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Quality Education: At Global Pathways

Quality Education: At Global Pathways

Sri Ram is a good boy, says his mother Anjugam. “This morning, I was in tears after an argument with my husband. My younger son kept asking ‘Amma what happened?' But Sri Ram took him away saying, ‘Amma is sad, do not disturb her.' I was grateful to him. I have to thank his teachers for his understanding and concern. And, Sri Ram is just in UKG.” Shanthi Prabu says that her daughter, who is in the first standard, is concerned about cleanliness. “She always washes her hands before eating and makes sure that I do too. Her teachers have taught her that,” she says. Priyadharshini sounds relieved that her eight-year-old son Sri Hari, has stopped getting into fights with his friends like he would earlier. “Even if a friend hurts him, he doesn't hurt him back,” she says.

Anjugam, Shanthi and Priyadharshini send their kids to the Global Pathways School in Chettipalayam. Most of the students here are first generation learners and belong to economically weak families from Samathuva Puram, Periyar Nagar, Anna Nagar, Kalaignar Nagar and Aandi Kaadu settlements. They not only get an education at this school, but are also taught yoga, karate, music and dance. They are fed a healthy lunch and snacks twice a day and get picked up and dropped at home. All this for a monthly fee of Rs.100.

Started in 2009, the school is funded by Canadians Theresa and Seth Mersky. The couple has always wanted to do something for the underprivileged. During their many visits to Coimbatore, they decided to start a school for children in Chettipalayam. “We started off in a rented building with 35 students,” says the school's administrator Sunbeam Vishwanathan. “There are 135 students today. We have classes from LKG to standard four,” she says. Sunbeam adds that the English-medium school has 13 teachers, with two teachers for a class of 25 students. “We also plan to upgrade up to standard 12,” she says.

Theresa believes that only education can help children out of poverty. “We can see the difference it makes in their lives,” she says. “Our students are healthier now; they can also speak English fluently. Hopefully, they will support their families when they grow up.” The school also has other kind-hearted donors from India and abroad. Barbara Galbraits and Barbara Zeibots, retired school headmistresses from Canada, spend about three months a year in the school with the children. They also train the teachers.

“Look, it's your son!” says Maria to her neighbour, pointing to a little boy on stage. It's the annual day celebrations at the school and the children put up an excellent show. There are dance performances, plays, yoga and karate demonstrations. Maria says she has noticed a change in the attitude of children in her locality. “The school has cultured them. Its evident in everything they do.”

Ravi Kumar, a painter has taken the day off to watch his children perform. He says, “My kids Subash and Surendran look forward to going to school. They wake up early in the morning and are dressed by 7 a.m. Subash wants to become an IPS officer. And Surendran wants to become a dance master. He gets all the training he needs right here.”

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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 11:05:35 pm |