Teachers in Telangana going beyond chalk and board

Four teachers from Hyderabad make their way into the book ‘The Transformation of Schools into Vibrant Learning Hubs’ by SCERT

By   |  Published: 26th Feb 2021  12:24 amUpdated: 26th Feb 2021  1:00 am
Umarani Chiluka, a senior teacher at Government Primary School in Lalaguda uses innovative methods adopting e-learning applications to teach students. —Photo:Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: Going beyond the expected, here are some change-makers who are ushering in transformation in Telangana’s schools.

Such have been their initiatives that four teachers from Hyderabad have made their way into the book ‘The Transformation of Schools into Vibrant Learning Hubs’ brought out by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT). The book features success stories of teachers who played a vital role in the growth of their institutions.

Sridhar Gajula, senior teacher at Government Nehru Memorial High School in Malakpet, was featured for leading innovative practices of learning. He led from the front to enable the school, which once lacked required infrastructure, give students a lifetime experience by getting on the internet to interact with students in other countries via Skype.

The school has been arranging such sessions every day with foreign students to open new avenues of learning and to help students become self-reliant.

“The students talk about inspiring real-life situations and also entertain each other. They have conversations on learning experiences and cultural diversity. It was a great challenge to intersect the two sides of the globe in a single time slot,” he said.

Fame came hunting for Government High School in Vijayanagar when the school’s senior teacher P. Suresh decided to make it techno-friendly and a dropout-free school. He set up a Future Classroom (Google Lab), robotic lab and an Atal Tinkering Lab. The school now has 40 Google Chromebooks, a K-Yan projector and furniture. About Rs 50 lakh was invested to promote digital classrooms and applications.

“We have also come up with a super-student concept under which students explain and teach subject content with teaching-learning material and digital tools to their academically poor classmates,” Suresh said.

At the Nallakunta Government High School, the number of girl students was very low. This made senior teacher Sundara Sarah Mani start working towards providing the right platform and opportunities for girl students. The school, which once ran under trees due to lack of classrooms, is now a model school with excellent infrastructure.

“The ambience of the school and protection provided for girl students and separate toilets made parents send their daughters here. Promotional activities were conducted to motivate parents,” Sarah Mani said, adding that the number of girls shot up in 2018-19.

“We constructed sheds and installed CCTV cameras to ensure more security. We also started a ‘Balika Manch’ for girls where they can discuss their psychological, emotional and health problems,” she added.

Umarani Chiluka, a senior teacher at Lalaguda Government Primary School, made a name for herself with her effective, innovative teaching methods leveraging technology.

In 2015, when she joined the school, it was quite tough for her due to lack of classroom amenities. That is when she turned to something she had with her, a smartphone. She looked up e-learning applications and started using them in class.

“I observed that students, especially slow learners, when exposed to learning through interactive mobile applications, showed improved performance in identifying alphabets and numbers. There were increased levels of attention,” she says.

Umarani, a National Award winner, makes sure students can use only e-learning apps, which are not paid versions and can be used offline.

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