THE STRENGTH OF SIKKIM – Meet Archana Gurung
Her leadership at the school has brought numerous effective changes in power and has culminated into the growth of the students and the school.
When she began, her career in the year 1996, she was elated, excited, and ecstatic. Back when she had cleared her B.Ed. examination, she truly believed that it was the calling of the profession that her fate was making it possible for her to enter the field of teaching.
Been a mentor at different schools, she has been very much active and accelerated her energy in the direction of betterment for the children and schools. When she became the Principal of the Government Senior Secondary School, Namchi, Sikkim, her responsibilities, capabilities, and duties expanded. But she didn’t stick to her duties, in fact, she explored different opportunities and let her children shine on!
Born and brought up in the city of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, Smt. Gurung has been an ardent hard worker and achiever. After she moved to the state of Sikkim, she joined her first job in the year 1996 as a PGT English Teacher. From thereon, her journey in the field of teaching started. Currently, she is working as the Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Jorethang, Sikkim.
Under her leadership, the school has been recognised and appreciated as one of the best schools in the state of Sikkim!
Her leadership at the school has brought numerous effective changes in power and has culminated into the growth of the students and the school. Supported by an effective and efficient team of teachers, Smt. Archana Gurung has initiated many activities in the school.
Beginning with the day at school, the students produce radio programmes that are broadcast among the students. In breaks like recess, short breaks, etc. the students get to hear each other’s activities and radio programmes that are based on social issues, interviews, etc. Aided by an alumnus and a professional, she has effectively enabled a Radio Studio on the school premises providing quality skills and vocational learning for the students. Social issues like drug abuse, violence, etc. are discussed and deliberated in these programmes.
In order to curb absenteeism, she has also initiated Zumba classes for the teachers and the students. This facilitates the bond between the teachers and the children and enhances their physical fitness as well. Held by a professional instructor for two days, the school blooms up with music and dance and children get to engage in extra-curricular activities.
The School band is another highlight of the initiatives she has brought about in the school. Started in the year 2016, the school band has been a major success. With inadequate funds for providing for a school band, the school had received help in the form of equipment and uniforms. With the support of the community and a well-trained music instructor, the students learnt the job very well!
With interest and excitement, they soon got famous around the city which helped them build confidence and courage. This motivated them to participate at the National level competition organized by MHRD and they bagged the 1st position.
With every competition turning into their victory, their band got to perform at the National Police Memorial, Delhi. This was followed by an invitation at the Honourable Prime Minister’s residence which made them happy and proud!
The school has even introduced NCC. Initiated in the year 2016 with female NCC Wing, the school soon got a mandate for the Boys wing. With vigour and enthusiasm, the students learnt the skills with wholehearted dedication. Till this date, the school is known for one of the highest numbers of cadets that have represented the state of Sikkim in the Republic Day Camp in Delhi.
Even in the times of a global pandemic, the school students under her charismatic leadership have been producing face masks and hand sanitizers as approved by the WHO guidelines. They are also creating awareness and understanding about the pandemic and the ways to deal with it. It is indeed a very visionary task!
Initially after being posted as Principal in an all-girls educational setting, Smt. Archana Gurung worked in many ways to make learning more fun. To facilitate girl-child education and promote the cause, she ensured that the students discover their interests and hobbies in the school itself.
Along with the introduction of primary schooling for female students, she primarily introduced the system of One Teacher, One Classroom. By this initiative, she made a teachers tutor the same set of students for successive standards. According to her, this system not only enhances and sustains the close bond between the teacher and the student but also makes teaching more efficient altogether.
She also introduced life skills teaching and training sessions for her students so that students get interested in activities outside the classroom. Activities like beekeeping, mushroom farming, nature walk, organic farming, greywater management, waste management, etc.
She has been actively involved in keeping her teachers and students engaged in the activities they like and prefer to perform. This, according to her, makes the job easier and yields better results!
When asked on the energy and inspiration she receives so as to do such soulful activities, she simply affirms that the field of teaching and staying close to children make her feel young and energetic. Her career has only made it possible for her to take so many steps towards the betterment.
Lastly, she claims that her choice of career has been extremely helpful and correct and has helped her throughout her teaching experience of 24 years!
A National Teacher Awardee-2020, Smt. Archana Gurung is truly an inspiration and encouragement for everyone!
Do watch – Interaction with Archana Gurung here
(With Soumya Rawat)
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