Andhra Pradesh

A school drop-out, he now provides holistic education to kids

Battu Suresh Kumar, head mster of Zilla Parishad High School at Nidamanuru in Vijayawada.

Battu Suresh Kumar, head mster of Zilla Parishad High School at Nidamanuru in Vijayawada.   | Photo Credit: V RAJU

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ZP school headmaster Suresh Kumar is ensuring that students get all facilities like in private schools

After reviewing the performance of the children, B. Suresh Kumar, headmaster of the Zilla Parishad High School, Nidamanuru, walks around the school, monitoring the quality of food ingredients; toilets and the mineral water plant to ensure that they are hygienic and safe for the children.

“I ensure that all the students get the facilities they deserve, akin to those in private schools,” says Mr. Kumar.

Mr. Kumar’s commitment to his school and children earned him the National Award to Teachers in 2019, which he received from President Ram Nath Kovind in New Delhi. As a headmaster, he says it is his responsibility to ensure that the children have a comfortable, discipline and joyful time at school.

The Zilla Parishad High School in Nidamanuru is the largest school in the district with a strength of 1,301 students. With only 50 teachers and 30 classrooms, Mr. Kumar performs his tasks with ease.

Facilities

“We have installed solar panels worth ₹8 lakh on the roof, which generate around 60 to 80 units of electricity a day. The electricity bill now comes around ₹600 as against ₹10,000, two years ago. The amount saved is used for making education more progressive and efficient for students,” said Mr. Kumar.

Apart from this, the school also boasts four digital classrooms and one virtual classroom which facilitate the amalgamation of technology and knowledge, making it easier for the students to grasp various concepts. The school has incinerators installed in the washrooms for the disposal of napkins and sanitary pads.

“Recently, the Union government sanctioned ₹20 lakh for the development of an Atal Tinkering Lab, of which we received ₹12 lakh. The lab will be open to students in a few days,” said a determined Mr. Kumar, adding the funds they receive from the State government were not sufficient for running the school.

Funding

“We do not receive adequate funds from the State government. We mostly depend on fund-raising initiatives by donors or companies who would like to improve the infrastructure of the school. The refurbishment of the basic infrastructure is taken up by donors and in some cases, they even give us funds towards maintaining it,” Mr. Kumar said.

Mr. Kumar said the pass percentage of class 10 students rose from 75 % in 2018 to 84 % in 2019, while the strength of the school increased from 1,200 to 1,301.

The headmaster also appointed three physical education teachers to ensure the all-round development of the students. He said that fostering such a spirit has encouraged students to participate in various sports meets at both district and state levels.

A drop-out

Mr. Kumar, who dropped out of school in the sixth grade, struggled to gain a formal education. Post his Matriculation, he pursued B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mathematics and MA in English literature through distance education and has been teaching since 1989. Having faced countless hardships in life, he wants to ensure that none of his students drops out of school either.

“We feel no pressure working under him. His holistic approach towards the development of the children has even enabled us to gain a new perspective towards imparting education,” said Samba Siva Rao, an English teacher.

English medium

Mr. Kumar said he supported the government’s decision to impose English as the medium of instruction in all primary schools in the State to cater to needs of the English dominated market. “All children must learn English as it is a widely accepted form of communication and instruction. Even children from government schools should get a fair chance of competing in the market that is dominantly accessible to the students undergoing private education,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 8:20:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/a-school-drop-out-he-now-provides-holistic-education-to-kids/article30126899.ece

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