Parents and residents of Kunrathur, a western suburb, have pinned their hopes on the State government to revamp a 61-year-old government-aided middle school.
Collapsing roofs, eroding walls and floors, inadequate basic amenities, including toilets for students and a huge dip in student patronage has brought the Valluvar Middle School in Tirunageswaram, Kunrathur to the brink of closure.
The school was established in 1952 on a plot of land donated by a philanthropist and long-time residents recalled that its primary objective was to help children of Tirunageswaram have easy access to primary education as most schools then were far from the bus terminus.
“Working in the school in a serene atmosphere and nurturing young minds was a rewarding experience,” said M. Kuppuswamy, who retired as headmaster from the school in 1997, after serving in that position for more than 32 years.
Now, children attend classes on the terrace of the first floor, without a roof. Classrooms on the ground floor are cramped with students of all sections occupying a single, huge hall. Students of the senior sections attend classes outside this building.
Parents said that in the absence of toilets, boys managed, but it was a huge problem for girls. Against a student strength of 1,450 in 1997, which rose by 200 two years later, the strength now is 420 for classes I to VIII, Mr. Kuppuswamy said.
The teacher strength of 22 is adequate, but they too have problems, such as not receiving any benefits. Following a representation from the teachers, the State Human Rights Commission in April this year directed the district elementary education officer to take over the administration of the school.
A senior officer in Kancheepuram, told The Hindu that she had taken charge less than a week ago and that she would look into the matter.
The school’s headmistress, daughter of the school correspondent, whose family is managing the administration, did not comment on these issues. Residents, including elected representatives in Kunrathur, said the school had produced a number of achievers, employed in senior positions in Central and State government organisations and also in the private sector. They have pinned their hopes on the school education department to step in and revive the school and its future, parents said.