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Instilling confidence in kids

ISP Bhopal Bureau 

Vivek Kumar Singh could be just another teacher in a government school. But what sets him apart from others is his innovative means of teaching and his mission to instill confidence among his students to talk in English. Working in a remote village in Madhya Pradesh, Vivek has found love in teaching kids to achieve confidence in communication and writing English. 

“I found there was a sense of fear among the children in the village towards English. It was mostly to do with the way it was taught to them. They had an impression that learning and speaking in English was meant for the elite and it was an impossible task. I took it up as a personal challenge to shed off this fear among children,” says Vivek.  

Appointed as government teacher in the Government Secondary School Parsauna in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh, Vivek hails from a small village of Dhadhiya near Churhat in Sidhi district. His own childhood was full of struggle and his experience in learning amid limited resources gave him the confidence to take up challenging positions in teaching. He got appointed as a government teacher in 2008. The beginning was tough as the cliche teaching methods were preferred by everyone but slowly he convinced his seniors and students to experiment and learn English and make it a fun activity. 37-year-old Vivek credits his parents Krishna Kumar Singh and Mamta Singh to inspire him to stay among the masses and work for them. 

Challenges came early in life for Vivek. He was affected by Polio and he had difficulty in mobility but he decided to overcome it with sheer hard work. 

“I saw the challenges faced by children like the one I faced as a child. I could have decided either way. I could have given up and could have stayed home doing nothing or come out and face the world. I chose the second one. I tell children, to conquer your fear with hard work,” says Vivek talking to ISP. 

Innovative ways of teaching English for the village kids includes charting the words in an interesting way for better retention. Associating words with pictures and making them accustomed to the sentences by rhyming them. Vivek also ensures that children try communicating in small sentences. He has started incentivising good writing by way of appreciation. Cursive writing of his school’s children is appreciated even by district education authorities. 

Vivek, who is a poet himself, has culled out interesting rhyming sentences for kids to get comfortable with talking in English. He has made his classroom live with words and pictures and also maintains a small laboratory for kids to experiment with words and sentences.