Setupathi school has donned the role of a perfect parent

The school where revolutionary poet and fiery freedom fighter Subramania Bharathi had worked as a teacher more than a century ago is reaching out to its Plus Two students to secure good results this year.

At a time when private schools grind and grill their students to get centum pass, this boys school in Madurai whose students come from most deserving families is not putting its Plus Two boys in a pressure cooker situation. Instead, the headmaster and teachers of Setupathi Higher Secondary School here have donned the role of a perfect parent and a counsellor by voluntarily announcing cash incentives from their own pocket to motivate the students do well in the Board examinations.

“Most of our students are from poor financial background. It is our duty to make them pass the crucial Class XII examinations. Last year, our pass percentage was 78 per cent in Plus Two and we want to do better this year. Motivation, encouragement, counselling and saying soothing words are our approach. Cash prizes too have been announced for them by teachers and our school's well-wishers,” P.Manoharan, Headmaster, says.

Just before the first revision test for Class XII students which began on January 20, the headmaster spoke to students during the morning prayer assembly where he informed that the Plus Two student who scored the highest marks will be given a cash prize of Rs.15,000.

Totally, 264 students (both English and Tamil medium put together) are appearing for the public examinations from this school of which 122 are in science group, 65 are in commerce group and 77 students in vocational group.

While a well-wisher of the school P. M. Joseph (an old student of M. C. School) had come forward to sponsor the cash reward, the headmaster himself announced that he will present Rs.1,100 to any student who scores 1100 marks. Likewise, commerce teacher M. S. Srinivasan came forward to give Rs.5,000 to commerce students who score centum .

Another cash prize of Rs.5,000 is also waiting for students of vocational group who secure centum in mathematics. “In the next few days, we will be calling the parents also for a meeting because their support at home is important for the success of the students,” Mr. Manoharan said.

In the half-yearly examinations, several students have either scored less marks or failed mostly in five subjects- maths, physics, chemistry, commerce and accountancy. The overall pass percentage, of all groups put together, was 67 per cent.

The headmaster and teachers are also going to approach a few more philanthropists for giving cash prizes to students to boost their morale further.

While 264 students are writing the Plus Two exams, the overall student strength of Setupathi Higher Secondary School is 1,730. Mr.Manoharan has a general piece of advice for all Plus Two students.

“Even if you have wasted time till now, it doesn't matter. Study with concentration for the next one month and still you can pass. No student should fail and that is our immediate priority,” he says.

School authorities hope that the spirit of Subramania Bharathi would drive the students towards success. As per school records, he worked in Setupathi School in 1904 for about five months teaching Tamil from sixth class onwards.