|27 Sep 2023|
|2023 Finalists Global Teacher Prize|
Deep Narayan Nayak’s innovative teaching methods have bridged the learning gap for underprivileged children living below the poverty line and lacking access to education, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. With schools shut he turned mud walls outside properties into blackboards and the roads were converted to classrooms, as he provided education to those who would otherwise be left behind due to the digital divide, particularly underprivileged children, indigenous and financially disadvantaged students.
He has also focused on educating parents, particularly mothers and grandmothers, to break the cycle of illiteracy and improve the chances of first-generation learners, and his teaching techniques have helped eradicate superstition among indigenous communities while fostering an interest in science education and even helping overcome challenges such as learning disability, Bibliophobia, dysgraphia and dyslexia. He has developed programs that address malnutrition, child exploitation, and early marriages, while empowering women in backward districts. His 'Fantastic Three-Dimensional Model' has provided education and employment opportunities, while his Mothers' Football Team encourages sportsmanship, promotes gender equality and world peace. His focus on environmental awareness and sustainability helps discourage the use of plastic and promotes tree-planting and his ‘Through the Teacher at Doorstep’ program has provided counselling to students and their guardians to reduce absenteeism and prevent school dropouts.
A strong dedication to education, health, gender equality, world peace, and environmental awareness have seen him implement innovative teaching techniques proving successful in closing the gap in student learning, while also advocating for universal access to education. And his work in providing education to underprivileged, remote communities that lack basic infrastructure, including electricity, schools, internet, roads, and housing, all seeing him hailed as the 'Teacher of the Streets,' and 'Raster Master’
His blackboard painting initiative has ensured educational access for students living below the poverty line, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and his 'Raster Master' project has been successful in restoring the right to education, while addressing challenges faced by millions of children worldwide, including educational development, food security, women's empowerment, eradication of superstitions, and employment opportunities. The 'Raster Master' project has contributed to providing an inclusive education roadmap worldwide, especially for backward communities and Deep Narayan Nayak believes this project has tremendous potential to reduce the post-COVID impact on education, health and employment, three of the world's most significant challenges.
In recognition of his outstanding services , he was awarded "Shining World Education Award" by The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association, 2021, "Global Teacher Award" by AKS, 2022, " Best Teacher Award, 2020" by Institute of Scholars. A 'Raster Master' picture by photographer Sourav Das achieved 2nd place in the prestigious UNICEF Photo of the Year 2021 and 1st place in the esteemed Global Peace Photo Award. His school's exceptional performance in COVID-19 responsive behavior, water, sanitation, and hygiene practices earned the prestigious 'Swachh Vidyalaya Puraskar 2021-22' from the Ministry of Education, Government of India. Additionally, they were recognized by the West Bengal School Education Department with a 'Certificate of Appreciation 2019' for efforts in advancing W.A.S.H. education, aesthetics intervention, and child-friendly norms.