Dwipnarayan Nayek has painted black boards on mud walls of several houses on both sides of Jaba village so that children can read and write, solve arithmetic problems
Since the pandemic seized the nation, students in most places across India have adapted to online education, but a large number of underprivileged children are still not able to continue their studies due to the financial restraints in their families.
With the lack of internet connectivity and access to smartphones depriving thousands of children of school lessons, a teacher in West Bengal's Paschim Bardhaman district has brought the classroom to the doorstep of students.
Thirty-two-year-old teacher, Dwipnarayan Nayek, has painted blackboards on mud walls of several houses on both sides of Jaba village so that children can read and write and solve arithmetic problems as well. Colourful graffiti, nursery rhymes and social messages including the need to take vaccines were also painted on the walls.
Nayek is a teacher of Tilka Majhi Primary School in the Jamuria area of the district.
"Bengali and English alphabets and mathematics problems and their solutions are written on those blackboards with chalk," said Nayek, who has earned the title "Rastar Master" (the master on the road) for this initiative.
Before coming up with the idea, Nayek had conducted classes next to a road under trees in eight spots.
"But attending classes under trees was not feasible for everyone due to the presence of insects. Besides, some of them have to help the elders in farming activities. So I decided to draw blackboards on the walls of their homes and take classes there," he stated.
Initially, there were only two students and now their number has crossed 100. Nayek also considered it important to fight superstition among the villagers. A section of the parents thought that those infected by malaria were possessed by ghosts.
"I managed to bring a microscope to the class in the village and showed them the malaria virus of malaria. I showed them how flowers bloom and how trees grow. Most of these children are in the primary stage and they are first generation learners," the teacher added.
Nayek does not charge anything from his students for the service and pulls all his resources. He gets help from family and friends.
"I hope I will be able to ensure zero dropout among children in the area when the school resumes. But I would like to continue with the present initiative," he further said.