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Varanasi: Miranda House alumnae pitch in to bring change

Three alumnae of Miranda House College, New Delhi, are on a mission to bring about a positive change in primary education in Varanasi.

lucknow Updated: Dec 09, 2017 13:37 IST
Sudhir Kumar
Sudhir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
Varanasi,Miranda House,Delhi
Posted in three government primary schools in the rural pockets of Varanasi, Puja Singh, Ritu Giri and Garima Pandey, have started using their language skills and big city exposure to educate children. (HT Photo)

Three alumnae of Miranda House College, New Delhi, are on a mission to bring about a positive change in primary education in Varanasi.

Posted in three government primary schools in the rural pockets of Varanasi, Puja Singh, Ritu Giri and Garima Pandey, have started using their language skills and big city exposure to educate children.

And the change is visible in their classrooms.

Garima’s students of class 5 not only understand English well but can also speak the language fluently.

“Touch your head, touch your elbow, close your eyes, open your eyes, now stand up and start reciting a poem,” Garima, an assistant teacher at government primary school of Milki Chak, instructs her students in English.

The three belong to New Delhi and live together in Varanasi. They share their teaching experiences daily at home and try to do some innovations.

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Before joining the primary schools in July 2016, they earned four-year Bachelor in Elementary Education (B El Ed) degree from Miranda House College in 2014.

Two of them were among top ten, while one is a subject topper. Garima and Puja earned scholarship for securing first and third rank among the toppers of B El Ed course in 2014. They also earned M.Ed from Central Institute of Education, New Delhi. This year they completed their post-graduation in mathematics from Nalanda Open University.

They are teachers by choice and have a common goal: improving education quality in government primary schools so that children from poor families get quality education and compete well.

While Garima is posted in the primary school at Milki Chak, around 20 km away from Varanasi, Puja and Ritu are posted in Todarpur-I and Todarpur-II respectively.

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The two schools are around 22 km off the district headquarters. All three schools together have over 120 children.

At Milki Chak, children of fourth and fifth standard now speak English. “I am Ritika. Garima Ma’am teaches us English and mathematics. I live in this village,” a student of the fifth standard said.

“I am a teacher by choice and improving education in primary schools is my goal. Children can do well in primary schools provided they get the atmosphere. I have tried to create it in my primary school. The results are there for all to see. Children are confident and learn fast,” Garima said.

Ritu and Puja too have made teaching innovations in their respective schools. “Teaching in primary schools in rural pocket is entirely different experience. Children are intelligent but lack the atmosphere. We are using innovative ways of teaching in the classrooms to make learning easy and interesting,” Puja said.

In case they get a chance after spending few years in primary schools, they would like to work with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to develop a course for creative teaching in primary and upper primary schools. They would like to use their experience in primary as a tool for developing the curriculum.

“Teaching the children in government primary school is an opportunity. We want to make change. We have to a great extent succeeded in it. This is a beginning. We have a long way to go. Primary education is base and as teachers, we three are trying to strengthen it,” said Ritu.

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 13:37 IST