75-year-old Dwijendra Nath Ghosh, well into a decade of his retirement, took it up as a challenge to save the Basantapur Junior High School that was on the verge of closing due to the lack of teachers in the school after the retirement of four guest teachers in February 2023. Had it not been for his efforts the school would've closed months ago.
Known fondly as 'Mastermoshai,' Dwijendra began teaching without compensation at the school due to a staff shortage. Over time, he successfully persuaded five of his former students to join him, he proudly states, "They did not let me down." Dwijendra is supported by a small team of just five "voluntary teachers" and one guest teacher. These dedicated volunteers, who include his former students are also generously teaching without any remuneration, just like he does
“In 2014, the government had appointed four ‘guest teachers’ and all of them retired in February this year. Since then, the government has appointed only one guest teacher. If there are no teachers, the school will shut down,” says Dwijendra as reported by The Indian Express.
"Apart from the annual grant that varies from Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000, the state government provides mid-day meals and other resources needed to run the school. But if there’s a special programme like our annual sports day, sometimes I have to pitch in," he added.
Basantpur Junior High is a one-story building with four classrooms, a kitchen, a library room that also serves as the staff room for teachers, and restroom facilities. The school accommodates a total of 140 students, including 81 boys and 59 girls, who are enrolled in classes V to VIII.
“Mastermoshai, convinced me to come and teach here. Despite being educated, I am unemployed, so I have time to spare. I started teaching in February,” says Swagata Ghosh, who teaches history at the school.
“Someone has to teach these children. If the school shuts down, many will simply drop out of the education system,” added another teacher, Suman Majhi.