‘Green lessons’ win him national honour

M.B. Prasad has taken students of Varavoor govt. LP school beyond syllabus

‘Green education’ initiatives introduced in his school has brought the National Teachers’ Award for M.B. Prasad, Head Teacher of Government LP School, Varavoor, in Thrissur district.

Under his leadership, the school, which has 900-odd students, has a biodiversity park, a small bird sanctuary, an animal park, a medicinal plant garden, a fish pond. One will be astonished to see a swimming pool too in a government lower primary school.

A mini windmill, a solar clock and a solar radio have been installed on the campus to inculcate the importance of green energy and energy conservation.

“Attracting children to school by creating interest in them was my primary task when I took charge in the school as head master in 2017,” says Mr. Prasad.

When he took charge, the school, was a less chosen one even by people in the panchayat . It had only 385 students.

Many accolades

Within a year, the school emerged as one of the best schools in the district winning many district and State-level awards. The school won awards for best biodiversity park three consecutive years from 2017-18. Mr. Prasad was selected for the State award for best teacher the same year.

Mr. Prasad introduced his students and their parents to many extracurricular activities.

“We have been cultivating paddy, banana, and organic vegetables in our school compound and on adjacent paddy fields, taken for lease. We transformed many paddy fields lying fallow for many years into cultivable land. Students themselves were actively involved in all these farm activities with the active support of teachers, parents and general public, he says. This helped create a habit of farming and an affection for the environment in children. He taught his wards in the lower primary classes to think and experience beyond syllabus.

“As a teacher I think real experience in life will help students understand their lessons better. Applying what they have been taught in life is an entirely different skill. Such experiences will remain in their mind always and will mould a better life for them,” he says. The school has around 25-odd extracurricular clubs, including English Club, Cultural Club, Seed Club, Anti-Drug Club, Palliative Club, Reading Club, Forest Club, and Road Safety Club.

“Our students are trained in various martial arts such as Kalaripayattu as well as traditional art forms like classical dance , music, tabla, violin, and chenda. Even parents and the general public are attending these classes,” Mr. Prasad says.

Teachers and students from various schools visit here to learn and understand the extracurricular activities in the school. In the wake of COVID pandemic, students are provided support to arrange their own library at home.

The school was declared plastic-free in 2018-19.

The school occasionally arranges a day out for students with grandparents . “The objective is to inculcate in children a caring habit and affection for the elderly”, he says.

Mr. Prasad’s wife Rekha is also a schoolteacher .

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