A vocational education professor from Nagpur Dr Yugal Rayalu has been chosen for coveted ‘Karamveer Chakra’ given in the ‘Education to Society’ category for 2012. The award is given jointly by United Nations Volunteers (under United Nations Development Programme) India and iCONGO (Indian Confederation of NGOs).
Working pro-actively for deprived sections of society, Dr Rayalu said the award is recognition for his continuous silent work that he has been doing for years.
“It is a great honour and I feel my work has been recognized. Over the years, I have been working beyond my limit and capacity people often called me a fool but my passion to give back to the society kept me going. I’m honoured because I’ll be rubbing shoulders with people from different walks of life who have been doing pioneering work for various developmental causes,” he said over the phone.
For Rayalu, the head of the vocational department of DMP Deo Memorial Science College, Karamveer Chakra would be his third award in a row. He bagged the Maharashtra State Ideal Teachers Award (2010) and the Best Adolescent Educator Award by the Indian Medical Association (2011).
Speaking on what motivated him to take up voluntary work, he said “I’m a socialist and I sincerely believe that since society has given me a good life I shall give something back to it. In this attempt, I shall work my way to take soft skills and vocational education to the deprived sections of the society.”
On being asked whether India is heading in the right direction with government launching National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF), Dr Rayalu said “Yes at the policy level it is a positive development but increasing ‘privatisation’ in the sector should be checked. The common man needs the vocational training as he cannot afford conventional education. Government must take vocational education to the nooks and corners of the country.”
Speaking on the teaching community of the country, Dr Rayalu quoted former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Azad who once said “The very important person, who will change India, is a teacher. Amongst teachers it is a primary teacher who will bring formidable change.”
He highlighted that teachers in India are not well trained which is a major cause of concern.
“Our teachers are not well-trained. The methodology of the training is absolutely outdated. There has to be a change in the attitude and teachers must feel that they are the guardian of the students. Each teacher must undergo regular training as technology and pedagogy is being updated continuously. Also, the ‘quality control mechanism’ in our country is extremely poor. The entire structure from top to bottom is decaying due to the outdated practices which need to be addressed. I believe education is everybody’s concern therefore all stakeholders should be taken in account while bringing reforms. Students, parents, social scientist should have a say in syllabus updation, exam pattern etc. This would ensure greater transparency in the education system,” he added.