Days after the people of K. Pichampatty stopped sending their wards to school after a Dalit girl was raped and murdered, the district administration has opened a non-residential training centre in that village to help children continue their education.

Started under the Sarva Shiksha Abiyan scheme, the centre started functioning on Friday with education volunteers roped in to take classes for the students.

A building in that village serves as the non-residential training centre where 23 students attended classes.

Ever since a Dalit minor was raped and murdered on June 23 at K. Pichampatty, members of the community decided against sending their children to school out of fear.

The heinous crime terrified the Dalits of the village who stuck to their stand of not sending their wards to school.

Realising that the children’s education would suffer, the district administration decided to open a non-residential training centre at the village itself to ensure that the minors did not miss out on their education, said Education Department sources.

The officials interacted with the people of the village about the centre and the importance of continuing the education of their wards prior to opening the centre.

This centre is a new arrangement. But the long-term plan is to counsel the villagers and convince them to send their wards back to the main school, Chief Educational Officer R. Thiruvalarselvi told The Hindu.

Students attending the training centre are from different classes – ranging from class 1 to 8.

Plans are also afoot to engage teachers in the centre to take classes for the children. “The children are eager to learn,” Ms. Thiruvalarselvi said and added that the whole objective of putting this initiative in place was to ensure that the education of the students did not suffer in any manner because of the incident.

The timings of the training centre would be similar to that of a regular school, she added.