SELFLESS FOR EDUCATION’S CAUSE
Teachers’ dedication, perseverance, should be given the due
recognition they deserve, especially when it’s done selflessly without
expecting the Governmental support, aid or sanctions. In Vellore district, in a
village called KATTALAI, next to Kaveripakkam, there is a Panchayat Union
Primary School, since 1966. In this school there were only 35 students studying. In this
scenario, in 2010, Smt. Latha, a headmistress came to this school to take over responsibilities
of running the school. From the moment she joined the school she decided to
upgrade the school at par with private schools,
those always have had better infrastructure, toilet, water facilities. Apart
from this she wanted to increase the number students from 35 and this was her
first primary goal, purpose and dedicated thought. She worked hard to achieve
this set target, to provide better facilities for students, she equipped the
school by spending from her own money.
First she bought smart boards, computers,
Reverse osmosis water purification system for students’ use and learning
facility. For children who had to travel to this school from far, she provided
them with FREE
AUTO TRANSPORT FACILITY,
to drop and pick up children from school. Seeing her stunning operative methods,
the number of children coming to this school increased from 35 to 65 at the
moment. She was able to achieve this, because of the change that she brought to
the school at par with private schools, the parents also started showing
interest to make their children join this school and are very appreciative of
her selfless efforts. She aims to reach a target increase in students to 100
and buys school uniform to girl students, out of her pocket.” Providing the
school children with adequate facility has given her immense contentment” says
Smt. Latha, considering the fact that the school is run in only one building,
with the other building being locked up because of poor maintenance and almost
in dilapidated condition. Only request she places to the Government is, to
build additional infrastructure for the students’ welfare. With Government
schools numbering about 3000, on the verge of closure, for want of
infrastructures, facilities, basic amenities, we should appreciate, honour the
efforts taken by such teachers who are effectively doing things in a very
innovative way. She deserves recognition and reimbursement of her expenses,
spent from her own money to equip the school though selfless from her side,
without waiting for Government support. But for her unfettered, continuous
efforts this school would have been closed long time back or the numbers of
students would have dwindled as the years go by.
Next scenario, in Sengunam, in Thiruvannamalai, a 17-year-old lad, Mukundh Balajee, a class XII student at National Public School, in Koramangala, Bengaluru, as a first step, has founded a NGO, to improve the quality of education at Government schools and cleanliness in villages as is a native from that place. The said NGO, has set up a well-equipped library in the school and plans to set up smart class-rooms in Sengunam Government Higher Secondary in Polur Town Panchayat. Mukundh founded the NGO “Gramin Shiksha” with the help of his parents in June 2017. His father Balajee Subramaniyan whose family owns the Essae Group of Companies, had assured to back his son’s move. As narrated by Mukundh, “The aim of opening the organisation was to help rural schools in Karnataka where they are settled. Fund crunch may force TN government to close down 3000 schools shocked him, after which his discussion with his family led him to decide to adopt the said school”. Head master of the school confirmed R. Karunanithi confirmed that there are 285 students in that school comprising of boys 133 and girls 152 students.
Mukundh through Gramin Shiksha opted to contribute and setup a smart class room at a cost of 1.5 lakhs, also gave used study materials for students to prepare for competitive and entrance examinations including NEET, UPSC, TNPSC. He has assured to donate 4-5 computers, improve the infrastructure of the school by renovating the old toilets, paint the school to develop the premise. While works are underway to transform the Sengunam Government school at par with international standard private schools, students and parents of the school had expressed their gratitude to Mukundh and his family members.
It was decided in August 2018, Government schools to be turned into model schools in TN. Development of Government Schools is a must and TN has taken up the initiative to change the scenario by developing 32 model schools. One Government HS school has been selected from each district. This move is to attract public and private sectors to help develop Government Schools. The updates to be made and the facilities to be provided were discussed by the Chief Educational Officers and Headmasters. Each school will be granted a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs from the state government as declared by Education Minister Sri. K.A. Sengottaiyan. The local authorities were tasked to raise the additional amounts needed for upgrading. The presidency Girls Higher Secondary School in Egmore is one of the schools to be upgraded.
Educationist Prince Gajendrababu, opined that “each and every government school should be treated as a model school and needs to be developed. If the State Government selectively chooses one school and develops it as the model school, it will amount to discriminating students studying in other government schools. It is against the provision of Article 14 of the Constitution”.
It was declared in August 2018, by the TN Government that RO plants to be set up at 2448 Government schools in TN, to meet their drinking water requirements. The state government has sanctioned Rs.48.96 crores towards this project. When a prior review meeting was conducted in April 2018, the education department requested the district collectors to earmark a portion of the MLA constituency development fund towards the said project. Subsequently the director of school education had sent the list of the schools to the State Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, being the coordinating agency. An order was issued recently instructing collectors to use at least 15 lakhs from the respective MLA fund to set up RO plants so that water from an overhead tank on the school premises could be purified and used for drinking purposes. In case the funds are insufficient the collectors have been instructed to use the local MP’S LOCAL AREA DEVELOPMENT FUND. But these are all only process underway and how far they have been effected is a different issue.
The Government schools would have been closed, but for the teachers, parents (where they gift all necessary items to schools) and good Samaritans. IT IS BECAUSE OF SELFLESS TEACHERS, CITIZENS that Government schools manage, tide over the crux situations which can’t wait for their help at the time of need, FORVER. Our heartfelt wishes and kudos to those SELFLESS teachers like latha and a young boy Mukundh whose kind gesture, maturity, goes beyond his age, that the Government schools see some hope to pull on, otherwise if they tend to wait for Government grants, aids, sanctions, IT WOULD SEEM AGES AND THE WAIT ENDLESS !!!!
VIJAYASHREE RAMESH, CHENNAI BASED ADVOCATE