Bengal teacher turns house walls into blackboards, educates children in rural areas

As schools have been closed in West Bengal due to the pandemic for a year and a half, a teacher from Paschim Bardhaman district brought the classroom to the students’ door. The 32-year-old painted blackboards on the mud walls of several houses on both sides of Jaba village so that children could learn about the three Rs of education – reading, writing and arithmetic .

“The Bengali and English alphabets and math problems and their solutions are written on these blackboards with chalk,” said Dwipnarayan Nayek, who earned the nickname “Rastar Master” (the master on the road). The walls on which the makeshift paintings appeared have been repainted. Colorful graffiti, nursery rhymes and social messages, including the need to get vaccinated, were also painted there.

Classes are held at regular intervals in the village of Jamuria region, which makes the students and their parents happy. Before Nayek, a teacher at Tilka Majhi Primary School in the area, brought the classroom to the students’ door, he had started taking lessons along a road under the trees at eight locations.

“But attending classes under the trees was not possible for everyone because of the insects. In addition, some of them have to help the elders in agricultural activities. So I decided to draw blackboards on the walls of their houses and take lessons there, ”he said. Initially there were only two students and now their number has exceeded 100. Nayek also considered it important to fight superstition among the villagers. A section of parents believed those infected with malaria were possessed by ghosts.

“I managed to bring a microscope to the village class and showed them the malaria virus. I showed them how flowers bloom and how trees grow. Most of these children are at primary level and they are first generation learners, ”said the teacher.

“I invented my own teaching manual for them,” Nayek smiled, asking his students, many of them girls, to sing a nursery rhyme he wrote about the need to wash their hands regularly, and to applaud. after each line. Nayek does not charge. anything from his students for service and pulled all of his resources. He also receives help from his family and friends.

“I hope that I will be able to guarantee that children in the region do not drop out of school when the school reopens. But I would like to continue with the current initiative, ”he said. Rimki Oraon, a sixth-grade student, said they were sad when the school was closed due to the crown.

“But later, the gentleman started taking lessons on the road, then at our doorstep. We are very happy now. Sital Baski, a villager, said they thanked Nayek for coming to teach the children when the school is closed. “The teacher’s initiative is commendable. We are on his side, ”Jamuria MLA Hareram Singh mentioned.

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