“It’s the earnest and joint effort of the school staff and the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) that has led to the development of the school and helped it win this award,” said P.N. Sathyan, the proud headmaster of Government Lower Primary School, Athirkuzhi in Kasaragod district, that has won the State award for the best PTA in the primary section. The school also won Rs.5 lakh cash prize and a trophy.

A three-member group from the school, including the headmaster, PTA chairman Abdul Khadar and school Sahaya Society chairman Parameshwaran Nair reached the city to attend the award function. They also visited the Manacaud Government Lower Primary School during the day. “This school is known to have successfully implemented plenty of activities, so we thought we would take a look and get a few ideas for the development of our school,” said the headmaster.

Besides this Rs.5 lakh cash prize, the school will also get Rs.70,000 at the district-level considering the PTA’s achievements over the past year. Academic progress and activities reinforcing social values, especially environment protection activities, mark the LP school’s growth, 14 years since its inception in 1998.

The staff-members are conscious of the impact that can be made on children belonging to such a young age group and hence extra-curricular activities are prioritised here, according to Mr. Sathyan.

Pre-primary section

The school recently opened a pre-primary section, for children below the age of six. Besides various other activities, the children of the school also organised a cleanliness drive on the Independence Day this year when the little ones cleared a few kilometres of the road near the school of plastic waste. They also planted saplings on the roadside. The school also has a vegetable garden, the yield from which is used for their mid-day meal.

A grievance of the school authorities, however, is the lack of teachers for computer science, arts and physical education. “If the government can provide trained staff for these and mandatorily introduce these subjects in all schools, it will prove highly beneficial,” said Mr. Sathyan, who added that academics could not be the sole priority in a child’s development.

The prize money has come as a relief for the school is need of development work amounting to Rs.25 lakh. Construction of a store rooms, compound wall and a gate and ground-levelling work figure in the long list of things to be done at Athirkuzhi LPS.

“We will immediately begin such pending work. And first on the agenda is a children’s park,” said the headmaster.