Hard work always pays off as is evident in the case of primary school teacher Ranjitsinh Disale.
Last week, he was named the winner of the $1 million annual Global Teacher Prize 2020 in recognition of his efforts to promote girls’ education and trigger a quick-response coded textbook revolution in the country.
The 32-year-old from Maharashtra’s Paritewadi village was the winner among 10 finalists from across the world. In total, there were 1,200 nominations from 140 countries.
The prize, founded in 2014 by the Varkey foundation, recognises a teacher who made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
Disale, who believes teachers to be the “real change-makers”, said he will share 50 per cent of his prize money with his fellow finalists. With the gesture, he became the first winner to share his prize money.
In 2009, he joined the Zilla Parishad Primary School at Paritewadi in Solapur district.
Paritewadi is a drought-prone village, mostly known for farming. It is one of those corners of the country where girls’ education is neglected and they are married off at a very young age.
Disale took it upon himself to turn around the situation. He also ensured the textbooks were available in the local language for the pupils.
He not only translated the books but also embedded them with unique QR codes that would give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments.
The impact of his efforts ensured 100 per cent attendance of girls at the school. Also, there is no report of any no teenage marriage in the village.
Adopting his technique, the Maharashtra government in 2017 announced all textbooks across the state for all grades would be QR coded.
In 2018, the HRD ministry announced all the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks would have embedded QR codes.