From offline to online, 40-year-old Rakib Zia hailing from educationally backward Naroo village in Budgam district has one purpose- how the students will get benefitted.
Having seen his own hardships, Zia doesn’t want other students to suffer.
Zia has come a long way from becoming the first person in his educationally backward hamlet to do a Ph.D. back in 2014 to penning down 100 academic books till now. Currently, he works as an Assistant Professor of political science at Vitasta School of Law and Humanities, Nowgam.
“I did schooling from a local government school in my hometown. After pursuing my graduation in arts from Amar Singh College, Srinagar, I completed my post-graduation in political science from Kashmir University. Our financial situation was not that great. I had to take a loan to pursue further studies. Following this, I did my Ph.D. in political science from KU itself,” he said.
It was in 2003 when Zia realized the dearth of study material in the local libraries and bookshops. “It was a pre-internet age and I decided to do something about it and help the students. I traveled outside and did a lot of research. I tried to produce the study material in my books,” he said.
His first book was about the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. Since then, he has published around 100 books on a variety of subjects. Those include general knowledge, reference books, textbooks, guides, etc.
“This was done in collaboration with local publishing houses. With God’s grace, I have received an overwhelming response from the students who benefitted from the books,” Zia said.
In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted education globally, Zia turned to Youtube to continue teaching and started his channel by the name of “Rakib Zia”.
“Along the way, I have become more technology savvy and learned how to embellish the video lectures with catchphrases, background scores, and animation to keep students engaged,” he said.
Zia’s subscriber base—5.43K –is impressive given that he caters to college students interested in learning general political science, history, B.Ed course, public administration, international relations, and the Indian constitution.
“Every day, I wake up at 4 in the morning and dedicate two hours to preparing a Youtube lecture. For me, the online way of teaching was not easy as I didn’t know much about shooting when I started. I learnt gradually and decided to produce videos for various subjects so kids can learn from them anytime, anywhere,” he said.
Asked what motivates him to give extra hours to YouTube lectures, “Even if the students learn a single word from my online lessons, I feel my purpose is served,” Zia concluded.