It is believed that teachers play an important role in moulding students into responsible citizens. Their contribution to students’ development in their formative years can’t be understated. While some make an extra effort to make a child understand lessons, others enrich us with their life experiences.
As the teachers deepen a student’s knowledge with lessons in classrooms, Akshaya Patra has been empowering them with its school lunch programme. We aim at ensuring that no child chooses work over studies due to hunger. The programme was started in 2000, and since then, has had an impact on the lives of many students. As we speak to the teachers of our beneficiaries, this is what we got to hear:
Kusuma: The teacher who prioritised over her dream of studying medicine
At Government Upper Primary School, GoriPalya, Bengaluru, we conduct classes in the morning and noon, to accommodate students whose parents expect them to work in the second half of the day. I aim at promoting not just academics, but also other activities that help in overall child development.
I wanted to study medicine, but at 21, I began teaching Hindi at an educational institution. I realised I was passionate towards teaching. I passed the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KES) examination in 1997 and since then I have been associated with government schools.
I want children to be educated, secure their life with employment, and more importantly, become good citizens of the country.
G Ranganath: The teacher who found lessons beyond books
Teaching methodologies should evolve with time.The children in Government High School, Policy Colony, Karnataka, grasp better when the lessons are is conveyed through the audio-visual medium. It also makes the learning experience enjoyable. My initiative of using the audio-visual medium in school is loved by children. They make sure to never miss it.”
The government, by partnering with organisations like Akshaya Patra, has ensured that children receive a tasty and nutritious meal. The programme has been successful in reducing child labour and improving school enrolment and attendance.
Babita: The teacher who thinks food helps children concentrate in class
The parents of children studying in Government High School in Hesarghatta, Karnataka, work at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research [IIHR] as labourers or helpers. They leave home early in the morning and return by sundown. These children used to carry stale or spoilt food. Akshaya Patra started serving food in our school since 2007. The food is nutritious and fills their stomach. Their concentration levels have increased.
Ismail Malik: The teacher who experienced increase in attendance due to school lunch programme
“Many children who attend school in Antti Kumar Prathamik Shala, a primary school in Padra Taluk, Vadodara, Gujarat, are from lower income backgrounds. They need help from organisations like The Akshaya Patra Foundation. Their parents earn somewhere around Rs 2,000 to 3,000 by performing some labour-intensive jobs like carpentry, rag picking, masonry and the like. Even the parents prefer sending children to school, as it assures them of a healthy nutritious meal.
The mid-day meal has brought a tremendous decline in the student dropout rate. In the primary school, the increase in attendance is nearly as high as 60% to 70%. The numerous awards that now decorate the school office are a testimony to this.”
Please share your experiences with your teachers in the comments section below. We also look forward to learn about teachers around the world who have adopted various innovate teaching techniques to make the classes engaging.