Kerala

A village school where students are groomed

Future’s prospects: Students at the Government Upper Primary School at Kongad in Palakkad.   | Photo Credit: K_K_Mustafah

V.R. Ranjana, a seventh standard student from a farmers’ family, feels proud when she finishes a thick volume in two days. She also take pride that in the last one academic year, she read 63 books, both English and Malayalam, even while she did extremely well in her studies.

Ranjana credits the teachers of her school, Government Upper Primary School at Kongad in Palakkad, for the guidance she receives in shaping her passion to read in the best possible way.

Equally proud is Ranjana’s classmate Ayisha K.S., who completed 60 books in the same academic year. While Perumbadavam Sreedharan is Ranjana’s favourite author, Ayisha prefers works of late Malayalam novelist Nandanar. Their classmates Goutham G. Krishna and Aravind S. Nair have completed 55 books each during the same period.

“Our school is keen on reinventing the importance of reading in this age of internet and television. Each of our students must have been read at least 10 books during the last one academic year,” says school Headmaster C.C. Jayasankar.

It was only last week that the 128-year-old school, set in a rural milieu, topped the Haritha Vidyalayam, a famous television reality show on education supported by Kerala government.

While conferring the honour, the jury comprising eminent educationalists lauded the school and its teachers for promoting reading habit not only among the students but also among parents and those who live in the locality.

5,300 books

“The school library with 5,300 books gives mothers a special preference, as they can influence children. Doors of the library are open to anybody,” said school teacher M. Sujatha.

“It was quite astonishing for us when we found that the school had done very well in the reality show without having smart class rooms or most modern facilities,’’ said Piush Antony, jury member and Lucknow-based social policy advisor of UNICEF.

This apart, the school’s other path-breaking initiatives include a students’ bank managed exclusively by students to meet financial needs related to education. It also provides holistic education with high standards apart from promoting extracurricular activities. While the mathematics club at the school helps those who are weak in the subject, the talent club promotes hidden talents among children.

The herbal garden of the school has a number of species while its science and computer lab is excellent. The 45-member teaching community, mainly comprising former students, is keen on enhancing the English language skills of the students. The school now has a master plan of ₹15 crore to develop it as a great institution imparting universal education.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 7:42:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-school-where-students-are-made/article23228457.ece

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