10 Innovations By Teachers That Are Improving Education In Rural India

1. Linking Learning to Everyday Experiences

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Nikunjkumar Vyas has created an interesting model for students to enhance their vocabulary. By using everyday experiences and products, he has been making learning fun and simple for his students. The wrappers of chocolates and other products are used to teach new words. The students are asked to make a list of words they read on the wrappers. They are then encouraged to use a dictionary to find the meanings of those words.

2. Creating Science Huts

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Dharmeshbhai Ratilal Patel has set up a science hut to help students conduct various experiments. Patel encouraged students to build a Science hut, put up useful charts and posters along with other interesting science related news articles and pictures. He then prepares a list of experiments to be conducted throughout the year and divides students into different groups. Various group leaders are elected, who guide other students to conduct various successful experiments. In addition, various dramas, events like Science Week, activities, etc are conducted in the hut to get rid of superstitions among villagers and promote science.

3. New divisibility rule of 8

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Sursingh Parmar developed a process, to ascertain whether a given number was divisible by 8.

Here are the steps that explain the new concept:

i). See and ensure that the last two digits of the given number are multiples of 4 (if it is not then that particular number can’t be divided by 8 without reminder).
ii) Also look at the multiplier of last two digits, whether is it even or odd.
iii) Look at the number in the hundred’s place. If the multiplier and number in the hundred’s place are both, odd or even, then the given number can be divided by 8 without a remainder. The following example will make it clear;
a. Take a number. Here, let’s take 1,24,336.
b. The last two digits (36) are multiple of 4 (9*4=36).
c. The multiplier of last two digits (9) is odd.
d. The number in the hundred’s place (3) is also odd.
e. So this number is divisible by 8.

4. Mainstreaming mentally-challenged students

Yogendrakumar Patel has come up with various ways to involve mentally-challenged kids in school activities by giving them responsibilities and providing opportunities for differentiated learning. The students are sensitized to accept and involve mentally challenged kids in regular class activities. Various success stories of mentally-disabled people are shared in the classrooms to encourage the students. A one-on-one session is also held to understand the child’s state of mind and find his interests.

5. Creation of Subject-Classrooms

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Riddhi Khaant and Hitendra Galoriya have come up with an interesting model to create subject-wise rooms in the schools instead of regular classrooms. Each room is allocated a different subject and is filled with reading material of one particular subject. Various photographs, charts, maps, reference materials, etc. are put up in each room to engage students in a better way. At the end of each period, students shift from one subject room to the other, based on their timetable. Different rooms for different subjects help students understand the subject in a coherent way. Also, an opportunity to study in a new environment after every period refreshes their brain and enhances their grasping ability.

6. Creating a culture of reading

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Amrutbhai D Patel has been creating a culture of reading in the community by setting up a village library. He raised funds to buy various books in different categories. He then kept these books at a location, which was easily accessible by the villagers, i.e a village dairy. Both students and other villagers are encouraged to borrow books from this library. A register is maintained to a keep a track of books. Patel believes that adults who read act as positive role models for the students.

7. Tackling shortage of teachers

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Paresh Shantilal Dand has come up with a simple idea to deal with the teachers’ shortage in remote villages. Various educated volunteers from the villages are selected to fill the vacant positions in the schools. Once selected, the volunteers are trained in the fundamentals of teaching. After proper training and guidance, these volunteers start teaching the kids in the teachers’ absence. They also monitor the students’ progress on a regular basis.

8. Encouraging girl child education

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Manisha Jadhav has been working towards encouraging girls to attend schools on a regular basis. Various dramas, stories, songs are performed during the school assembly to spread awareness about the importance of girls’ education. Further, the help of the village sarpanch is taken to spread more awareness in the community. Villagers are shown various videos and puppet shows to encourage them to send their girls to schools. Once girls start attending school, their enrollment and regularity are monitored closely.

9. Reading Corners and Portable Library

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Priti Gandhi aims to enhance reading skills of the students and she is doing this by increasing access to reading material. She is not only making books available in school but also at home of the students. She has created reading spaces in her school and divided books according to their levels. She has decorated the reading spaces to attract more students. Volunteers are selected from the community to help weaker students in reading. Further, students’ progress is tracked through reading tests. She has also come up with a concept of a portable library, which students can take home. A small aluminum box is used as a library to store 25 books. Different boxes are created and numbered. Students can take one box home for a certain period and return it after reading these books. These boxes are then rotated so that each student can get access to different books. Students are further encouraged to write about the books they read. In addition, story-telling activities are organized during the school assembly where students talk about their favourite book.

10. Use of Drama as a mode of teaching

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Pushpa Manvar is using drama to enhance students’ confidence and ability to demonstrate their learnings. A list of characters is prepared based on each chapter. These characters are allocated to different students. Students are given some time to understand, prepare and practice the dialogues and drama. Sometimes, various attractive costumes are also arranged for the students. The students then perform the drama in front of the class. This is followed by a session of discussion to understand the chapter better.

Inputs and Photos: Inshodh

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