Sight, Support and Success – The Story of Vijay Balasaheb Pawbake
“Begging for myself could embarrass me, but asking something for my students is never embarrassing and I’ll keep doing this for my children”, he believes.
Vijay Balasaheb Pawbake, a teacher of Palghar Maharashtra is breaking the myth that – children from tribal areas cannot achieve excellence in education. As his students are proving their excellence not only in India but in the whole world. He has transformed his Jila Parishad School, Govane completely by developing a model infrastructure and digital environment that too with the support of school staff, society and social organizations. This development is creating a strong educational background for kids.
Unique district needs unique teacher
Palghar is a very unique district in itself. A mostly tribal area with Arabian sea in its west, Gujarat and Dadra Nagar Haweli in its North, Western Ghats of Maharashtra in east and Mumbai in South. A unique system of education needed in this unique district, which Mr. Vijay is providing with his team since his posting in 2014. As an assistant teacher he is honored with Maharashtra Ideal Teacher Award in 2019 and Maharashtra Innovative Teacher Award in 2018 for his works. He is also the member of State coordinator UNESCO school club, Maharashtra. He is also honored as Ideal Teacher by ISA Dubai.
Mr. Vijay took his first posting as a teacher in 2008 in a dam affected area of district where everyday movement was a challenge due to water. In 2014 he came to Z. P. School, Govani. Here a new challenge was waiting for him. On seeing the condition of school, he discussed with his staff members the idea of transformation for which they happily agreed.
He took social media as a platform for this project. He contacted many social organizations, NGOs, individuals who work towards the upliftment of education sector and can provide them with the funds, He gave details of their conditions and future plans. As a result, many organizations and individuals came forward to support him. Rotary Club of Bombay, Pens Sahyog Foundation, Vedant Welfare Foundation and others came for support. Through this step, their school and other schools connected in cluster collected a total of ₹20,00,000 as a fund for infrastructural development.
Through the support of various organizations, school managed to arrange education kits and study materials for children. School also successfully completed its aim of digital education. All class have digital facilities. School is imparted with projectors, TVs and other e-learning kits provided by various foundations. School is working for infrastructural development and modernization hand to hand. It also encourages regular parents meeting for keeping an eye on student’s activities and keeping parents aware about their children’s education.
According to Vijay Balasaheb, this process of transformation is not a milestone achieved by him only. It is the result of collective efforts of all ten teachers of school, students, villagers who supported the initiative with full dedication and various social organizations who supported this mission financially. “Reactions of people were very positive and supportive while asking for funds”, Vijay says.
Rajni Mam of Rotary Club of Bombay is supporting the school from last 4 years and she was among the first who helped ZP school in developing infrastructure. They provided school with water filter and water cooler facilities.
Ravi Sir of Vedanta Welfare Foundation provided 450 pairs of shoes to school students. Whereas Rotary Club of smart city, Navi Mumbai gave more than 40 cycles to students who travel a long distance to come to school without any conveyance. Students also got umbrellas so that they can come to school even in rainy season.
In this tribal area, parents cannot even able to provide bags to their children. Therefore under ‘Project Aashayein’ by Pen Sahyog Foundation and Indian Development Foundation, 25,000 school children including ZP school students, provided with full education kits. Through this social support, school also manages to get dustbins and other hygienic kits for maintaining cleanliness in school. Speakers and amplifiers are arranged for daily assemblies as well.
This school prefer overall development of students rather than mere intellectual development. For this he focused on both curricular and extracurricular activities. Digitalization of school and smart classes help in completing curricular activities whereas various other practices has been adopted for extracurricular activities of students.
Regular field trips are organized for students, where they can explore nature, enjoy and interact. This helps in development of social quotient of students and their confidence as well. School also ask students to paint an earthen lamp (Diya) before Diwali festival and encourages each of them to sell the decorated earthen lamps so that they can learn about the process and various aspects of selling. “Pen Sahyog Foundation provided an earthen lamp this Diwali”, says Vijay.
Various competition and events are organized in school on various occasions. Recently Rangoli making event was organized on ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Abhiyan’ where Vijay sir also showcased his art, as he is very much interested in making rangoli. He also planted around 100 Jack fruits plant in forest around villages as an initiative towards environmental protection.
Initiatives taken by Vijay sir and ZP school were not mere experiments but well-planned procedures which gave desired results. Apart from academic excellence of students, school also achieved excellence in activities outside school. Not only in state and national level competitions, but students of this school have their names in the Guinness Book of World Records.
A government school student in Guinness book
A student named Deepesh had the record of – ‘Quickest to arrange letters of English alphabet’ in 26 seconds in Guinness Book. Under this, participant has to arrange the English alphabet chronologically on a board on right places that too without seeing. To take students to international level, Mr. Vijay found this medium and prepared his students for this. To train and motivate his students, first he himself practiced the activity and made record of completing it in 28 seconds which was broken by his own student.
School have one more Guinness Record on the way, that is of hitting maximum basketball targets in one minute. This record is presently held by China’s Beijing University, who hit 19 basketball in one minute. Students of ZP School, Govani have managed to hit 22 basketball in a minute, which is under observation currently and will be soon disclosed.
SPORTS: NAME AND FAME AT NATIONAL LEVEL
School had a good sports background already because of sports teacher Bharat sir. Vijay sir decided to take it to the next level by taking students to state and national level sporting events. Being born and brought up in a tribal area, every student has excellence in slingshot. Vijay sir with all other teachers decided to make use of this and started training students in slingshot. As a result, two boys and a girl won medals in National Slingshot Competition organized in Shirdi.
Slingshot is not a part of Olympic and other national events till now, therefore school decided to train students in Archery as well. For this project, Rotary Club of Bombay provided the archery kit to students. Till now students managed to represent their teams in district level and won medals.
Sanjana Mandal, one of the students of ZP school, Govani made school and teachers proud by winning a national level drawing competition, organized by UNESCO, where she made a painting of Warli Art; a famous painting style of tribal region of Maharashtra. She also did an innovation named Udan Pen innovation, which is an eco-friendly innovation. To quote his words, “These achievements of students at national and international level gave me the most happy and proud moments of my life.”
Studies in corona crises
In present circumstances, where schools are shut due to COVID 19, but ZP school, Govani does not let it become a hindrance for studies. They are regularly connecting with students through online and offline means. Recently a state wise drawing competition was organized for creating COVID-19 awareness. Around 25,000 students participated in this event and competition ended last week only. Soon the result will also be disclosed. For this awareness program, UNISCO School club Maharashtra and Pen sahyog foundation supported Vijay Balasaheb and his team. ‘Sakal’ also supported them as a media partner in this online competition. This competition was a huge success.
This huge success is not only because of the Vijay Balasaheb’s vision, but it is also the result of collective efforts of school and society. The idea of connecting society proved game changing for school. “Begging for myself could embarrass me, but asking something for my students is never embarrassing and I’ll keep doing this for my children”, he believes. His dedication towards school and education makes him unique among other teachers. He believes that a teacher should always approach to find solutions of the problems by thinking out of the box rather than just adjusting with situation.
We congratulate people like Mr. Vijay Balasaheb who is working for the society and its future leaders. Sarkarischool.in salutes Mr Vijay Balasaheb Pawbake – the creator of India’s tomorrow, his efforts and dedication. Sarkari sabse Asarkari.
(With Shreya Nakade)
All the stories are originally designed by team Sarkari School. Strict action will be taken against plagiarism.