Teachers’ plea to President on award
Two out of the three teachers selected for the National Award from Jharkhand are among the 35 teachers picked for the prestigious award this year to request President Ram Nath Kovind to convene a physical felicitation ceremony once the Covid-19 pandemic ends.
“The government (the human resource development ministry) had informed that this year they would not be able to allow teachers to be present at the award ceremony on September 5 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, the respective deputy commissioners (district magistrates) would give away the awards at the district collectorate while the President would give the award in an online function,” said Smith Kumar Soni, the acting headmaster at Government Middle School in Bano block of Simdega district.
“We would not like to miss out on this lifetime opportunity of receiving the award from the President and interacting with the Prime Minister and decided to join nearly 35 teachers in writing to the President to convene a physical felicitation ceremony when the pandemic situation normalises,” Soni added.
Soni has played an instrumental role in revamping the infrastructure of the state-owned school in the Maoist-hit area of Simdega district with the help of the local MLA and mukhiya.
Significantly, 35 out of the 47 teachers selected for the National Awards to be given on September 5 by the Union education ministry in recognition of their achievements in the field of education have written the letter to the President on September 1.
A communique had been sent to the selected teachers on August 25, informing them about the award ceremony to be conducted virtually in view of the pandemic.
On August 31, the ministry had informed the teachers that the certificates and medals would be awarded through deputy commissioners on September 5.
“It is a proud moment for all the selected teachers, but when we came to know that the award function will be held on webinar, the majority of the teachers wrote a joint letter to the President expressing our unhappiness at not being able to collect the award in person.
“It is a lifetime achievement and we were eagerly waiting to make this one of the best moments of our lives. We have requested the honourable President for an award ceremony or an interaction when the situation improves. Let’s see what happens,” said Ishita Dey, vice-principal of Tarapore School in Agrico, Jamshedpur, who has been selected by the Council for the Indian Schools Certificate Examination for the prestigious award.
Nirupama Kumari, a teacher at Ram Rudra plus two High School in Chas, Bokaro, who was the third teacher from Jharkhand to be picked for the award, has not signed the letter, but admitted that physical felicitation would have been better.