This Teacher's Day, apart from the tradition of dressing up as teachers and playing their role, school students are also organising surprise lunches, quizzes and theme parties for their teachers.
At Gundecha Education Academy, Kandivli, students will quiz teachers on current affairs. The quiz has been designed by an education consultancy Educational Initiative, Ahmedabad.
The teacher who gives the maximum number of correct answers will be declared the winner. Students are planning a special surprise lunch for teachers.
"Teacher's Day comes just once a year and hence students try to make it as special as possible for their teachers. The best gift for a teacher is appreciation and praise from his or her students," said Seema Buch, principal, Gundecha Academy.
In many schools, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) members are taking charge of the celebrations. At Pawar Public School, Bhandup, teachers will dress up as brides and grooms. The PTA is planning to organise a monsoon wedding theme party for the teaching and non-teaching staff. Teachers also need to explain their outfits and the best-dressed teacher will be awarded. There is also a karaoke programme for staff members.
At Sadhu Vaswani International School, too, PTA members will give out gifts to all teachers. Every year, the Sanpada school honours those teachers who have done well in their field.
"Teachers are the backbone of any institution. They instill important values in students and take our country forward. Today's teachers are the reflection of what the country will be tomorrow," said principal Mangala Chandrashekar.
Poonam Arora, principal, Bombay Cambridge School, Andheri said that fewer people are taking up teaching as a profession. "Many people are not taking up this profession because the negative aspects are highlighted and the positive ones left out. Students need role models to look up to."
Ever heard of a school that runs on solar power?
Mumbai: Chetan Solanki, a professor at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), seems like an unlikely choice for a principal. But students from EduPark School, Madhya Pradesh consider him to be more than that. EduPark, the brainchild of Solanki, is an energy-efficient school providing affordable quality education to rural India.
The school provides education at subsidised rates and runs entirely on solar energy. The 14-acre green campus has computer training classes, internet facilities and language laboratories. There are also facilities for competitive examination training and career counselling. All this in an area that, till recently, had no electricity. He also provides solar-powered lights to homes in the area through his initiatives 'One child, one light' and 'har ghar mein roshni'.
Solanki started his work in his hometown in Madhya Pradesh three years ago. EduPark will be soon be affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education.
Solanki visits his school every fortnight to train teachers and interact with students.
"Overall development is a must. It is our responsibility to nurture future leaders with quality education right from a young age," said Solanki.
Solanki continues to use his research on solar energy at IIT-B in making the school an energy-efficient institution. "My dream is to see students from major towns such as Indore asking for admission in our school."
Now, a school that is meant for dropouts
Mumbai: Every time Fiona Vaz, 27, sees an empty plot of land, she starts visualising a school on it. Her school will begin only from Class 5 and will cater to underprivileged children.
Vaz has taken up the cause of secondary education. She is currently putting together a financial model for her school. Backed by corporate sponsors and individual donors, she is hoping to start her school by June 2013.
"There are several NGOs working for primary level education, but children drop out of schools, owing to the lack of affordable secondary education. It becomes absolutely necessary to provide these children with quality education," she said.
Vaz's job with the Confederation of Indian Industries led her to interact with students of municipal schools. She discovered that though these students were part of the schooling system, they could barely hold a conversation.
Vaz quit her job and joined Teach for India and Akanksha, both non-profits involved in teaching underprivileged children. She rose to the position of assistant principal at Shindewadi Mumbai Public School, Dadar, and decided it was finally time to start her own school.
"The only way to leave a mark in the world is by making a difference in a child's life. Social work is not a high-paying profession. It is only for those who are really passionate about giving back to the world," Vaz added.