Government Smart Primary School in Pangur teaches students to mend uniforms

Each one of us, at some time or the other would have had a button fall off or need a hook stitched. This is the case more so for young school children, where uniforms often come in the way of having fun, and skirt hooks being ripped off or buttons falling off are a daily occurrence.

One primary school in Pangur has come up with a solution for this problem, by teaching the students to fix it themselves. For over a year now, the school has been training their kids in stitching buttons and hooks.

Everyday as soon as lunch is over, the students of the Government Smart Primary School in Pangur assemble on the second floor. Depending on the day, they take turns to either stitch, read books or play chess and carom. Each one of these groups has a leader who monitors the activity and they write down in a register who has read what book, how many buttons and hooks have been stitched and what games were played. The register is then signed by the principal, Thangavel.

“Every day, I stitch one or two buttons, because I am the leader for the sewing group for the girls. The boys have a different leader and he takes care of the boy’s uniforms. Now I have become very good at threading the needle and stitching a button. Before this, I did not even know how to stitch,” said Subbalakshmi, of Class V.

“The idea came to us when we realised that every day, at least one or two kids ended up with a torn skirt or lose button. Many of these children come from very backward families and their parents probably will not have the time to help them fix their uniforms. For this, we taught the children some basic tailoring.

Now, the children that have problem with their uniform wear the spare shirt or skirt that is available in the school, while another student stitches up the missing button,” Simon Peeter Paul, the teacher who started the initiative, explained.

This is a life skill, and they will always be able to use it; and by maintaining the register, the students also develop a sense of responsibility, he added.

The school is now looking to teach the children embroidery and other skills, but, so far, they have not found a suitable teacher.

“If there is someone willing to teach the children other skills that they can use, they are more than welcome to come to school and teach the children,” he said.

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