Maria Murena Miranda, the headmistress of the Government High School (GHS) in Morpirla, Quepem, Goa, western India, received the prestigious National Award from the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, on the occasion of Teachers' Day, September 5.
Miranda, a Catholic, is one of 46 teachers from across the country to receive the National Award for Teachers in 2022.
She is a parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Assolna, under the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman.
Having 34 years of teaching experience to her credit, she received the National Award for her innovation in teaching.
Miranda is from Assolna and has a Master of Science (MSc) as well as a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.).
GHS Morpirla caters to 100 percent tribal (indigenous) students, and Miranda introduced a lot of innovative ideas in teaching, such as remote learning, integrated learning, and peer-to-peer learning.
During COVID-19, she took classes on the bus, went to the temple, visited houses, and took classes. All of this contributed to her seven perfect scores on the Secondary School Certificate (SSC). High school students receive SSC upon the successful completion of a secondary examination at the end of study at the secondary school level in India.
She introduced a mobile library for her students and put books in her vehicle and drove around the village.
She prepared a lot of low-cost teaching aids to make learning interesting. The government high school students are first-generation learners, but Miranda has shown that government school teachers can do wonders; her students excel in all fields.
One student attended the Sakura Science program in Japan. One student won the Ozone poster competition first prize at the national level.
GHS Morpirla won five prizes in the Eat Right Competition at the national level and is the only school from Goa to feature on the leader board of Eat Right with an 11th rank.
Four students' ideas were selected for the Inspire Award of Indian rupees 10,000 (US $123) each. They are state winners for Wipro Science projects.
The students always pass the National and Science Talent exams, but this time it was more rewarding as out of 10 students from Goa who passed the Science Talent Exam in the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories, seven were from GHS Morpirla.
Miranda won the state's best teacher award in 2020 for breaking the barriers between students and teachers.
She attended Nishtha training at the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) Delhi and trained nearly 700 teachers in Goa.
In sports, GH School in Morpirla is the State champion in Kho Kho and Kabaddi; district-level winners in yoga and rope skipping. All national programs like EBSB, Swachh Bharat, and Fit India are held.
The school is provided with smart classrooms and she aims to give the best to tribal students and understand the students well as they come from different backgrounds and lift all of them.
She began her teaching career as an assistant at Guardian Angel High School.
She has also taught Physics at Dr. TB Cunha Higher Secondary Panjim, Government Higher Secondary Canacona, and Multi-Purpose Higher Secondary Sec Margao and attributed her success to her hardworking teachers, lovely students, and their parents.
Every year, the Federal Ministry of Education hosts a national-level event to present the National Awards to India's best teachers, who are chosen through a rigorous, transparent, and online three-stage selection process.
Since 1962, the birthday of India's second president, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, has been observed as Teachers' Day on September 5.
The national government recognizes teachers for their unique contributions to the country's journey and honors those teachers who, through their dedication and hard work, have not only improved the quality of school education but also enriched the lives of their students through the National Awards to Teachers. - Elvis Fernandes
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