Bengal Teacher Turns Streets Into Classrooms, After School Shut Since Lockdown

“I would see children just loitering about the village. I wanted to make sure their learning doesn’t stop.”

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A teacher from the tribal village of Joba Attpara in West Bengal’s West Bardhaman district has turned walls into blackboards and streets into classrooms, in an attempt to bridge the gap in learning due to prolonged school closure and lack of devices and means for online studies.

34-year-old Deep Narayan Nayak painted blackboards on the walls of houses. He has been taking lessons with the children of the village, on the streets, for a year now.

The only school in the village shut down after strict lockdown was imposed in the country, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Nayak did not want any of his students to miss out on their studies or forget their lessons. So, he came up with this inspiring attempt.

Didn’t Want The Children to Just Loiter Around’

Fondly known as ‘rastar master’ (teacher of the streets), Nayak teaches almost all subjects to the children in the village — from nursery rhymes to COVID-appropriate behavior. Most children in the village don’t have access to devices and gadgets that would enable them to take online classes. Nayak has taught them to use laptops, microscopes and other gadgets and tools, in his open-air classroom.

Most of the these children are kids of daily-wage workers and Nayak is their hope. Nayak fears that these children, who are majorly first-generation learners would forget their lessons and drift away from education, due to prolonged school shutdowns and limited access to online lessons.

The article has been extracted from

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