Children in India’s villages go to school mostly for the mid-day meal, but students of Government Primary Girls’ School (it’s a co-education school) in Dobh village of Haryana’s Rohtak district need no such motivation.
One of the teachers, Pooja Singh, has introduced an audiovisual teaching model, which has caught their fancy. Singh has made learning fun for her Class III students by showing them educational YouTube videos on her smartphone. She has done some desi ‘jugaad’ (improvisation) by using a magnifying glass to show the multimedia clips to the class of 15.
Her class has had no dropouts in the last two years, the children’s behaviour and grooming and hygiene levels have improved, and they can’t get enough of her classes!
Her class has had no dropouts in the last two years, the children’s behaviour and grooming and hygiene levels have improved, and they can’t get enough of her classes
In fact, Priya’s innovative teaching method has been noticed by the district education officer of Rohtak, who has asked other government school principals to adopt similar techniques in their respective schools in the district.
Meanwhile, EDUSAT, the Haryana government’s ambitious project to broadcast educational content in government schools through satellite, is a non-starter. Apparently, the TV which is connected to a satellite dish installed on the school’s roof has been gathering dust in a room behind lock and key for over a year.
Glass act: The magnifying glass cost Singh just Rs 150. She has a collection of 100-odd videos of poems, stories, maths tables, children’s movies etc, all downloaded from YouTube for free. Every day, in the last period, the students prod her to show a video. She says they have become more attentive in other classes.
Checking dropouts: Most children are from poor families or have migrant labourers for parents. Singh claims not a single student from the Class III batch, whom she has been showing videos since they were in Class I, has dropped out. Parents tell her their children keep humming the poems or discussing the clips she shows them.
Making impressions: Singh says she plays the videos at a low volume to avoid disturbing neighbouring classrooms. Students from other classes sometimes come into her class to watch the shows. Lately, she’s been making PowerPoint presentations for her maths classes.
Cultivating obedience: Singh’s teaching methods have made them obedient. She has developed a rapport with the kids and they are happy to listen to her. A parent once told Singh that her son was hooked to junk food. After Singh explained to the young boy why it’s harmful, he stopped eating junk food.
Inculcating good behaviour: Singh has been able to instil discipline among the kids. After she showed them some video clips on the importance of discipline, they started following her instructions and coming to the school well-groomed.
Winning accolades: The school which is on the Rohtak-Bhiwani Road and has about 70 students, has earned appreciation from the village panchayat on multiple occasions despite an infrastructure and resource crunch. In the photo teachers have made science and geography charts and adorned the school’s walls.
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Photographs: Manoj Dhaka
Updated at 11.05am on June 9, 2017: The photographs have been taken by Manoj Dhaka. They were erroneously credited to 101Reporters Photos.
The ‘Tech Meets Bharat’ series brings to you stories on how technology is impacting and changing lives in hinterland India.
Sat Singh (Twitter: @satsingh15) is a Rohtak based independent journalist and a member of 101Reporters.com
, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.