Overcoming all obstacles to bring a change in the lives of others not only requires the zeal to do so but also the determination of not giving up mid-way. Kamlesh Zapadiya exemplifies this statement truly. A man living on a farm with almost no access to electricity has managed to build a website for students to engage them into studies in a fun-filled way. Read more to know how.
“Education is the biggest gift one can give to the country,” believes Kamlesh Zapadiya, a primary school teacher who travels 20 kms everyday from his village to a cybercafé in a nearby town to make education more interesting for his students.
Hailing from Rajkot, Gujarat, this 35-year old man was very unhappy with the way he saw children studying. He always believed that studies should be fun and students should understand and enjoy what they learn. After much thinking he came up with an idea to convert the entire syllabus from classes 1 to 10 into a quiz format.
“It is like Kaun banega Crorepati,” Zapadiya says. He, along with his friends, has developed a website called Edusafar where they upload the entire syllabus. The format has also been recognized by Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad. The syllabus can also be downloaded free of cost from the website.
“The quiz format module and the syllabus are ready to be used. They just need a final proofreading and we are waiting for that to officially launch the books,” Zapadiya says.
Edusafar was started by Zapadiya and his friends after reading and researching many articles on educational aids, tutorials and tools.
“While I was researching, I learnt a lot of interesting things and I wanted to share them with the public. Hence, Edusafar has all the study materials and information that one needs related to primary and secondary education,” says Zapadiya.
“The idea is to make education simpler and easy to understand. Being a teacher, I understand the troubles faced by students and this site is expected to act as a tool for simpler learning alternatives,” says Zapadiya. The website is managed by a team of 6 members who are all teachers in various schools of Gujarat.
“The biggest challenge is electricity. I live in a wadi (orchard) to take care of the farm with my family so whenever I have to do something I have to travel very far to get the laptop and phone connected,” Zapadiya says.
Another challenge is communicating with the other members. As there are very limited modes of communication in the village, it is very hard to get everyone available at the same time.
Zapadiya plans to develop an app for those who are preparing for competitive exams. The app will have various general knowledge and current affairs questions from which a user can learn with just a click.
“There are no such apps or books in Gujarati. For those who don’t understand English and still want to crack these exams, this app could come in handy,” he says.
“The idea was to make students interested in the subject rather than forcing them to cram the letters in the book. I think this will really help the current education system which is theory- and book-based,” Zapadiya says.
Zapadia was among 100 teachers who were felicitated by the Gujarat Innovative Education Council and the Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training, for their innovative ideas in education.
It is people like Zapadiya who inspire each one of us to take a stand and bring a change no matter how tough the situation is. In spite of the biggest obstacle of lack of electricity, Zapadiya has managed to produce something that could change the lives of thousands of people.
Story Courtesy: Ankit Vyas, Educational Innovation Bank, IIM-Ahmedabad, who is doing some great work in researching and documenting stories of innovative teachers in Gujarat.