Bengaluru: September 15 is fondly celebrated as the Engineer’s Day in India, in tribute to Sri M Visvesvaraya. The Bharat Ratna not only contributed to nation-building through his designs but was also responsible for planning the Indian economy in 1934.
It is because of his several contributions that now the society is repaying it back to his hometown, Muddenahalli.
As a tribute to him, a rejuvenation programme is in process in his hometown. Visvesvaraya gave a lot of importance to education. He had set up thousands of schools and institutions when he was the Diwan of the erstwhile kingdom of Mysore from 1912 to 1918.
Founded in 2006, Government High School Muddenahalli is the first model government school in Chikkaballapur district. It is playing a pivotal role in transforming the lives of the students there.
The school is different from any other normal school in the country. Instead of the monotonous red and white walls, the school is coloured in pictures of board games, Hindi and Kannada authors of the past, and so forth. The creative artwork is envisioned and executed by the teachers from the district.
The school has become a visual and mental treat to students with modern and smart classroom features.
However, this did not happen overnight. For early learning, Anganwadis are playing a cheerful role. The high school teachers collaborated to create a manual or guidebook in English and Kannada, Chinbari Champs for the Anganwadi teachers.
The teachers have been making innovative teaching aids and stocking Anganwadi schools with storybooks and well-made Channapatna toys.
Under the guidance of IAS Officer Fouzia Taranum, teachers and officials sat together to discuss how education can be improved for 15,000 students who were to appear for board exams in March 2020.
Teachers created helpful worksheets, visited students at home and mentored small groups of students. Slow learning students were given additional help.
As a result, in August, Chikkaballapur district topped in the Karnataka Class X exams. The model school has also incorporated sports, including yoga and meditation for students.
Due to COVID-19, students are yet to come to school. However, they are being helped by teachers to become self-learners through the Karnataka government’s Vidyagama programme, where teachers meet students in places like community halls, religious places, or under the trees.
The team had developed the model school on an approach called BALA (Building as a Learning Aid). “But improving infrastructure like building toilets and labs in educational institutions is comparatively easy. We wanted to bring about behavioural change too,” says Fouzia Taranum, quoted by The Better India.
With the support of locals, teachers and students, Chikkaballapur is a success story that shall inspire many in the future.