If there is a will, there is a way. Pradeep Negi, a teacher of Government Inter College, BHEL, Ranipur, has done the unthinkable- of turning his school into an interesting hub of activity by using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). His efforts have not gone unnoticed as he is one among the top 50 selected from over 30,000 applications from 173 countries for the Global Teacher Prize. He speaks to Brainfeed on his ideas and journey. Excerpts:
Getting nominated out of 30,000 nominations is itself an achievement. You must be proud of yourself.
I feel very proud to have been shortlisted in the Top 50. I see it as recognition for the work put in all these years. It gives a great sense of satisfaction.
Were you confident when you applied? What worked for you?
The website that I created for my subject and for my school was appreciated by the jury. In the Skype interview, I answered all their questions and cleared their queries. That was the time; I felt that I would surely be shortlisted. I have developed a lot of innovative work in ICT for poor children. I wanted my efforts to be recognised as it will be useful to many. I uploaded the pdf file of my work including videos, photos, audios and many more.
There is a belief that teaching is slowly losing its charm.
Your comment. Teachers have the capacity to change the nation. If we provide a solid foundation with strong cultural values, we will have good citizens. As we sow, so we reap. For instance, in countries where terrorism is rampant, children opt for the same. In countries like America and Europe, where literacy rate is more, people opt for education. Education changes the mindset of the people, and erases pessimistic thinking. Today’s students should also opt for teaching so that they can build a proper nation.
What message have you spread to the society in your 17-year career?
My first appointment was in a remote place in Boregaon, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand. I used to travel by horse. Since I am a disabled, it was very difficult for me to travel. After my request to the government, I was posted to another place. In my 17-year career, I have educated up to 30,000 students and most of them are in good positions today. I am very much satisfied with my contribution, as I introduced technology in school teaching since 2002. I worked for hours after school, converting lessons into multimedia presentations, creating slides and gatheringeducational CDs that are beneficial to students. In 2008, when I joined Government Inter College BHEL, Ranipur, Haridwar, only boys were there and not even a single girl was seen in the school. Later, I started motivating people to educate their girl child. In the beginning, it was difficult to convince them. Later, I was able to succeed as girls joined to get educated and empower themselves. Today, I am proud to say that we are also having a girls’ hockey team that plays for the national level. I have developed software tools, e-content, teaching-module, e-library, and data analysis as well as a training programme for teachers. I use ICT not only in my subjects, but also in cultural activity. I create remix songs, remixed video and sound recording for science play. I have also helped to train around 1200 teachers in Uttarakhand state about the innovative teaching methodology.