In a world where education is the key to empowerment and progress, there are educators who stand out as beacons of innovation and transformation.

These five remarkable teachers have not only redefined the way we approach education but have also made a significant impact on their communities and beyond.

1. Making robotics affordable and accessible

Sakyasingha Mahapatra’s love for science and teaching stemmed from observing his father Suresh, a headmaster with a passion for science, who published the first-ever Odia language science encyclopedia.

Sakyasingha wanted to fulfil his father’s dream of taking science to the innermost tribal villages of Odisha. Today, his venture Sakrobotix Lab provides robotics courses online at a minimal fee.

He also collaborates with schools and colleges by teaching robotics, providing robotic kits and setting up labs. So far, Sakrobotix has set up over 100 such labs in cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bhubaneswar.

2. Using QR Codes to transform education

In 2009, Ranjitsinh Disale entered the classroom of a Primary School in Paritewadi, Solapur, with an aim to change lives through education. And he did just that by first achieving 100% attendance and then teaching through edutainment.

He began recording classes and sharing them with students on mobile devices. Overcoming technical issues, he learned to embed information in QR codes and started placing them in textbooks. This allowed students to access digital content from anywhere.

After the successful experiment, he went on to help over 300 schools in Maharashtra to do the same. In 2019, all NCERT (National Council of Education Research and Training) textbooks adopted QR codes.

3. Creating a sustainable school

C M Nagaraja, a science teacher at Bengaluru’s Government High School in Doddabanahalli, wanted to teach his students how to live a sustainable life.

In 2018, he introduced waste management to the school. As part of this project, he repurposed old furniture and converted it into a projector screen, dias, podium, nameplates, and cupboards. He also used milk pouches to make computer covers.

With NGO support, he acquired two bio-waste converters and paper and plastic waste bins. The school now boasts five underground pits for rainwater and wastewater storage, used for non-drinking purposes. Additionally, he added drip irrigation sprinklers to conserve water.

4. Real-life Rancho runs an innovation school

Pradhan, a young student, cycled 12 km to school every day. The bumpy roads from Baral village to Cuttack frequently damaged his bicycle, sparking his interest in seeking inventive solutions. This marked the start of his innovation journey in addressing everyday challenges.

These experiences led to him starting the International Public School for Rural Innovation (IPSRI) in Baral village, Odisha. Here, the primary aim is to impart the joy of science, technology and innovation to young rural students for free.

Pradhan explains that the school’s goal is to nurture innovative students who can address real-world challenges. The teaching approach emphasises practicality and creativity, enabling students to grasp complex subjects effortlessly.

5. Innovation to make online teaching easier

Ganji Amarender, a mathematics teacher in Nalgonda, Telangana, faced a tough time when he had to take online classes when the pandemic hit the nation.

Lacking funds to buy a blackboard or tripod, he created a low-cost tripod using glass and wood, that would hold his phone and focus on a sheet of paper, where he could work out math problems in real time.

He would place his phone on the glass with the back camera pointing at the sheet, where he would write the formula or theorems on a paper to explain to the students. This method was such a hit that he improved the device and made more for teachers from other schools.