Nodding their heads gleefully to the beat of the drum, the children of Sarkari Abhyasa High School, Hampankatta, walked into the campus and were handed roses by their proud parents. As they spotted the camerapersons they excitedly started holding out their roses saying, “Photo thegiri” (please take my photograph).
The school was one of the many government schools that reopened on Friday. Some of the schools were decorated with mango leaves, flowers and colour papers.
At the Hampankatta school, it was the district unit of Kannada Sahitya Parishat that had stepped in to make the reopening a memorable event.
Kannada writer Sara Aboobacker told the students, “You must believe that you are capable of achieving anything. English or Kannada, the medium doesn’t matter as long as education is imparted.” President of Sahitya Parishath Pradeep Kumar Kalkura said, “We must stop trying to turn children into 100/100 scoring robots. If everyone becomes a doctor or an engineer, who will take care of things like governance and agriculture? We need another (A.P.J. Abdul) Kalam.”
The gathering comprised students wearing different uniforms, as some of them were yet to get new uniforms. Although they were a bit restless during the official programme, the mention of the word, ‘Ice cream’, had their full attention. They were given compass boxes and textbooks by the Parishat, which also arranged lunch for them.
Pauli D’silva, Hindi teacher, said, “Education will be effective only if there is parental support. Most parents are uneducated and it is difficult for them to offer help in children’s studies, but simple things like making sure they have a set time to study and complete homework will make a lot of difference.”
Jayashri Nayak, another teacher, feels that the CBSE system makes sure that children have practical knowledge. “Earlier we just described the post office, now we actually take them there and they can understand better.”
At DKZP School, Pandeshwar, the children, who were on their lunch break, were very happy to meet their friends after the long summer holidays, and were frolicking in the playground or playing board games. None of the children had a park close to their home with items like a slide, jungle gym and swings and were all thrilled to make the most of them.