Global award goes to Indian teacher working for girls’ education3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
A primary school teacher from Paritewadi in Maharashtra was awarded the title of Global Teacher Prize 2020, winning a massive cash prize of $1 million, on Thursday! Ranjith Disale (32) emerged the winner of the coveted prize for his efforts in promoting girls’ education and for encouraging the use of QR coded textbooks. Disale was chosen in the final 10 out of a list of 12,000 applicants from over 140 countries! Let’s learn a little about his journey.
Hard work pays off
Disale had hopes of becoming an engineer, and when those plans didn’t work out, his father encouraged him to take up a career in teaching. He started working as a teacher in 2009, and his first job was teaching girls from the tribal community in a broken-down building that was between a cowshed and a storeroom.
Girls being educated in these parts was looked down upon, and to make matters worse, not much educational matter was available in the local language, Kannada. Disane, however, was determined to cross these hurdles, and redesigned textbooks in Kannada for Classes 1-4. Special QR codes were embedded into the textbooks to open the doors to audio poems, video lectures, stories, etc, – a first for Maharashtra.
His efforts started to pay off when in 2016, the school he worked for was awarded the best in the district. That same year, Disale was named the ‘Innovative Researcher of the Year’ by the central government, and two years later, he won the National Innovation Foundation’s Innovator of the Year award. Disale has also written over 500 articles about his teaching methods.
Keeping a promise
Back when Disale had been nominated for the prize, he had said that if he did win, he would half the prize money with the other nine teacher finalists from across the world. He kept that promise.
“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,” Disale had been quoted as saying.
“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.
Now those are some inspiring words, and we wish this teacher the best!
What is the Global Teacher Prize?
This award was founded by the Varkey Foundation in 2014. Its aim is to recognise an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.
Sources: The Print, Business Today. Photos: India Today, Dainik Bhaskar