From opening a library in every class to keeping his students updated with the latest news, Mukesh Lathiya is offering a holistic learning experience to his students. Not only this, he has used his personal savings to provide his students facilities that were not available at the government school. How often do we come across teachers as dedicated as him?
We all have our favourite teachers. We remember them fondly as we talk about them and their extra efforts to impart much more than just “book-ish” knowledge. There are teachers who make sure that the syllabus is completed on time and students score good marks and then there are teachers who concentrate on imparting lessons which go beyond the course books.
Some teachers always have full attendance in class and are much loved. Mukesh Kumar Lathiya is one such teacher. For him, teaching is not just a profession but an opportunity to build the future of hundreds of young minds.
This government school teacher from Dhamil village in Gujarat is creating “learning spaces” in the classroom and enhancing the learning environment. From enabling students to access the latest news and events from across the globe to creating a child-friendly classroom, Lathiya’s innovative approach to teaching has shown positive results.
Keeping up with the world
Lathiya believes in being up-to-date with current happenings and events in the country and wants his students to inculcate the same habit. But in the village, the newspaper does not arrive till 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
So, he downloads the e-paper from the internet, takes the print-out and posts it on display board for students.
“I believe that students should know what is happening across the globe and this helps in their overall development,” Lathiya says.
The poor internet connection posed a challenge when it came to downloading the e-paper. But Lathiya didn’t give up and used his personal internet connection to do the work. Finally, the school has now got a good broadband connection which has made his task a lot easier.
Apart from the newspaper, Lathiya also puts up information on upcoming tests, birthdays, news and interesting facts on the notice board.
“This way, students get into the habit of reading and checking things on their own. They become responsible. They also feel happy when their photo is put up on the board for their birthdays or when they do something commendable,” Lathiya says.
Creating a holistic learning experience
Lathiya has created an open library in the school where students can go anytime and read books of their choice. He has also set up a library corner in the classroom to make books more accessible to students.
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“Some students feel shy to go to the library and ask for books. So the idea to set up a library in the class itself is helpful to those who hesitate in going to a bigger library,” says Lathiya.
The ingenious teacher has also created subject-based corners in the classroom such as a bank corner, post corner, health centre, science corner etc. He keeps charts and information related to that particular subject in the subject corner.
Another interesting thing which he has done is to attach a nameplate with the name of student to each desk with a pen stand.
“This way the classrooms are more organized and students feel motivated to attend school when they see their name on the seats,” Lathiya says.
His various initiatives are helping over 150 students gain a holistic learning experience. Students are up to date with the current news and happenings around the world. They also want to know more and question more as they are well-read.
“This boosts their confidence and they no longer hesitate in discussing and talking about things,” Lathiya says.
Bad internet connection, lack of financial support and other similar challenges did not stop him from doing what he wanted to do for the kids. He used his personal savings to print out the newspaper, get the internet connection and maintain the notice board. Dividing classrooms in different sections according to the subject has led to a more conducive environment for education. Also, a child-friendly classroom encourages more constructive and organized thinking.
Lathiyas’s efforts set an example for all the teachers who want to do something different to provide a better education and learning environment to the students.
The Two Cents
“It would be great if the government or other local bodies could help. There is a lot that can be done to improve the quality of education. Students are eager to learn and explore. They should be provided with opportunities equal to mainstream schools,” Lathiya says.
The efforts of Lathiya to improve the education system in one small school is a ray of hope and we are certain that if other teachers followed the same path, the gap between education in public and private schools, as well as urban and rural settings, will be bridged.