Let’s be honest that the government schools in our country, at least most of them, are a picture of dilapidated infrastructure, the absence of proper and separate toilets for girls and boys, lack of extracurricular activities and a handful of teachers teaching over hundreds of students.
No wonder the school-dropout rate is high in the government schools and parents who can afford it, prefer to send their kids to private schools.
Nawli Zila Parishad School in Risod taluka of Maharashtra’s Washim district was relegated to a state of negligence and was on the verge of closing down till 5 teachers came together and decided to resurrect the only school in the village.
Until the summer of last year, the school had only 4 classrooms for students from 1st to 8th standard and only 4 teachers for 145 students. The deteriorating standard of education forced many parents to send their kids to another school in Risod town which was 30 kms away.
But not everyone could afford to send their kids far away. So the villagers staged a protest at the district office against the dismal state of the only school in the village. It resulted in the education department appointing 5 teachers, namely Narayan Garde (headmaster), Subhash Sadar, Krishna Pallod, Rahul Sakharekar and Gajanan Jadhav.
Now, while the school got the teachers, it didn’t reduce any infrastructural problems. The biggest challenge was to hold two classes in one classroom, each at the same time.
So, the teachers began thinking of ways to revive the school and increase the enrollment of students.
The five noble teachers collected ₹1.5 lakh among themselves and got the school walls painted and installed water purifiers.
Now, they also realised that the school’s curriculum needed to undergo an overhaul, which again required more money. This time, the villagers came in support and collected ₹3 lakh.
The school now has 7 classrooms, one computer lab, toilets and a regular supply of drinking water! Not just this, the school now boasts of over 415 students and the admissions are full.
As reported by the Indian Express, Khushaal Baajad, one of the parents whose child studies in Nawli Zila Parishad School, said:
The teachers brought the school back to life. Children are happy to go there because they have a lot of extra-curricular activities. Nobody thought of all this before.
The teachers didn’t stop at that. They have also started spoken-English classes and are coaching students for competitive exams! The school remains open well after the closing hours of 5:30 pm. The villagers practice ‘no-TV hours’ from 7 to 9 pm during which the kids revise the chapters taught in school.
According to the headmaster Narayan Garde:
Ours is a Marathi-medium school but we have started spoken-English classes. Also, students are trained for competitive exams, such as UPSC and MPSC. Every month, we conduct a special general knowledge test. We have also introduced an e-learning system.
With teachers like these, we can definitely dare to dream of a world-class education system!