Karnataka

Hajabba wants village school upgraded

Harekala Hajabba submitting a memorandum to Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar at Harekala near Mangaluru on Saturday.

Harekala Hajabba submitting a memorandum to Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar at Harekala near Mangaluru on Saturday.  

He has been chosen for the Padma Shri for promoting education

Harekala Hajabba, who has been chosen for the Padma Shri for promoting education in a village, broke down when the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S. Suresh Kumar visited the government school promoted by him in Harekala village on Saturday.

Mr. Kumar was the second Education Minister to visit his school after Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri since it was started about two decades ago. After felicitating the Minister, Mr. Hajabba demanded the promotion of the school — that now has classes from 1 to 10 — to Karnataka Public School so that it could offer education up to pre-university. “This should be done by considering it a special case. With this, we can attract more students,” he said.

Mr. Hajabba also demanded a playground and compound wall for the school that was spread across 1.33 acres. The primary school building needed repairs and a full-fledged science laboratory, library and computer laboratory. Proper bus facility should also be arranged, he told the Minister.

The Minister who felicitated Mr. Hajabba told him that he would examine the demands.

“I came here just to salute the man who built the school for society,” Mr. Kumar said. He told the students to study hard and bring laurels to the school. If the Class 10 students excelled, the school would naturally attract more students. The Minister said that society called those who turned educational institutes into business ventures ‘educationists’. But Mr. Hajabba was the real educationist as he spent all the money he got for the school.

Students told journalists that Mr. Hajabba visited the school every day. “We have only one computer in the high school. We need more,” said Fathima Johara.

The primary section has 91 students and the high school, 73. U.T. Khader, former Minister and MLA of Mangaluru also accompanied the Minister.

His Herculean task

Harekala Hajabba, now in his 60s, has been eking out a living by selling oranges at Central Market in the city. One day, a foreigner asked him the price of a kg of oranges. He could not answer as he did not know English. Mr. Hajabba did not want the children of his Harekala village, on the outskirts of Mangaluru, to face a similar situation and decided to open a primary school.

The school began in a madrasa on June 17, 2000. Later, it became a government school and the high school section was opened in 2007. Mr. Hajabba built the school with grants from the government, companies and from donors. Initially, he contributed ₹5,000, which was his savings from selling oranges.

Mr. Hajabba’s achievement has become a subject of study in UG courses in Mangaluru, Davangere and Kuvempu universities. In addition, Kannada-medium schools in Kerala have been teaching about him to Class 8 and Class 10 students. He has won various awards and used the money he won for the school itself.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 6:59:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/hajabba-wants-village-school-upgraded/article30832625.ece

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