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Title Teachers as Transformers
 
Abstract www.teachersastransformers.org
 
Details The educational innovations bank How do some teachers in government elementary schools achieve their educational goals in spite of facing the same constraints as thousands of other teachers? The answer lies in their ability to innovate and find solutions to their immediate problems. These teachers depend largely on their creativity and resourcefulness to transform the socio-economic constraints to schooling. It is important to identify such teachers, document and validate their work, and make it available to other teachers, administrators and policymakers to bring about educational reforms in the public system. The “Educational Innovations Bank” has been designed as a clearing house for such innovations in the existing pedagogies, systems and institutions. It seeks to create a grassroots innovation database that can be used by teachers, teacher trainers, administrators and policy makers. Making teachers sing Many of the poems in English, Gujarati, Hindi and Sanskrit textbooks of Classes 6 to 8 are best taught through songs—with fun, so that learning is more enjoyable. But teachers do not know how to convert the poems into songs. Often male teachers also hesitate to sing. Tasleema created melodies for all the poems of the four subjects of Gujarati, Hindi, Sanskrit and English of Classes 6 to 8, sung the songs along with her students and recorded them. Many of the songs have been uploaded on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/taslimasheikh2012 Given the difficulties in access to the internet, these songs will now be put in DVD format by the Educational Innovations Bank for other teachers and children. Feedback from other teachers who have used the songs is a monitoring tool for the teacher. Schools in the surrounding areas have picked up the recordings of the poems and use them in their classes. Tasleema Hussain Sheikh, Shree Olvan Primary School, Una, Junagadh, 362 510 (taslima.sheikh@yahoo.in) One handful of pulses Dilipbhai and his colleagues found that learning and attendance levels among girls were really low and in spite of trying hard, they were not getting the expected results. During a Kishori Melo (“fair for girls”) organised by the government, a health check-up revealed very low haemoglobin levels. Perhaps this was the reason for the problems. The teachers decided to improve the health status of the girls. They discussed the reports with a few doctors, who advised supplemental nutrition. The teachers thought that here was an opportunity to supplement the mid-day meal scheme. The doctors recommended pulses as a supplement, and the teachers accepted the idea. They asked each girl to bring one handful of pulses from her home, and all the teachers of the school also put in some from their own homes. The mid-day meal cook sprouted the pulses and mixed it with lime, onion, green chilli and salt. This was then given regularly to all the girls. The teachers have noted an improvement in attendance and they feel that the girls are more enthusiastic and healthy. They are now waiting for a re-testing of haemoglobin levels to confirm their observations. A major spin-off has been the increased awareness about health among girls and their parents. Now many girls have started bringing sprouted pulses and other such food in their lunch boxes as well. Enthused by the positive results that they have obtained, the teachers want to mobilise resources to make it a formal school activity which is part of the mid-day meals, so that girls do not have to bring pulses from their homes. They are in discussion with an NGO, which is ready to provide support. Dilipbhai C Bhalgamiya, K J Jodhani and R D Jivani, Nagar Primary School No:1, Girl’s School, Hanuman Gate, Botad, Bhavnagar 364 710 (dcbhalgamiya1880@gmail.com)
 
Volume No. Honey Bee 24(3) 8 & 20, 2013

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