DEHRADUN: Pradeep Negi, a 49-year-old disabled teacher at a government school in Haridwar, who has been using ICT or information and communication technology tools to teach, is among 50 finalists for 2018 Global Teacher Prize, a US $1 million awards initiated by a UAE-based foundation.
Negi teaches economics at the government intermediate college BHEL where he has used his multimedia skills to make learning easier for his students. Negi runs the computer lab in his school where students learn through interactive quizzes and blogs that he has created. He has also developed software tools, e-content and data analysis as well as a training programme for teachers. He has now trained more than 1,200 teachers in his state.
Negi’s students vouch for his innovative teaching skills and are proud to show multimedia campaigns they have developed under his guidance on various social issues including saving electricity, saving wildlife, and the importance of voting. His efforts have earned him a string of prestigious awards, including the Microsoft Innovative Teacher Leadership Awards 2006 and the National Award of ICT in New Delhi in 2014.
But the journey to fame did not come easy for Negi. Both his legs were afflicted with polio when he was two, leaving him dependent on crutches to move around. Negi found traditional teaching process very difficult- using a blackboard and standing for a long time caused him problems due to his condition. The usage of ICT has given him powerful tools for teaching, he said.
Talking to TOI on Sunday, Negi said that he was happy about making it to the shortlist of the Global Teacher Prize but said he would be happier if such an award was also initiated in India. “An award like this would be very encouraging for teachers. It could even be a game-changer,” he said.
The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai.
The 50 names in the running for the award were announced on December 12 from over 30,000 entries from 173 countries. The winner is expected to be announced in March. Asked what he would do if he won the prize, Negi said, “I want to make computer knowledge and ICT tools accessible for all, even for those in the far-flung areas and encourage self-learning.”