RANCHI: A school principal’s efforts to help children study during the pandemic have drawn international attention. Sapan Kumar had hit headlines last year for transforming an entire village into a classroom, with mud walls converted into blackboards. Most of these students in Dumka district’s Dumarthar village had no access to smart phones and could not attend online classes. With walls converted into blackboards, teachers took classes using loudspeakers.
On Wednesday, Kumar’s innovation was appreciated by professors and students of Japan’s Osaka University. He gave an online demonstration of his model in a webinar. “Experiences related to the innovative idea adopted by me during the pandemic was shared with academics in Japan through a webinar. It gives me immense satisfaction that the work is being recognised worldwide, which encourages me do better,” Kumar said.
Kumar feels under such adverse circumstances, discontinuing education will affect the development of the country. So this method can be used to help those who would otherwise lose out on precious sessions. “This model of teaching is being discussed in Japan, USA, London, Canada, Argentina and other countries. Professor Kima Tujino of Osaka University connected with me with his students and saw the black board model live through the webinar,” Kumar added.
Dr Dipa Das, who was coordinating the webinar, said this model is being appreciated in other countries, especially in Japan, which is technically quite advanced. “The way Sapan Kumar has been teaching students, who don’t have access to smart phones, is commendable.” Professor Tujino termed the model “wonderful” and said it would be of great help for students of his university.
A photograph of students attending classes in front of blackboards on mud walls titled ‘Mud Wall to Blackboard’ was displayed in three countries after it won the ‘Special Encouragement Award’ during the prestigious Nikon Photo Contest 2020-2021 in the open category.