Coimbatore

Panchayat school on the verge of closure, now admission goes up

Students of Panchayat Union Elementary School at Nasiyanur Kandampalayam in Erode feeding the cattle.

Students of Panchayat Union Elementary School at Nasiyanur Kandampalayam in Erode feeding the cattle.   | Photo Credit: M_GOVARTHAN

This was due to improved amenities provided by a philanthropist settled in the United Kingdom

Infrastructure development, focus on extra-curricular activities, free transportation for students, all done by a philanthropist, helped improve admissions at the Panchayat Union Elementary School at Nasiyanur Kandampalayam in the Perundurai Panchayat Union that was once facing closure due to poor admissions.

The school, started in 1987 with three students, improved its admissions over the years as the maximum strength stood at 72 in 2003. However, starting of private schools in and around the area and widening of the Salem – Kochi National Highway without underpass to the village resulted in poor admissions from 2005. The total students’ strength even dropped to 11 as it faced closure. “There is no admissions from the habitations of Kandampalayam, Periya Vaikal Medu and Naalu Valla Kadu”, said the headmaster T. Kandasamy as they started focusing on nearby habitations. He said that people across the national highway refuse to send their wards as there is no provision for a subway or pedestrian crossing.

The school then focused on improving the infrastructure as K. Shivakumar, native of the village and settled in the United Kingdom, offered financial support to the school through his Rainwater Literacy Foundation. Floors in classrooms and veranda were replaced with tiles, chairs and tables were purchased, library and smart classrooms were established and rain water harvesting system that would serve the drinking water needs of the students were installed, said Mr. Shivakumar. He said that students had planted 267 saplings in 2015 near the school and were watering it regularly. Currently, the strength is 47, including 15 students from Narikuravar community who were transported in the vehicles from their area located about nine km from the school at free of cost.

R. Nithya, Block Resource Teacher Educator (BRTE), Perundurai, said that spoken English classes and yoga were taught to the students regularly and added that students had created their own garden in the school and are maintaining it. She said that all the activities contributed for the increase in strength over the past few years.

Students bring the plastic materials from their home which is sold and seeds are purchased for the garden. Mr. Shivakumar had donated a cow to the school and students learn farming on every Saturdays at his land. In another three weeks, students will begin cultivating paddy in the field allotted to them, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 9:36:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/panchayat-school-on-the-verge-of-closure-now-admission-goes-up/article29316499.ece

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