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Date & Time: Jan 21, 2021 12:01 AM

Read Time: 2 minute

Is it possible for a modest Indian teacher to ever win 1 million US Dollars? Is it possible for a teacher from a small town in India to be recognized by the UNESCO on a global stage? A primary school teacher has just achieved this feast. Meet Maharashtra's Ranjitsinh Disale, the man who made it possible.

Ranjitsinh Disale won the global 1 - million USD annual Global Teacher Prize 2020 for his efforts to promote girl education in India and spark off QR coded textbooks in the country.

What left the world even more astounded was the sheer generosity of Mr. Ranjitsinh. He decided to distribute 50% of the prize money among the top 10 finalists in order to support their "incredible work". He strongly believes that teachers are the world's real change-makers who are changing the lives of their students with a mixture of chalk and challenges.

Ranjitsinh Disale after witnessing iconic moment

Disale is a primary school teacher from Paritewadi village in the Solapur district of Maharashtra. He has put in some exceptional efforts to bring about a change in the educational system of India. However, when Ranjitsinh Disale arrived at the Zila Parishad Primary School in Paretawadi, it was really in a bad shape in every aspect.

Tribal girls’ underage marriage was one of the major concerns encountered by Disale. The unavailability of books in Kannada added to the existing miseries. Disale worked extensively to spread awareness of the ills of underage marriages and the value of girls' education. Ranjitsinh Disale's unique efforts yielded unprecedented results. Today, there are no reported teenage marriages in their village and girls' attendance has risen to 100% at the school.

He then took the responsibility to redesign the books from Std. 1-4 in such a way that students could better understand the subject. Ranjitsinh started off by ensuring that the textbooks were available in the vernacular language for the kids. Disale not only translated the books in the local language but also embedded the books with unique QR codes. This code gave the students access to various audio poems, video lectures, and other assignments.

Moreover, Disale's school went on to become the first to introduce QR codes in the state of Maharashtra. After submitting a proposal and a promising pilot programme, the state ministry declared in 2017 that for all grades they would introduce QR-coded textbooks throughout the state.

The Human Resources Development Ministry announced in 2018 that all NCERT textbooks would entail QR codes. Earlier, Ranjitsinh Disale made his place in the final 10 from over 12,000 nominations and applications from more than 140 countries. 

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