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Rajasthan: National award winning teacher sets up 'smartphone bank' to aid students unable to afford devices for online class

05:25 PM Sep 18, 2021 | Manish Godha

A cellular company advertisement of online classes has turned into a reality in Bikaner Rajasthan where a national award winner teacher Dipak Joshi has set up a smartphone bank for his students who cannot afford it. He has issued phones to 21 students on the lines of a book bank and said ‘ we’ll monitor the use of the phone and if results are not satisfactory we’ll take it back. '

Dipak is a science teacher and a principal in the government middle school Jail Well in Bikaner city. He has recently been conferred the National Award of teaching for his innovative works as a teacher.

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This bank has cost him around Rs 1 lakh and he has used Rs 50 thousand of his prize money for this bank. The rest of the money has been arranged with the help of other teachers of the school and friends.

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He said ‘the pandemic has compelled us to use technology for teaching but most of our students are still deprived of such things. Most of the students of our school come from poor families who cannot afford smartphones and their studies were suffering. Looking at the situation I decided to start a phone bank and thankfully other teachers and friends have also supported me.’ Ten more phones are coming to us very soon and I hope other schools will also come forward for such initiative, he adds.

Dipak has issued phones to 21 students and select them based on their family background. Besides this, priority has been given to those students whose siblings are also in the same school. Dipak said that these 21 phones will be used by 52 students.

The education department of Rajasthan is running a programme called ‘Aao Ghar Se Sikhen’ for online studies in which the course content and workbooks are being sent through WhatsApp. The teachers of the school will monitor the use of the phone given to the students. The recharge facility has also been provided to the students who cannot afford it.

Dipak gets his national award for his work in science. He has made 32 workable models for household things and 10 of them got the Inspire Award. Besides this, he has made a classroom projector that costs just Rs 800 and has set up learning by doing laboratory in his previous school.

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