Teachers Are The Real Change-Makers

Ranjitsinh Disale

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"Teachers are the real change-makers who are changing the lives of their students with a mixture of chalk and challenges,"—Ranjitsinh Disale

Happy International Education Day!📚

On this day, we celebrate the role of education in peace and development; this year, under the theme of ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation'.

"Now is the time to power education by stepping up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the centre of the recovery,"UNESCO

Ranjitsinh Disale is both a learning hero and an innovator. When Disale started as an elementary school teacher in a tiny rural area of India, Paritewadi, he found that most of the learning material was not in the area's local language. The neglected school building was located between a cowshed and a warehouse, and parents rarely sent their daughters to school. Instead, they were married off as teenagers.

Disale learnt the local language and translated the materials for this students. He began using QR codes to personalise learning for every child - it allowed them to access audio poems, video lectures, stories, and assignments, further enhancing their knowledge.

"I just wanted to create a learning environment for every student that would spark their curiosity and make them innovative problem solvers so that they can contribute to the community," he said. 

Today, the class attendance has increased from 2 to 100 percent. 98% of his students achieve their expected learning outcomes before completing the school year. Most importantly, under his education leadership, the local community has stopped forcing their teenage daughters into child matrimony.

In 2020, Disale was awarded the Global Teacher Prize, which was established by the Varkey Foundation and UNESCO to recognise extraordinary educators have "made an outstanding contribution to their profession." Winners are awarded a $1 million grant, which Disale decided to share with the other 9 finalists. 

💡 Discover more inspirational leadership quotes

Nikol Chen (she/her)

Digital Content Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! I have been with the Laidlaw Foundation for over 2 years, helping us strengthen the global Laidlaw community and expand our programmes to break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequality, and develop a new generation of leaders.

I am originally from Kazakhstan and I studied Human Sciences at UCL. I am a fan of all things human- and design-related, as well as an avid swimmer, obsessive podcast listener, documentary enthusiast, and film photography fan.

Drop me a line if you'd like to chat! 💬👀