Teach For All Talk With 2020 Global Teacher Prize Winner Ranjitsinh Disale

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“We should do more to support each other as a global community and listen to each other, learn from other teachers about their problems, and come up together with the best solutions." 

On March 2, Global Teacher Prize Winner Ranjitsinh Disale joined Teach For All’s global community via Zoom to share insights from his experiences as a teacher in a rural community in Maharashtra, India and as a peace advocate who works with students from around the world. 

At the Zilla Parishad Primary School, where Ranjitsinh began teaching in 2009, attendance was extremely low, teenage marriage rates were high, and many students were unable to understand their lessons, which were not in their native language. To ensure his students received the education they deserved, Ranjitsinh embarked on a journey that began with immersing himself in his students’ community and learning the local language. This led him to translate their textbooks and embed them with QR codes that enabled his students to access a host of other customized learning materials he created to meet their learning needs. Ranjitsinh’s efforts paid off—by 2020, there was 100% attendance at the school, and no teenage marriages in the community. 

By 2018, India’s Ministry of Education had adopted Ranjitsinh’s QR code innovation, including the codes in all textbooks produced by the National Council of Education Research and Training. Beyond his own classroom, Ranjitsinh has taught over 19,000 students through his Let’s Cross the Borders project, which connects young people across conflict zones, such as India and Pakistan, and Iran and Iraq. He has also reached over 85,000 students around the world through free lessons he teaches on Microsoft’s Educator Community platform. Committed to supporting his fellow educators in using technology, Ranjitsinh has spent his summers training more than 16,000 teachers in the state of Maharashtra.

When Ranjitsinh was announced the Global Teacher Prize winner on December 3, 2020, he shared in his acceptance speech that he would be splitting half of the $1 million prize money among the other nine finalists.

Watch the video above to learn from Ranjitsinh Disale’s discussion with Teach For All’s CEO Wendy Kopp and educators from across our global network, and subscribe to our new Inside Girls’ Education podcast to hear an interview with Ranjitsinh in the coming weeks.  Learn more about nominations and applications for the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize (deadline for the 2021 edition will close on April 30).