Lokesh Sharan is a teacher from Samastipur, Bihar, with over 30 years of working experience. He has not only taught hundreds of students but also helped improve the derogatory quality of schools and education in rural areas. Sometime back, his suggestion was well taken by the then district magistrate, RK Sinha, who released contingency funds for 22 such schools.
Talking about the history of educators in his family, Sharan says, “My father was a teacher and later became the headmaster of Bal Sainik Vidyalay, the primary school, that he started in 1983. He always believed that teaching was a noble profession and helped serve the country by creating an educated younger generation.”
When the school his father built closed about a decade ago, Sharan did not give up teaching rather he converted his home’s porch into a makeshift classroom. He set up benches and painted a blackboard to accommodate up to 40 local students. Today, he charges only rupee 1 from each one of them for the classes that he conducts either before or after the school timings.
Addressing the reason to charge a mere rupee 1, he says in this way the parents of his students do not feel indebted to him and develop a sense of accountability. “Parents can ask why their child is not doing well as they are paying for it. They will feel responsible for their child and take follow-ups on the progress. Meanwhile, some parents cannot afford monthly transport and school fees for their children. It serves as an alternate platform for them,” he tells The Better India.
He not only teaches the children academically but also believes in preparing them for other necessary aspects of life. That's because Sharan realises how most educators only teach their respective subjects and let go of other learning opportunities. Apart from clearing doubts, teaching, binding and stitching the torn books, he focuses on improving the students’ handwriting, encouraging extracurricular activities, etc.
Although he's old enough to retire, he always keeps a chalk box, duster and pen in his bag so that he never misses an opportunity to teach the little learners he usually encounters. This is the kind of selflessness our teaching community is made of. Salute!
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