It is not often that one comes across a school that is home to children across the social spectrum, providing not only wholesome education to all but also where students are on a par with each other, irrespective of whether they are first generation learners or children of highly qualified parents.
Ramana Vidyalaya on MGR First Cross Street, Sholinganallur, beside Rajiv Gandhi Salai, is one such institution.
The CBSE school was established in 2005 on an acre of land with just a handful of students to start with.
However, it has been associated with the locality even earlier, functioning as a free tuition centre to coach children — all of them first generation learners from impoverished families in Sholinganallur, Semmancheri and surrounding areas.
The school has been established by N.S. Educational Trust, set up by N. Chandrasekaran, a former student of IIT Madras and Lalitha Chandrasekaran, along with Chari, a former principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya.
Ms. Lalitha is a former Principal of DAV Girls Senior Secondary School in Gopalapuram.
She brings with her a rich experience of teaching children since 1979.
“We have been reaching out to the children of this locality through the free tuition centre long before the software boom on the IT corridor. We started a Trust in the names of our fathers (Neelakantan and Sivaramakrishnan) and established the school,” says Ms. Lalitha.
The school provides absolute free education – complete waiver of tuition fee, free uniforms, books and notebooks and even free transport to a section of students who hail from poor families living in slum board tenements in Semmanchery.
They also provide nutritious evening snacks to improve the health of malnourished children.
The students enjoy a healthy relationship with each other and with a highly motivated team of teachers and non-teaching staff, the school has earned the trust of parents in Sholinganallur.
The first batch of students in class X will appear for the public examinations next year.
The school at present has 650 students, a good number of them being first generation learners, whose parents are in the low rung of the socio-economic ladder.
As the school is being run entirely with the support from donors, philanthropists and the private sector, the school management has appealed to people, especially those living along the IT corridor, to contribute to the school’s growth. Contributions are exempt under Section 80 G.
For details, call 98407 93926/2450 1405. www.ramanavidyalaya.com.
Ramana Vidyalaya provides wholesome education to children across the social spectrum.