With enrolment in government schools declining in the last few years, Panchayat Union Middle School at Majra Kollapatti in Salem Rural has turned its eye on advertisements by placing hoarding and distributing pamphlets to villagers to improve admissions for the current academic year.

Started in 1962, the school has a strength of 540 students studying from Standards I to VIII. The school has protected drinking water facility, modern toilets, tables and chairs, compound wall, all donated by Salem Steel Plant.

Talking about the innovative idea, English Teacher P. Babu said that the school had a science laboratory, English laboratory, and library, all functioning at separate rooms and were used frequently used by students.

“The idea is to make the villagers know about the facilities available here,” he added. He said that internet facility was being used to teach students of Standards VI to VIII for giving more details on a subject besides visuals.

“The people should know about these things,” he added.

Unlike private schools who can spend a vast amount on advertisements, the school with limited resources has installed three hoarding at public places and started to distribute pamphlets to villagers that explain the facilities available in the school.

“Public address system is used as it helps villagers quickly get the message,” said Mr. Babu.

Headmaster of the school M.V. Ponmudi told The Hindu that the school has started an English medium section for Standards I and VI this year.

“It’s a collective decision of the teachers to go for advertisements so as to improve enrolment,” he said.

The expenses for the same are met by teachers themselves.

Immediately after starting the advertisement campaign 36 parents have made enquiries for admissions for various classes.

“Normally admission takes place from June first week. Now the message has started to reach the people and students have started to pour in,” added Mr. Babu.

When contacted Chief Educational Officer R. Eswaran told The Hindu that government schools were being encouraged to introduce new methods for admission purposes.