Indian Ranjitsinh Disale wins $1mn Global Teacher Prize, shares half with other finalists
First Published Dec 4, 2020, 12:24 AM IST
Ranjitsinh Disale was awarded the coveted prize in recognition of his efforts at promoting girls’ education and triggering a quick-response or QR coded textbook revolution in India.
Disale made it to the top 10 shortlist from a pool of over 12,000 entries from 140 countries in recognition of his efforts at promoting girls’ education and triggering a quick-response or QR coded textbook revolution in India. In his acceptance speech, Disale said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed education and the communities it serves in a multitude of ways. But in this hard time, teachers are giving their best to make sure every student has access to their birthright of a good education."
"Teachers are the real change-makers who are changing the lives of their students with a mixture of chalk and challenges. They always believe in giving and sharing. And, therefore, I am very pleased to announce that I will share 50 per cent of the prize money equally among my fellow top 10 finalists to support their incredible work. I believe, together, we can change this world because sharing is growing," he said.
Disale, 31, arrived at the Zilla Parishad Primary School in Paritewadi village in Solapur district in 2009 when it was a dilapidated building, sandwiched between a cattleshed and a storeroom. His endeavour to turn things around saw him not only translating the class textbooks for his students into their mother tongue, but also embedded them with unique QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments. The impact was such that there was 100 per cent attendance of girls at the school and no teenage marriages happened in the village.
Disale's school was the first in Maharashtra to introduce QR codes. Shortly after, he submitted a proposal to the state government which in 2017 announced that they would introduce QR coded textbooks across the state for all grades. In 2018, the Human Resources Development ministry announced that all the National Council of Education Research and Training textbooks would have embedded QR codes.
Sunny Varkey, the Founder of the Global Teacher Prize – now in its sixth year, said: "The Global Teacher Prize was set up to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society. By unearthing thousands of stories of heroes that have transformed young people’s lives, the prize hopes to bring to life the exceptional work of teachers all over the world. This year, more than ever, we have seen teachers go above and beyond to keep young people learning throughout the world. Teachers everywhere should be applauded for their creativity, compassion and resolve to fulfil every child’s right to a good education."
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