December 5, 2020.
TED NewsDesk, London: Ranjithsing Disale has been conferred with the yearly Global Teacher Prize 2020 on Thursdayvia videocall from London. Disale, a teacher from Solapur district of Maharashtra earned the prize for his work in the betterment of girl’s education and creating quick- response textbooks, making a unique change in the education system of the country.
Disale, in a move true to his nature, has decided to share the one million dollar prize with other finalists to help with their “incredible work”. Disale commented that, “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed education and the communities it serves in a multitude of ways. But, in this hard time, teachers are giving their best to make sure every student has access to their birthright of a good education.”
He added, “Teachers are the real changemakers who are changing the lives of their students with a mixture of chalk and challenges. They always believe in giving and sharing. Therefore, I am very pleased to announce that I will share 50 per cent of the prize money equally among my fellow top 10 finalists to support their incredible work. I believe, together, we can change this world because sharing is growing.”
The yearly prize is funded by the Varkey Foundation and was started in 2014 by Sunny Varkey. The prize ceremony was held via a webcast from the Natural History Museum in London by Stephen Fry, the British actor. In an interview with a Marathi channel, Disale said regarding the current education system, “So it is like students from the 21st century are being taught by a teacher from the 20th century with the 19th century curriculum using techniques of the 18th century. This is the gap that we need to bridge and I think technology is the main enabler in this.” He is of the opinion that there is a generation as well as technological gap between the students and the teachers. He emphasised on the need of developing proper technology to suit the need of students of the 21st century.
Disale overturned the deteriorating condition of the zila school in Paritewadi village in the year 2009: he made school textbooks available in regional languages, he also helped translate the books and embedded QR codes in them so that students could access study material, audiovisual study aids and assignments.
His hard work paid off to the end that in his village that no child marriages have taken place; additionally, girls’ attendance has been optimum in the zila school.. Apart from this, his school was the first to use QR codes for education.
Disale became one of the top 10 finalists from over 12,000 teachers nominated and applicants from more than 400 nations. some of the candidates in top 10 were Olasunkanmi Opeifa from Nigeria, Carlo Mazzone from Italy and Leah Juelke from the US.