It was a very proud moment for Roohi Sultana, a 49-year old teacher when she was conferred the prestigious National Award for Teachers 2020 by the Ministry of Education, India. She has been selected along with 47 other educators who have been teaching using innovative methods in schools across the country. Teaching has been a passion for Roohi since her childhood. She always wanted to become a teacher not just to earn money but to educate the poor which she thinks is the service to God. Sultana, who is from Nowshera area of Srinagar has a Masters in Urdu and Kashmiri. Apart from this, she also has a B.Ed (Bachelor of Education), a certification course in Hindi and a degree in calligraphy. Hailing from Nowshera area of Srinagar, Roohi is posted at Government Primary School Danger Pora, Tailbal. Most of the students are from a poor background and the school has only one classroom for six classes. Roohi has shunned the traditional ways of teaching. She has been inventing many innovative and creative methods of teaching to make education interesting for rural kids. Roohi Sultana’s day starts with collecting scrap like plastic covers, chips wrappers, soap covers, empty tetra packs, mango seeds, and butter papers from the roads and shops in the old city to teach her kids. “Used plastic covers of wheat flour can be used to write for practice. I write nouns, and word- meaning on used bottles. I write words on toffee rappers and ask kids to arrange them. I also create shapes and letters from sawdust and dried tea leaves while using them as clay,” Sultana told  ThePrint . “I feel no shame for asking leftover from the shopkeepers,” she told The Real Kashmir News. To sharpen the kid’s vocabulary, she further writes words on toffee rappers and asks the kids to arrange them. “I do not force students to use a pencil or paper. Rather I made them do things practically. This way they did not get bored and motivate others to join the school,” she said. It is very rare to have a teacher like Roohi who instills & motivates the children to learn by using such creative methods of teaching.

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