Karnataka

Teacher revives fortunes of government school that had no students

Teachers Anitha K.C. and Jayyamma K.G. with students at the government lower primary school at H. Kadadakatte village in Honnali taluk of Davangere district.

Teachers Anitha K.C. and Jayyamma K.G. with students at the government lower primary school at H. Kadadakatte village in Honnali taluk of Davangere district.  

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Student strength at lower primary school up from zero to 28 in 3 years

At a time when government schools are struggling to retain students, a lower primary school at H. Kadadakatte village in Honnali taluk of Davangere district, which was on the verge of closure, has been revived thanks to the efforts of a teacher.

When Anitha K.C. was transferred in April 2016 to this school, which had classes 1 to 5, the student strength was zero and preparations were on to formally close it. Owing to poor amenities at the school, parents in the vicinity had admitted their children to private schools. Weeds and shrubs had grown on the school campus and the building had become a hub for drinking and gambling.

Many of Ms. Anitha’s well-wishers had even suggested that she submit a report to the Department of Public Instruction stating that reviving this school would be impossible. They also urged her to get a transfer elsewhere. However, Ms. Anitha, who studied in a rural government school herself, knew that government schools were places where bright futures could be moulded for children from rural areas and low-income groups.

Prior to the start of the 2016-17 academic year, Ms. Anitha got the school premises cleaned with her own money. With the help of the local gram panchayat and a few donors, the building was painted. She then made multiple visits to every house in the village and requested the parents to send their wards to the school. The efforts paid off and 15 children enrolled for 2016-17.

Meals, meetings

To attract more students, apart from the food featured in the midday meal menu, healthy snacks and fruits were served to all the students. Ms. Anitha again used her own money to fund this. Special training was provided to the children interested in appearing for the exams for admission to Navodaya and other government-run residential institutions. Regular meetings were held to brief parents about the academic progress of their wards.

The next year, the student strength rose to 19. What is more, students of the school won prizes in the Pratibha Karanji cultural event of the government.

This academic year, the student strength is 28. The Department of Public Instruction has deputed another teacher, Jayamma K.G., to the school now. The department has been requested to sanction two more classrooms for the school.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:15:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/teacher-revives-fortunes-of-govt-school-that-had-no-students/article30517329.ece

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