News of Be! is spreading across Bihar through word-of-mouth from one teacher to another. Imagine our surprise when during our third teacher training session in Patna last week, Shyamnanadan Singh, the principal of Rajkiya Krit High School in Maner, stopped us in the middle of our introduction and said, “I already know about your project. School principals and teachers in my neighborhood called me to tell me about it.”
He instantly gravitated towards the books. “No wonder,” he explained. “My colleagues kept saying you will fall for the books the moment you lay your hands on them.”
And from then on, it was another great training with teachers from 100 schools in Patna district. Rahul Singh, Special Projects Director at the Department of Education, Bihar and Kiran Kumari, State Project Officer, were on hand to see teacher training and listen to students’ presentations about their skills projects. Mr. Singh praised the students and talked to the teachers at length about the value of entrepreneurial skills in the specific context of an agricultural society like Bihar’s.
Teachers were also enthusiastic about having skills content that was relevant to their students’ lives. Satyakam from Baldeo Higher Secondary School told us, “My Family Tree will help me convince my students that history is not all about kings and conquerors but also our grandparents and great grandparents.”
The response and enthusiasm of the teachers is what keeps us going! Here’s a story from our last day of training. Surendra Singh from Jagtarini High School, Rampur Diara, Maner, was trying to slip out before last session was over. We asked him if he was unhappy with the training.
“No, no, no, no,” he said sheepishly. “If I can’t reach Maner town by sundown, I will have to walk 10 kms in the dark to reach my village. The wild boars there scare me.” We want to acknowledge all the teachers, who are traveling large distances, through the rains, taking buses, autos and rickshaws to come to teacher training. We can’t wait to continue working with teachers to roll out Be! throughout Bihar!