A true blue Hyderabadi, Sangeeta Sohni, is working as a post graduate teacher handling Chemistry classes for standard 9 to 12 at Atomic Energy Central School No. 4 in Mumbai. This Teacher’s day though, she received the prestigious National Award for Teachers for 2020. She was among the 47 teachers across the country to receive the award in the virtual presence of President Ramnath Kovind on the occasion of the 59th Teachers’ Day celebrations.
Having studied in Rosary Convent High School, Gunfoundry and then graduating from Osmania University College for Women, she joined the Regional Institute of Education Mysore for her Masters in science education (M.Sc. Ed) in chemistry. She could have chosen to go in the medical field, but chose teaching instead.
“I am proud to be continuing my family’s legacy being a 4th generation teacher. My mother Suryakala Mahendra was a retired principal of Reddy Women’s College, Narayanguda and my father worked for a pharmaceutical company,” says Sangeeta, whose first posting was at Atomic Energy Central School/Junior college, Hyderabad in 1985 where she worked for 15 years and later got transferred to Mumbai.
Despite being in the teaching field for 35 years, her passion to teach has still not faded.
Sangeeta’s continuous contribution and love towards the Chemistry subject and her students is still remembered by her students. Sharing an incident, she says, “It was in the 1990s, I was an external examiner for 12th standard students in a small village in united Andhra Pradesh. The students did not know any how to conduct any experiment and even hold the apparatus the right way. It was a pathetic situation.
Although I was supposed to mark them, I didn’t feel ethical to do that. I instead showed them how to perform an experiment and told them to do it. Most students performed well and I marked them based on that.” Years later, when her name was mentioned in the National Awards list, a student from that batch called her and said, “‘It’s only because of you that I understood the value of education and who motivated me about the importance of education. You deserve this award’,”. That student is now working as a district officer in Telangana. Sangeeta has also received recognition for completing 25 years of dedicated service to AEES in 2010.
When asked about the difference between students 30 years ago and now? She said, “Previously, students depended on teachers for knowledge, were more disciplined and faced comparatively less pressure from peers and society. Present generation is exposed to knowledge from all directions and learns from various sources.
They are multi-talented. They are under constant pressure to achieve better than their peers. Some of them handle the pressure but the majority of them are not able to, so they need a lot of moral support. Teachers today are faced with the dual job of not only teaching but ensuring that the students get the moral support.” Sharing her own experience, she adds, “A good teacher can teach us something that we will remember for a day, but a great teacher will teach us something that we will remember for the rest of our lives.”
Sangeetha Sohni contributions towards Chemistry
1. She is a Resource Person and is contributing towards on paper and design practicals for the Junior Science Olympiad programme of HBCSE from 2014
2. National Academic Council Member for the Vidhyarthi Vigyan Manthan collaboration with Vigyan Prasar and NCERT from 2018
3 Executive member of Bombay Association for Science Education (BASE) program of HBCSE and TIFR.
4. Sangeeta is involved with Yusuf Hameed Inspirational programme of Royal Society of Chemistry London.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.