School principal Dr Sapan Patralekh from Jharkhand has developed a unique way to teach not only children, but also their parents and grandparents. Watch this video to see how he’s helping people across ages access education again.
When the first lockdown was announced in March 2020, educational institutions across the country shut down. While children with access to phones and the internet could continue learning through online classes, the case was a stark contrast in many villages.
One such village was Dumarthar, in Dumka, Jharkhand.
The fact that children of this village didn’t have access to education due to the lockdown gave sleepless nights to Dr Sapan Patralekh, a teacher and principal at the Dumarthar Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya (upgraded middle school).
To help these children, he set up blackboards outside every house in Dumarthar.
“I was very worried, as it had taken a lot of effort to get these children to school. I was scared that these children would drop out, get married, or worse, go to work. That’s when we set up blackboards on the outside of the mud houses. We were able to continue each child’s education from 2020 to 2022,” says Sapan.
After schools reopened in February 2022, the blackboards were no longer being used. So Sapan began thinking of ways to use them until he had his ‘aha! moment’. During a survey in the village, he found that most of the elders were illiterate.
He then asked the children to educate their elders, be it, parents or grandparents, using these blackboards.
“My objective is to make parents realise the importance of education so that they too drop their children off proudly,” says Sapan, who has won many accolades for his initiative.