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Jharkhand teacher Sapan Kumar turns entire village into classroom, mudwalls into blackboards

Imparting education by innovation. Dumarthar village has turned into classroom as all walls have become blackboards

Where there is a will, there is a way. And who better to show it than a teacher and playing this role admirably is Jharkhand’s Sapan Kumar. He created waves in the country recently when his novel method of transforming the entire village into a classroom and its mud walls into blackboards hit headlines.

So impressive was his method that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi recently lauded his initiative in his monthly programme “Mann Ki Baat”.

Kumar is the Principal of Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya located in Dumarthar village in the Dumka district of Jharkhand. During the Covid-19 lockdown, when the schools were closed, the children of this tribal dominated area greatly suffered. The access of these students to smartphones and internet varies from minimum to none, and this hampered classes being conducted online.

Deeply concerned about the well being and future of these rural children for whom education is the only way to move up in life, Kumar hit upon a unique idea. Afraid of the students losing out on education and dropping out from schools, the principal painted the entire village of Dumarthar into a classroom with the walls serving as blackboards. To ease and facilitate learning, caricatures and alphabets were drawn in many places.

Now, the students learn, do their assignments and write their tests on these blackboards, while the teachers instruct and impart them knowledge through loudspeakers.

Admiring and congratulating Kumar’s initiative, the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh, has invited him to the Capital to talk about his inventive approach. Singh told Kumar over the phone: “This is the real education which makes our country and the world move forward. This is the natural method of teaching the children.”

The Principal told the Deputy Chairman that “this model is actually meant for the poor and underprivileged children which could be adopted by State or county.”

Earlier, CCTV, the Government-controlled Chinese television network had beamed a documentary on Kumar.

Interestingly, Kumar is also making students self-sufficient by producing chalks, mats on which they sit while attending the classes. With the help of brooms, they make with locally available resources, they even keep their place clean.