July 18, 2024

Maharashtra teacher helps ‘jungle groups’ learn with speakers, projectors and puppet shows for a national award


Forty-four teachers from across India have been selected for the 2021 National Teacher Award due to their unique contributions to education and their motivation to help students learn. Maharashtra teacher Khurshid Sheikh is one of them who tried his best to make learning fun and easy.

The Sheikh has given storytelling in education a new lease of life, particularly in the case of the Covid-19 shutdowns that have caused schools to turn to online education.

During this difficult time, Khurshid Sheikh brought his teaching skills to Gadchiroli, a remote village in Maharashtra, where he works as a teacher at Asaralli ZP Primary School Senior Sironcha.

How did this teacher from Maharashtra help in higher education?

The sheikh left no stones except in his passion to impart education to the places where it was most needed. He is originally from Jalgon and had to first learn the local dialect in order to invoke the love of learning and interest in education in students from remote areas in his own language.

He then introduced the “Tribal to Global” initiative that helped him expose children to learning outside the confines of textbooks.He travels to jungle areas, he uses projectors, puppet shows and speakers to turn learning into a story-based method.He presents “Jungle Batches” and “Jollywood”: he makes short films to make learning fun.

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Praise from Varsha Gaekwad

Varsha Gaekwad, Minister of Education for the Maharashtra school, said that without this inspiring teacher, many would have dropped out of school during the pandemic.

“Khurshid Sheikh, believes that a teacher’s relationship with his students should never be broken,” she wrote in his tweet, in which she shared a moving video of Khurshid Sheikh.

She added: “When the Covid-19 virus and the lack of communication in the most remote villages of Gadchiroli threatened this, he took home schooling by creating what he calls the ‘jungle’ batches.”

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About the 2021 National Teacher Award

The central government on Wednesday released a list of 44 teachers who will soon receive President Ram Nath Kovind’s award on Teacher’s Day.

Among the selected teachers, two are from Maharashtra, Telangana, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Gujarat, Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Nine of this year’s winners are women.