Smart classrooms, attractive paintings, a green campus, clean toilets, a rainwater harvesting system, a clean and hygienic kitchen, an open math laboratory, an uninterrupted backup power supply and regular parent-teacher meetings – these are additional facilities provided by teachers in a state primary school In Sisoli, Kaithal District, 194 students are free.
All six teachers and the village sarpanch had teamed up to prove that a state school can also provide all the facilities of private schools.
Rishipal Nain, a teacher at the school, said it started in 2016 – when the Sisoli Village State Elementary School started with about 130 students and two teachers.
“One year after four more teachers had been removed at the request of the villagers, this formed a team of six dedicated teachers. We started the facelift of this school and provided all the facilities by spending money out of our pockets, ”he added.
The teachers said it was widely believed that private schools were better than state schools, and most parents prefer private schools for their children. Sending children to private schools has also become a status symbol in society.
Rakesh Kumar, a math teacher, said the change in the school’s atmosphere actually brought about a major shift in the assumption that private schools are better than state schools. “In the past three years the strength of the children has increased to 194, including 54 girls, as over 30 children who previously studied in private schools have been accepted into our school,” he added.
“In the past two years, our four students have been admitted to Navodaya Vidyalaya as we offer interested students free coaching for the selection exam, and the school will also remain open on Sundays,” said another teacher, Rajesh.
In addition, these teachers paid a village girl 3,000 rupees a month as she prepared students a year before they were admitted to Class I. “In state schools, the children are directly admitted to class I and many of them are not ready to take the courses. We started a kindergarten class by hiring an educated girl from the village for 3,000 rupees a month so she could get basic education a year before admission, ”said one teacher, Manoj Kumar.
In addition to high quality education, these teachers also organize various other activities such as painting and dance competitions, GK quizzes, sports meetings and stage performances.
The villagers are also satisfied with the work of the teachers, as Krishan Kumar, the village sarpanch, said that in addition to teaching, these teachers also play the role of peon, sweeper and grander as there is not a single peon in the school. “Our teachers do not hesitate to cook lunch for students when the cook is on vacation, and they provide free uniforms, shoes and books for students who are in the general category but from poor families,” he added added.
The initiative of these teachers even caught the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he commended the teachers for spending their salaries to provide better facilities and a quality education and atmosphere to the students. Haryana Prime Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also thanked these teachers in a tweet for taking such a great initiative.
These teachers also have a dress code, pink shirt and black pants, and come to school by bike. They said that since schools have been closed since March, these teachers are holding online courses and even going to the children’s home to check their homework.