Ranjitsinh Disale won Global Teacher Prize Award 2020

Ranjitsinh initially wanted to be an IT engineer, but after engineering college did not work out as he anticipated, his father suggesting teacher training as an alternative. Initially hesitant, Ranjitsinh’s time in teacher training college was life-changing. He saw that teachers are the real change-makers in the world, and decided to become one.

The first school he taught in was in a dilapidated building, sandwiched between a cattle shed and a storeroom. Most of the girls were from tribal communities that did not prioritise girls’ education, and the practice of teenage marriage was common. Additionally, the curriculum was not in the students’ primary language (Kannada), which meant that many students were unable to achieve expected learning outcomes. After putting in a great deal of effort, Ranjitsinh learned Kannada, and redesigned all the textbooks of grades 1-4 for better comprehension, along with unique QR codes that embedded audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments in Kannada. (These QR coded books also benefited many girls when schools were closed for two months due to a terror attack, as they were able to continue learning using the books – and BBC News featured a story about them on 5th September 2019 to celebrate Teachers’ Day.) Students now reflect on, discuss and showcase what they are learning to a far greater extent – developing communication, creativity and real-world problem-solving skills.

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