21 February 2011
By Raakhi Jagga
Arniwala (Fazilka), India
REKHA, a Class VIII student of Government Senior Secondary School, Arniwala, is well versed in English now.
She eagerly waits for the English class and even comes in the zero hour to take extra coaching from her teacher Vijay Gupta.
To improve her pronunciation, she records a few sentences everyday on her mobile and listens to them for mistakes. Her ambition: "I want to be an English teacher and want to teach in a village school," she says in fluent English Kulwant Singh, a Class X student, says, "Villagers are generally weak in English but it has become very interesting now with Gupta Sir teaching us every chapter through AV aids. Even in the slides, the pictures used are those of school students with their names".
Rajbir Singh, another Class X student, said, "Parts of speech was the first digital lesson plan I saw on a projector and later I understood more about volcanoes, mountains, global warming etc, all through information communication techniques used by our teacher."
All this has been made possible by a physically disabled English and social sciences teacher, Vijay Gupta, who does not find disability a hurdle in his teaching techniques.
Gupta has 60 per cent disability in his right leg. With his personal efforts, he has got digital lesson plans made of almost all chapters of English and Social Science from classes VI to X. And he keeps adding innovative methods everyday.
This was why Microsoft chose him for the `innovative teachers leadership award' last year, in which 80,000 teachers participated and only six were chosen from India to be sent to Brazil to learn advanced techniques in teaching skills. In Brazil, 350 teachers had come from 60 different countries. Gupta, this year also, got the state award for `best teacher' from the government and has been chosen as master trainer by the board to inspire other teachers for improvising teaching skills through IT.
Gupta, who joined this school in 2001, said, "I was discouraged in the beginning when I used to see blank faces in my class, even after best ex planation of the topic in Eng lish or even social sciences. In ternet was not very popular a that time, so I used to mak flex sheets of a few topics a my own expense, so as t make teaching more interac tive.
I used to give small hand outs to students to mak learning easy and it starte working out bit by bit." But i 2003, he started making use o Internet, audio visual slide (prepared by him) and th lessons were taught through projector. Gupta said, "I my self did a course in Regiona Institute, Chandigarh abou pronunciation in early 2000 so that I could correct villag students in a better way."
Gupta said, "When stu dents were not giving goo enough results by teachin clearer. Gupta said, "Time ha changed and we also have t follow the new pattern, so a to make our students smart.
Principal Varyam Singh als appreciates his efforts, as h says, "Students wait for Vija Gupta's class. And our stu dents are showing good re sults. So what else do w want?"