Anyone can learn from a book. But a #TerrificTeacher can make the difference between passing an exam and learning a life lesson. The Better India salutes those for whom teaching is not a job but a higher calling.
Education, for many, is still a luxury. Whether it is urban areas or rural, thousands of underprivileged children are deprived of this basic right.
However, Baldevpari Goswami, from Junagadh, Gujarat is on a mission to change this.
Baldev teaches mathematics and science to students of classes 9 and 10 in the Junagadh district of Gujarat. We are all too aware of the importance of these subjects in our lives, and how they make it more interesting and hassle-free. For those who were not lucky enough to get a formal education, these necessities are highlighted, even more, every single day.
Speaking to Mirror, Baldev says, “While teaching at [the] school, I noticed that several students needed extra guidance and help, but could not afford tuitions.
So, he temporarily stepped away from the blackboard, picked up a webcam, and launched his website and a YouTube channel.
“I registered my website in the year 2010 and started working on it. But as I was not an expert, I could make it regular only in 2011. The students can access the material whenever they want to. I have also put up question papers and their solutions on their website,” he said.
Since he caters to students from Gujarat, his website and YouTube channel are both in Gujarati.
It wasn’t easy or cheap for Baldev to set up the digital channels. He had to spend about Rs 7 lakh to build a studio where he could record his videos. This money was spent from his savings and that of his wife, Bhavna.
Together, they set up digital classrooms that are informative as well as fun. Quizzes, videos about value education and audio notes are what sets the classes apart from his regular ones. The quizzes are divided according to classes, and so are the model papers. Bhavna has been lending her voice for some of these classes too.
They also feature speeches by renowned scientists.
The couple soon realised that their classes and YouTube channel were becoming incredibly popular with students, which also signified that this was a popular teaching method, and if more teachers adopted it, it could be beneficial for both, teachers and students. So they began to hold training workshops for teachers at their studio.
Speaking to Mirror, Baldev says, “They come at their own expense and bring their own food on a Sunday to get tips. So far, we must have trained around 2000 to 3000 of them. Even (Gujarat) education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama had attended one such programme.”
The couple also runs ‘Pustak Parab,’ a library-like initiative that lends books like a library but doesn’t expect it back in time like one.
“We never expect the books to come back,” Baldev says, adding “We must have spent more on books than ornaments!”
Their efforts have certainly not gone unrecognised. Baldev was invited by UNICEF to a programme that trained bloggers working in the field of education. He has utilised this training in his digital classrooms. With over 93 lakh visitors on his website and 5553 followers on YouTube, the teacher is somewhat a sensation among students. In 2017, he was selected to receive the National Award to Teachers conferred by the HRD ministry.
It is inspirational and selfless teachers like Baldev who are making the education system a platform of equal opportunities for everyone. This Teachers’ Day, we celebrate such amazing teachers for their efforts in taking education a notch ahead.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)