In West Bengal, a teacher has painted walls into blackboards to hold classes for local students and converted roads into classrooms in his endeavour to close the education gap that was a consequence of the prolonged lockdown. In the tribal village of Joba Attpara in Paschim Bardhaman district of the eastern state of West Bengal, 34-year-old Deepak Narayan Nayak is popularly known as 'Teacher of the street'. He teaches a range of things from nursery rhymes to the importance of wearing masks and washing hands to 60 students in the village.
Only 8% of Rural Students Study Online Regularly
On one recent morning, The Times of India reported, Nayak peeped over the children when some of them wrote on the walls and looked into the microscope. KiranTuri, a local whose child is a student of Nayak, said, "The education of our children stopped since the lockdown was imposed. The children used to just loiter around. The teacher came and started teaching them". According to a survey conducted by scholars' group, out of 1,400 students in rural areas, only 8 per cent were studying online regularly, 37 per cent were not studying at all, and about half of them were not able to read more than a few words.
Similar Instance In Neighbouring State
However, through these challenging circumstances, there are teachers who have gone above and beyond their call of duty to help students out. A teacher in a village in Jharkhand, Sapan Kumar, became the torchbearer by transforming mud walls into blackboards to ensure that children in the village do not lose out on their education because of COVID-19 imposed restrictions. Dumarthar village in the Dumka district of the state is a tribal village where children have minimum or no access to internet services. Kumar feared that they would lose out on essential years in education. He was nominated for the National Teacher's Award for his innovative efforts.