About Ranjitsinh Disale
Ranjitsinh Disale, the winner of the $1 million Global Teacher Prize, considered a Nobel Prize equivalent for teaching, shared half of his winnings with the other finalist teachers to help transform the profession. He took up teaching as an alternative profession to a career in IT. Although initially hesitant about teacher training, he successfully transformed innumerable lives, breaking significant barriers for girls in society and in the education field in India. By actively fighting for girls’ education rather than have girls marry at an early age or get a job, he has significantly boosted the retention of girls in school and improved their learning outcomes.
His use of technology in a hybrid teaching methodology has also greatly improved learning outcomes for all of his students. For example, he incorporated QR codes for audio visual supplementary material in textbooks to boost learning outcomes. His QR code idea is now being adopted across the country and is helping children learn remotely even through the pandemic. He also learned the local language of his students and redesigned material in their language. Ranjitsinh’s approach to teaching clearly demonstrates how improvements to education can be made as well as inspiring change in policy and government delivery of educational services.
Ranjitsinh has been a vocal advocate of technology to close gaps in education. He highlights that this can serve to rapidly update outdated curriculum taught in many developing countries but also close the gender gap that manifests itself early on in education and learning outcomes. Girls have faced significantly more setbacks with the onset of Covid-19 and closure of schools. As their education is not prioritized, without school they are more susceptible to being married off prematurely, being subject to domestic abuse or being asked not to return to school in favor of work. Ranjitsinh has stressed the importance of a technology-driven transformation and its time critical nature. He has successfully onboarded the students at his school online, enabling them to attend classes from home and setting an example for schools all over India.