Teacher in MP transforms school into knowledge hub, selected for National Award

A teacher in Madhya Pradesh who has been selected for the national award by Ministry of Education, New Delhi, for this year is credited with transforming a girls’ primary school which once appeared as a cattleshed, as say locals, into a knowledge hub in Bundelkhand region, one of the most backward regions in the country, as a single teacher.

The names of the teachers selected for the national award from across the country was announced on Friday last, as per an education department’s official in Madhya Pradesh.

When Sanjay Jain, 45, was posted in the school at Dunda village in Tikamgarh district about 12 years back as a single teacher there were only 18 students enrolled and straycattle could be seen anytime on the school premises. He had to put in practice at least 80 innovative ideas to arouse interest in children in the village and nearby villages, as per MP’s school department officials and locals.

“When I saw building in a dilapidated condition and cowsheds on the school premises I was upset. There were only eight students present in the school out of the 18 enrolled but I didn’t lose hope. The first work I did was to get the school premises and building cleaned with the help of local people,” said Jain.

“To increase enrollment of the students, I held a door to door campaign as a single teacher,” he added.

“Within a month, enrollment improved but still students were not ready to come to school. In Parched Bundelkhand, plants have lot of importance and I took advantage of it. I decided to gift a pot with a sapling planted in it and name and roll number of a student written over the pot but the pots were not given to the students to take it home. These were placed on the school premises itself. I reserved the right of watering the plant only for that student whose name was written over it. To take care of the plants students started coming to school,” said Jain.

This technique of Jain worked to retain the students but not to attract the new students. He then decided to paint the school with vibrant colours but there was a budget constraint with the school. He collected funds from people and also contributed Rs 10,000 from his own savings for painting walls of the school with alphabets, numbers, tables and other important things. When he felt shortage of space on the walls, he used floor and abandoned stones to write over it contents of general knowledge, basic maths etc.

“When we entered the school for the first time, we felt like knowledge was raining from everywhere. Wherever we looked at we found only general knowledge contents. The school had at least 80 types of informative pieces which were painted on different things,” said Ratan Singh, a local social worker.

This innovation helped the students already enrolled enhance their knowledge and also attracted more guardians who sent their children to the school.

“But Jain didn’t stop here. He had started organising programmes to teach students on different topics including sanitization, environment, food habits and others. Now, he has changed the mentality of people towards a government school,” said Anil Pratap Singh Lodhi.

Jain said, “I feel good when I see more than 200 pots and trees, planted by students at the school premises and village. Now, plantation has become annual ritual for new students.”

Jain has also introduced technologically advanced class equipped with a projector and a laptop.

“I show interesting videos on education to students and also teache them basics of computer,” he added.

With increase in number of students, now another teacher has been posted in the school.


Mohammad Shahid Ansari, a teacher of Higher Secondary School, Khirsadoh, Parasiya, Chhindwara has also been selected for National Awards to teachers for using advanced techniques to teach students.

Being a Maths teacher, Ansari helped students make science models who won state and national awards for that.

School education department commissioner Jayshree Kiyawat said, “This year two teachers have been selected for the prestigious award. Sanjay Jain and Mohd Shahid Ansari have made us proud. Jain dedicated 12 years to transform the school and to teach the girl students while Ansari motivated the students towards practical knowledge. These teachers are gems for our department.”

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