To prevent girls from dropping out of school, Akhileshwar Pathak, principal of the middle school in Chainpura Village, Saran District, built separate toilets in the school to improve attendance and make further improvements.
Pathak’s efforts were recognized by the Ministry of Education and received the National Teachers’ Award on Saturday.
He attended Chainpura Village Improved High School in 2017. After two years, he attended the state middle school in the same Panchayat after he was promoted.
Recalling what led him to build toilets in the modernized middle school, Pathak said, “When I came to school two years ago, I was shocked to know that there was no toilet in the school. When asked how schoolchildren, especially teenage girls, manage to attend the call of nature, people said that they go behind trees and make a blanket with their “duppattas”.
This prompted him to approach the construction of toilets, shared by the 55-year-old Pathak, father of two daughters and two sons.
He said: “I appealed to the locals to contribute to the infrastructure of the school. The people volunteered to provide land and cash of Rs. 98,176 in two days. My teachers and I helped prevent the construction of the facilities was sufficient. “
Using the fund, four washrooms were built within 14 days, two each for boys and girls, followed by other additions such as the drinking water system.
Pathak is also constantly working to improve the condition of the girls who belong to the backward classes.
He said, “I have identified several disadvantaged girls who skipped school a day or two after entering, while some others in their age group never entered school. After investigating the matter, I found that these girls were part of the poverty-stricken family and engaged in grazing, wood-picking, and similar activities to help their family earn a two-square-meter meal. “
“I visited their home and advised their families to send them to school. When I led Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya since 2016, I convinced her to house her daughters and take advantage of a hostel and numerous government-initiated programs to promote girls’ education. “
After the constant effort, around 1,000 school drop-outs received training such as bicycle repair, gas repair, tailoring and computer skills in order to achieve a minimum income.
Of 49 girls from his school who appeared in the board exam in grade 10, 30 secured the premier league, he claimed.
Pathak, who has worked in education for 26 years after being selected by the Bihar Public Service Commission in 1994, said: “I strongly advocate education for girls as it not only empowers women, makes them aware of their rights and makes them financially independent two families also help to grow better. Our society cannot achieve equilibrium without empowering girls. “