Government and Aided schools across the State ushered in the new academic year with Praveshanotsavam. Schools in the coastal fringes of the city too joined the fete.

At the Valiyathura Lower Primary Government School, which is situated in the compound of the St. Antony School, there were three new admissions into Class one. Teachers here said the school got fewer admissions each year owing to its limited resources and because most parents preferred other schools in area. This school houses 52 students in total, from Classes one to four, and five teachers.

Despite there being fewer admissions, the school conducted the reopening fete, complete with the distribution of sweets and books and a procession of students carrying placards that underlined the features of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. ‘Child-friendly environment,' ‘parity in implementation,' and education being a fundamental right were highlighted in the procession. As per the Right to Education Act, uniforms were provided to children who fall in the BPL category.

Processions were also conducted by the St. Mary's Lower Primary Convent School at Vettukad. Principal Sr. Elizabeth said the total expenditure for the event came close to Rs.10,000, most of which was contributed by the Principal and the teachers.

Payasam too

“The rally was an elaborate affair, we served squash and payasam afterwards, distributed books and stationery as well, but we received only about Rs.500 from the Corporation; what are we going to do with just that?,” asked a teacher here.

The school, however, boasted of a higher number of admissions into both nursery and Class one. St. Mary's LPS now has a strength of over 300 students and 15 teachers, Sr. Elizabeth said.

Anjana, who joined LKG, looked set to start school as she had already sharpened her pencils and kept her books open.

Her parents said they enrolled her here as they had noticed the good reputation of the school and how much it had developed.

St. Mary's Higher Secondary School in the same locality conducted a special assembly as part of the fete. Reverend Father Gladin Alex was the chief guest of the event that highlighted the need to preserve the environment. PTA president Mercy Paul was also present.

For the students who joined Class 5, a lighting-the-lamp ceremony was conducted and books were distributed by Sanghumugham ward councillor Latha Mankeshkar. Also present were Principal Sylvester Jay and Head Mistress Mary Pushpa. Sweets were distributed afterwards.

Keywords: Pravesanotsavam