(The Author is a Curriculum Guidance Consultant empanelled with the Institute)
(About the 2-part Series- India has a longstanding tradition of respecting Gurus. In 1962, a day commemorating teachers’ contribution was demarcated. It’s been 57 years since and the following Series helps us understand how much the role of a Teacher has changed over the decades since Independence, yet how much more needs to be done to support teachers in India.)
When students are getting ready to attend the flipped class from home every morning, in the Village of Ahanda (Bankura district of West Bengal) a school teacher- Subrata Pati- prepares for his unique classroom. Atop a tree!!
The Village suffers from poor cellular connectivity, and Subrata walks 500 metres from his home to a neem tree, where he sets up his ‘classroom’ atop a ‘machan‘. He then begins to take online history classes for five batches six days a week between 9.30am and 6.00 pm.
The ingenious teacher carries food and water with him to the tree-top platform when he has to conduct two to three classes at a stretch.There is 90% attendance for his classes! The idea for the machan came from the watchtowers set up by villagers to keep a lookout for elephants in the harvest season.
“I have fixed a cot atop the tree to teach students sitting there. Using several online platforms I take classes, send recorded video lectures and answer questions of students on WhatsApp groups as part of my assignments,” said Pati.
“Holding classes sitting under trees is popular in Shantiniketan but taking classes perched on a tree is a unique experience. I am enjoying it,” Pati said.
Subrata’s hope for his students is that some of them will be inspired by his hardship and dedication; he hopes this will encourage them to become bureaucrats who will solve the problems of such villages and rural areas in India.
Central Academy Institute is proud to have the best, most dedicated and committed teachers who have so selflessly worked to teach using the CAOL program since the Lockdown in March 2020.You have each worked tirelessly to add new skills and learn new means to spread knowledge. We pay our respects to you!