Teacher bridges school gap on streets of Indian village

  • Reuters, PASCHIM BARDHAMAN, India

In a small tribal village on the eastern tip of India, an enterprising teacher turned walls into blackboards and roads into classrooms, trying to bridge the learning gap caused by prolonged school closures in the country.

Deep Narayan Nayak, 34, a teacher in Joba Attpara village, Paschim Bardhaman district, east West Bengal, painted blackboards on the walls of houses and taught children on the streets last year after the local school. closed due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed nationwide in March of last year.

On Monday, the children wrote on a wall with chalk and looked through a microscope as Nayak guided them.

Photo: Reuters

“The education of our children has stopped since confinement was imposed. The children were just hanging out. The teacher came and started teaching them, ”said Kiran Turi, whose child is learning with Nayak.

Nayak teaches everything from nursery rhymes to the importance of wearing masks and washing hands to around 60 students, and is known as the “Teacher of the Street” to grateful villagers.

From last month, schools started to reopen. Some social scientists are calling on them to open up completely to prevent children from falling further behind.

Photo: Reuters

Last month, a survey by a group of academics of nearly 1,400 schoolchildren found that in rural areas, only 8% studied regularly online, 37% did not study at all, and around 50% were incapable. to read more than a few words.

Most parents want schools to reopen as soon as possible, he said.

Nayak said he feared his students would stray from the education system if they did not continue their education.

“I saw children wandering around the village, taking cattle to pasture, and I wanted to make sure their learning didn’t stop,” Nayak said.

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Christina A. Kroll

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