Success stories of teachers, from far and beyond
Pranab Mondal, a young computer teacher, 29 years of age, teaches in a government school located at North 24 Parganas, some 30 kilometers from the India-Bangladesh border; he has been teaching here since September, 2017, under the ICT@ Schools initiative commenced by the West Bengal government, and implemented by IETS. Immersed in ‘his’ computer lab, crafted by him, Pranab, points, with a sense of pride to various props designed by him that serve as visual aids for the 30-40 students who can be accommodated in the lab. However, after I noticed only 10 computers, I instantly asked him about the gap. He forthrightly explains that two students share one computer. And then, the class is also ‘split’ into theory and practical groups simultaneously.
For him, the biggest challenge is motivating his students, many of whom have never seen a computer, let alone operated one. Besides the lab in his school, there is no ‘computer teaching
center’ for miles in the neighborhood; so explaining the youngsters how to switch a computer on is from where Pranab begins his class, slowly progressing, step-by-step, to cover the
nitty-gritties of the subject called Computer Science. “I encourage students to visit me whenever they can, in addition to the classes they attend, in order to clarify their doubts; I make every effort to make myself available ,” he adds. Some students, he says, are too scared to even touch a computer, as they feel they might spoil it, and would be, subsequently, unable to
pay for any damage. When I asked him why he chose computers, he replies that his liking for the subject, and passion for teaching made him take up teaching the subject. Pointing to a ‘tree with short cut keys’ that he made because he considers it as an excellent recall tool, he adds: “I encourage application of theory in practical classes, which adds value to the learning process; in addition I encourage the students, stronger with concepts, to ‘teach’ their peers; this type of learning, peer learning as it is called, is very effective,” adds Pranab.