tehsil of Satara district. He won the award for his teaching through the "conference call" method.
After the central government imposed a nation-wide lockdown in the country last year, classroom teaching stopped, and learning shifted online. However, attending online classes became a task for students simply because of the unavailability of computers, laptops, smartphones, and a proper internet connection in rural areas.
In order to overcome this problem and come up with a solution, Baburao came up with an innovative idea to impart education to his students during the lockdown. He brought about the idea of conference calls in order to conduct online classes.
Baburao used to teach 10 students at a time in a conference call in the morning and evening. The parents of these students were mostly shepherds and labourers who had simple keypad mobile phones and faced network issues too.
He then decided to develop the four fundamental skills of language in students namely listening, speaking, reading, and writing also called LSRW. When the lockdown began, Baburao started to develop the listening skills of students by narrating stories. He then used to ask students to write down these stories in a book as well. By using the storytelling format, he learned to retain the attention of the students as well.
After this process, Baburao used to tell the students to record the stories. As of now, students have made an e-library of more than 500 recorded stories. "I am confident that my students will become good news anchors, reporters, writers, and speakers," said Baburao, as reported by The New Indian Express.
For this unique teaching method, Baburao was selected for the award on December 24. The award is jointly instituted by the Honey Bee Network and the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), and is given to ideas for their creativity and innovation or to traditional knowledge practices that solve day-to-day problems faced by society.
Baburao was also congratulated by Supriya Sule, who is an NCP MP. Along with her, state ministers Amit Deshmukh and Varsha Gaikwad also congratulated him.
"My project is followed in 20 districts of Maharashtra, 24 states in the country, and 14 countries in the world. The benefit of people is my real satisfaction than an award. I am happy to be honoured. I will try to connect with more teachers with such platforms in the future as well," said Baburao.
Earlier last year, Ranjitsinh Disale, 32, who works as a teacher at the Zilla Parishad Primary School at Paritewadi in Solapur, won the Global Teacher Prize 2020 in recognition of his efforts to promote and enhance the education of girls and trigger a quick-response (QR) code textbook revolution in India.