For turning around the fortunes of Government LP School, Sreenivasan N.R has been recognised by State government

When 23-year-old Saramma got married earlier this year, she made sure that the teacher who taught her in the primary class was there to offer blessings before she set out for the wedding ceremony.

Sreenivasan N.R has been overwhelmed several times before by the love and affection of hundreds of students he had taught over a career spanning 29 years.

For someone not used to fashion his work to win glories despite winning 13 awards during last academic year alone, this primary school teacher is definitely happy on being selected for the State government’s teachers award this year, but not overwhelmed. He is just one of the two teachers to be selected for the award in the district, the other being V.A. Joy of St. Augustine HS, Kaloor.

Sreenivasan sees it as a recognition for bringing about a turnaround in the fortunes of the Government LPS, Kakkattupara, in Poothrikka grama panchayat over the last couple of years since he assumed charge as headmaster. “The award belongs to all, including my colleagues, PTA, panchayat and the public who made it possible,” Sreenivasan said with his innate humility.

And that reversal of fortune is a tale of the kind movies are made of. When he took over as headmaster in June 8, 2011, the school was among the uneconomic schools staring towards an imminent closure. There was no admission in class one while classes two to four had a total of 18 students. PTA was even poorer with only 13 members.

It was the kind of challenge Sreenivasan relished with his experience of having played an important role in the turnaround of Kizhumury LPS in Ramamangalam panchayat where he once studied and later joined as a teacher.

A staff meeting was convened immediately in which the full strength of four teachers rolled out a list of four reasons for the deplorable state of affairs — absence of pre-primary classes, school vehicle and English education, and broken down computers.

It was decided that the staff along with PTA members will embark on a public campaign, which they did. The result was there to be seen in less than a month with the formation of a school protection committee.

A firm believer in the role of IT in public instruction, Sreenivasan ensured that computers were back in service. Spoken English classes were given to all 18 students. A vehicle was also deployed to transport students.

“The restoration of computer education and students’ ability to use a smattering of English at homes helped a great deal in restoring the faith of the public in the school,” Sreenivasan said.

Soon thereafter all six classrooms and the headmaster’s office room were computerised with internet connection, perhaps the first LP School to have achieved such a feat in the State.

The emphasis on extra-curricular activities produced for the first time in the school’s history, nine winners in the sub-district level sports competition. It was adjudged the best primary school in the Kolancherry education sub-district in 2012-13 while the PTA was also adjudged the best.

The crowning glory was when the school was elected for this year’s State-level Praveshnolsavam.

For, during his two years at the helm, the school has recorded a six fold increase in student numbers from 18 to 108, exceeding the initial target of crossing the 100-mark by the centenary year in 2015.