History Of India

Celebrating education with Desh Apnayen

The last few weeks have been extremely special for Desh Apnayen. We have had the good fortune of honouring teachers and school leaders of Mumbai, who, on a daily basis, are inspiring their students to engage with the country. They are doing so by emulating best practices in citizenship education in their classrooms, implementing our ‘Disha’ curriculum in an impactful way, engaging with children in citizenship club activities and being exemplary human beings that all their students can look up to.
For this blog, we celebrate one such upstanding teacher from Pashtepada in rural Maharashtra.
Sandip Gund, a 27 year old primary school teacher in a government school in Pashtepada, is creating waves with his new brand of teaching. In fact, he has been so successful in his school that the government has decided to adopt his techniques in 500 other schools of the state.
You, dear reader, will be fascinated to know that Mr. Gund has converted a zilla parishad school into a ‘smart school,’ where children are taught using tablets and computers instead of schoolbooks. The majority of the students are children of farmers and labourers.
Sandip’s extraordinary journey began when he was posted as a primary school teacher in Pashtepada.
“The conditions here were very poor. Students did not turn up for classes. For once, I actually thought of giving up and going back to my native place,” recalls Sandip.
After one year of intense research, learning, conversing with other educators and hard work, Sandip was ready with his ‘Gund model of teaching’. Now, instead of carrying heavy bags to school, Sandip’s students come to him with a large smile and one, single solar powered tablet and digital pen. The ‘Gund’ model has made the school technology-friendly.
“I noticed that students would often bunk schools to watch TV in a villager’s home. It was the only house with a TV. I thought of channelizing their interest in digital content to something more useful. This is when I got a donated computer for the school and started using science, animation and other interesting ways of teaching the children,” says Sandip.
Next, Sandip purchased a tablet PC and projector using money from his own and other teachers’ salaries. They all donated Rs. 5,000 each. A few villagers also extended help. This was followed by textbook lessons being converted into PDF files and projected on the touchscreen. All the students have tablets of their own now. The tablets are connected to a projector, which the teachers use to impart their lessons and get the students to do their classwork.
The kids share their work and assignments with the teachers and fellow students using flash transfer, a wireless data transfer technology.
Thanks to Sandip’s efforts, the school drop-out rates in the area have decreased. The success of the ‘Gund model’ has impressed the families of nearby villages too. They have collected funds and have asked Sandip to replicate the model in their villages as well.
(Source of story: An article by Shreya Pareek published on 18 Feb 2016 on www.thebetterindia.com. To read the whole story, please click on this link.)
 This story goes on to show how the power and commitment from one single person is enough to bring about revolutionary change. We at Desh Apnayen feel incredibly blessed that we have the support of many such educational revolutionaries in creating an environment for young minds to engage with the country.
Like we always say, Desh Apnao, Desh Padhao, Desh Badhao.

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