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Dasara or not, schooling’s paramount

Shankar Bennur
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Children of mahouts and kavadis are busy studying in a ‘tent’ school at the Mysore Palace

Children of mahouts and kavadis attending classes at the tent school set up on the Mysore Palace grounds.— Photo: M.A. Sriram
Children of mahouts and kavadis attending classes at the tent school set up on the Mysore Palace grounds.— Photo: M.A. Sriram

One may think that the mahouts and kavadis are busy training Dasara elephants, but their children are equally busy with their studies despite being away from their regular schools.

Thanks to a ‘tent’ school, a makeshift school set up on the Mysore Palace premises, the children’s temporary stay here has not disturbed their education. Officials from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) have arranged for the children to continue their education until the festivities conclude.

A teacher was deputed to this makeshift school under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Since September 7, the school has catered to the needs of 20 children, scattered across standards 1 to 7. Their lessons start from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The temporary arrangement ensures that the children don’t lose interest in their studies because of the break in their schooling, which could eventually lead them to dropout. This arrangement has been in place for many years.

Keen interest

“This year, the children have shown a keen interest in studies and come to the school on their own. There is a marked improvement in their interest towards studies,” said Noor Fathima, a teacher from a Government Urdu School.

Ms. Fathima has been taking classes for the children since the last four years. Thirty more children are expected to join when the second batch of Dasara elephants arrives, bringing the school’s total strength to 50, Ms. Fathima said.

The school will run till October 13. After school hours, the children assist their parents in bathing elephants and play in the palace courts.

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