Various initiatives introduced at Sathram school for its revival have paid off.

Teachers at the Government Fort Upper Primary School, better known as the ‘Sathram School,’ like their counterparts in other ‘uneconomical’ government schools, were facing the problem of fall in strength when they devised an idea to attract more students.

English coaching

‘‘Last year, we had just nine new students combined in the Malayalam and Tamil mediums. Most of the parents around here opted to admit their students in English medium schools. So this year, we told them that we will be giving some extra coaching in English too. The number of new admissions in class one this year has shown a marginal increase to 16,” says Principal S. Pushpakumari.

The school, one of the oldest in the city dating back to the 19th century, is housed in a building which was once the Diwan’s house.

It was in a state of neglect until a few years back and is now experiencing some revival, thanks to the combined efforts of the Thiruvananthapuram chapter of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) and the teachers here.

The JCI adopted the school in 2012 and has since then taken up various initiatives for the betterment of the school’s conditions.

On Friday, the JCI distributed notebooks and umbrellas to all the students in the school.

Soft skill training

“The students here come from economically backward communities. Till a few years back, some of the classrooms were leaking and students would not turn up during the rain. That has changed now. We are also imparting training in soft skills to the teachers and students. Initiatives like this will send a message to the community around here and could attract more students to the school in the coming years,” said R. Jayaprakash, patron of JCI’s city chapter.

Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar, who distributed the notebooks and umbrellas, promised to release funds to buy a school bus soon.