A teacher from the Indian state of Maharashtra won the international award of the Varkey Foundation for the best educator in the world. In his school, he focused on the education of girls and introduced QR codes on textbooks. Half of the $ 1 million prize was shared with nine finalists of the competition.
Winner of the annual global educator award, which attracted 12 thousand. candidates announced on Thursday at a virtual ceremony broadcast from the Natural History Museum in London.
Ranjitsinh Disale immediately announced that it would share the $ 1 million prize with the rest of the finalists. “Teachers always believe in giving and sharing. And therefore, I am very pleased to announce that I will share half of the prize money with the top 10 finalists to support their amazing work. ”The Hindu daily quotes Disali.
“I believe that together we can change the world,” emphasized a teacher from Solapur District, Maharashtra. According to the daily, nine finalists will receive 55,000. dollars, and Disale will keep half a million.
The award is paid for 10 years by the Varkey Foundation. with UNESCO. "Teachers like Ranjitsinh will save our future," Stefania Giannini from UNESCO's education department told the newspaper.
Ranjitsinh Disale arrived at Paritewadi Village Primary School in 2009. According to The Hindu, a crumbling school building was wedged between the barn and the warehouse. School attendance turned out to be low, and marriages of girls in this area were common.
Although over 70 percent. The inhabitants of the state of Maharashtra speak Marathi, and in the southern district of Solapur, where the school is located, Kannada predominates. Disale had to learn a new language and translate textbooks.
The sponsors of the award point out that there are currently no underage girls' weddings in Paritewadi, and they attend school regularly. One of them got to the university. "Marriage of underage girls is still a big problem in Indian villages. Parents do not wait for the girls to finish school, they invest in boys, ”explains Surabhi Mahajan, a social activist from Delhi, who works in Indian villages.
The awarded teacher also introduced digital educational tools, including a QR code system. "The QR code is printed on the textbooks and the student can scan it using a smartphone and access videos, instructional videos, questions and homework," explains Disale on FreePressJournal.in. The system of QR codes on textbooks he developed is now used throughout India.
“Now it is possible even in the countryside. Smartphones have become incredibly cheap and available, ”explains Samrat Shivalkar, a teacher and social activist from Pune, Maharashtra.
The cheapest smartphone in India, offered by one of the mobile operators, costs 1-1.5 thousand. rupees (about PLN 50-72). "They are sold together with very cheap mobile internet and practically replace computers," he notes.
One of Disali's initiatives is dialogue between Indian and Pakistani students. “It takes place every year between August and September. We focus on bringing students closer together and engaging them in peaceful conversations. In the first week, students are assigned + peace buddies + with whom they talk to get to know each other, ”he says in The Hindu.
Schools in other states took up the initiative and, according to the teacher, the "peace army" already has 5,000. students.
In mid-February 2019, a police convoy was attacked in Kashmir, India, in which 40 officers were killed. India accused neighboring Pakistan of organizing the attack, and in late February, there was an air skirmish between the two countries.
“We then handed out questionnaires to students to understand how they felt. We encouraged you to read newspapers from a neighboring country. We realized that the students were very positive towards their + peaceful buddies + but had emotional conversations on the political front, ”the teacher explains.
"Politicians and the media strongly heat up the atmosphere of hostility towards the neighbor," says Suman Mandal, a political scientist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, for PAP. "Such projects are unique and important," he emphasizes.
Paweł Skawiński (PAP)