Shillong: Gamchi Timre R Marak from Meghalaya on Monday received the ‘National Awards to Teachers’ honour which she calls a hard-earned title and her lifetime achievement.
Marak was among the 45 selected awardees honoured by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. She has been bestowed with this honour for her work as the Head Teacher of Educere Higher Secondary School at Samanda in Williamnagar, East Garo Hills District, Meghalaya.
“I am really very happy. This honour is not easy to get. It is a hard-earned and a lifetime achievement for me,” said Marak, while sharing her story of shaping lives from a remote place.
While giving an account of her journey, Marak highlighted the role of education in moulding Williamnagar from its underdeveloped past to the developing present.
“In the beginning our area was backward and people were poor…Very few were educated back then. My husband and I decided to shift to this place after he got a government job. We had two options to choose from and Williamnagar was one of them. Since Garo Hills needed us more, we chose this place,” shared the National Award recipient.
Her experience in the social sector helped Marak further realise the need for education in the area.
“People needed education. The area had to be developed. Since I was working with NGOs, people started looking up to me. They wanted me to be a teacher and so, I finally decided to open a school,” she said.
Marak said since the school’s inception, her goal was to make the children competent and confident enough to be able to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the world. And she was able to achieve this with the ‘social approach’.
“What is education if the social factor is not looked after? Everything starts from home. And the home was suffering. We had to look after the children’s mindset and their psychology. We have looked after them physically, socially, mentally and also spiritually,” Marak shared.
The Head Teacher introduced soft skills in the curriculum for the overall development of the children. “I tried to incorporate counselling. I conducted youth counselling wherein experts came in and interacted with the children. I invited youth counsellors so that they are aware of concerns like mental health, etiquette, HIV, drugs, etc.”
“Understanding a child’s mental makeup is very important to be able to properly teach them. I try to make our School a need-based one and not just about the academics,” Marak said.
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