Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Teachers' Day: Toast to your teacher

Teachers' Day: Toast to your teacher

Sruthy Susan Ullas & Garima Prasher, TNN Sep 5, 2012, 07.02AM IST

BANGALORE: The teacher is `more available to them' , more approachable' and "willing to hear us out" as compared to their own parents. A survey among 3,000 students showed that they also thought teachers are more "cool" than their parents when it comes to pressure or reacting to their performance. However, when it came to career decisions, it was to their parents these kids turned.
The nationwide survey was conducted among 3,246 students from class 9 to 12 across 8 cities — Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Jamshedpur, Lucknow and Pune.

"Lucknow topped the country with the highest respect for its teachers at 89% followed by Pune and Jamshedpur at 86%. Children in Bangalore specifically distinguished the efforts that teachers put in towards their subject and that translated into respect," the study said.
Teaching might be the hailed as the noblest of professions but Gen Y doesn't think it's cool enough: only 6% of the surveyed were keen on becoming teachers. The survey was conducted by Greycaps, an organization run by quizmaster Giri Pickbrain.
Teaching creates all other professions. A good teacher explains, a great teacher inspires.
On Teacher's Day in the RTE year, TOI speaks to five teachers in Bangalore who think out of the box to ensure that every child is in the classroom and learning.
She is a mother figure
Haneefunnissa is like a mother to her students. If a child skips breakfast and comes to school, she has buns and Bournvita ready in school. When the child gets too busy playing and not eat during the lunch break, she will come out to the ground to feed the student. You will also see her shouting at BMTC buses if they fail to stop at bus stops where her students are waiting. She takes the trouble of getting bus passes for students. In case a child is absent, she sends an aaya to the child's home to find out the reason for absence and get the child to school if possible. She will have everything ready for themfrom slates and notebooks to medicines and new dresses during Ramzan. She says that even if she is unwell she comes to school ... for being with her 'children' acts like a tonic.
Striving for the school
For her unmatched service, this teacher with 18 years service was awarded with "The Best Teacher" state award. Apart from getting a building for the school, Parvathamma, after joining the school, has also been arranging for donors to ensure free study material, sports equipment and schools uniforms for students. "In 2003, when I joined this school, it had only two kids and no building of its own. After I joined this school, I contacted the local corporator to get a building with good toilet and water facility," she says. The school also boasts of the free medical service facility that is provided by the MS Ramaiah Hospital. "I bought benches, desks and toys for indoor games with the help of donors.'' Encouraged with her success, Parvathamma plans to come up with a rain water harvesting system for the school. She wants to do MEd . "This will help me teach my students better,'' she says.

Champion of have-nots
Providing free education to the underprivileged children under the Right to Education (RTE) Act might be novel for many, but Merlin Mural Prakashini has been doing the noble job since three years now. A teacher with 20 years service, Prakashini joined the profession after being motivated by her husband, and loves her profession. The school has launched initiatives like 'adoption method' , bringing back the dropouts to the school, counselling parents and prohibiting corporal punishment. "I love children and this profession too. In the last three years, the school has successfully enrolled over 20 dropouts from the nearby slums. We have shunned the cane completely and the idea of corporal punishment is not promoted in our school. We bring in children from underprivileged families and counsel them on importance of education," says Prakashini, who has also incorporated the 'adoption method' . "Under this method, six kids are adopted by one teacher and the teacher ensures that the child is doing well academically and emotionally," she says. We have shunned the cane completely and the idea of corporal punishment is not promoted in our school
Enrolling child labourers 
Twenty years ago when this teacher joined the school, the school was in a bad shape. The villagers, most of them illiterate, had no inclination to send their children to work. Even when they were enrolled, most of the children were irregular as they were all child labourers at the nearby beedi factories. Shailaja began her journey from there. She convinced the parents on the importance of education and campaigned to get the children to school. Now with pride she says: "I have almost all the children in the vicinity in my school." In her career of 20 years, Shailaja says that she has never regretted her profession. "It's a passion, an inexplicable love for the children," she says. She has a strong alumni association in her school, not a common concept in many government schools. She has managed to get donors to help them apart from donations from former students. Every student who manages a 90% or above will get a scholarship.

The driving force
Vasanthi proudly points to her students dressed smartly in tie and shoes, usually not found in government school children. "Don't they look as smart as convent school-educated children,'' she asks. To her credit goes giving a makeover not to just GLPS at Varadapura, but also to Government Higher Primary School, Mallimasanapura. The Mallimasanapura school had a building with only two rooms. Vasanthi's untiring efforts saw the school's expansion and provision of drinking water. She played a key role in getting Rs 4 lakh fund for Mallipmasanapura and Rs 2 lakh for the school at Varadapura by networking with the donors. She and her friends have adopted the funding of 20 children. Among them, 15 students are from Mallimasanapura and five are from Varadapura school. "Most of them are in second PU now. We are willing to help them even if they get a medical seat," says an enthusiastic Vasanthi.

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