Maharashtra educator will get award for novel instructing technique in lockdown

Latur, January 15

A Maharashtra teacher, who did not allow coronavirus-induced lockdown to come in the way of continuing his classes for his students in rural areas, has won recognition for his efforts that involved use of conference calls and storytelling.

Balaji Baburao Jadhav (35), who hails from Sangavi village under Renapur tehsil of Latur district in central Maharashtra, has been selected for the Honey Bee Network Creativity Inclusive Innovation Award 2020.

He is a Zilla Parishad teacher at Vijayanagar in Maan tehsil of Satara district and won the award for his teaching through conference call” method.

Earlier, Ranjitsinh Disale, 32, who works as a teacher at the Zilla Parishad Primary School at Paritewadi in Solapur, won the Global Teacher Prize 2020 in recognition of his efforts to promote girls’ education and trigger a quick- response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India.

After the Centre imposed a complete lockdown across the country in March-end last year to curb the spread of COVID-19, classroom teaching stopped and learning shifted online.

But, attending online classes was difficult for students in rural areas due to non-availability of computers, laptop, smartphones and Internet connectivity problems.

To overcome this hurdle, Jadhav came up with an innovative teaching method to impart education to his students during the lockdown period.

He adopted the idea of conference calls to conduct classes from April onwards.

Jadhav taught 10 students at one time in conference call in the morning and evening. Parents of these students were mostly shepherds and labourers, who had simple keypad mobile phones and faced network issues in rural areas.

He concentrated on developing four fundamental skills of language, listening, speaking, reading and writing (LSRW) among students.

At the beginning of lockdown, he started storytelling to develop their listening skills. After developing listening skill, students would narrate the same story through which they developed speaking skill.

After that, Jadhav asked students to write down stories in a notebook. He used storytelling format to draw and retain the attention of pupils.

Then, he asked students to record the stories. Now, students have made an e-library of 500 recorded stories.

In this way, my students developed four fundamental skills of language and now they are perfect in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

“I am confident that my students will become good news anchors, reporters, writers and speakers, Jadhav told PTI.

For his teaching innovation during the lockdown, Jadhav was selected for the award on December 24.

The award is jointly instituted by Honey Bee Network and GIAN and is given to ideas for creativity and innovation or to traditional knowledge practices which solve day-to-day problems faced by the society.

Jadhav was congratulated by NCP MP Supriya Sule, state ministers Amit Deshmukh and Varsha Gaikwad, among others, for his achievement.

So far, Jadhav has received more than 70 state, national and international awards.

“My project is followed in 20 districts of Maharashtra, 24 states in the country and 14 countries in the world. The benefit of people is my real satisfaction than an award,” he said.

“I am happy to be honoured. I will try to connect with more teachers with such platforms in the future,” Jadhav said. — PTI 

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