Kerala

Tribal children take a step closer to Sainik School

Palakkad Sub Collector P.B. Nooh with the tribal students in Attappady who cleared the All India Sainik School Entrance Examination held in January.

Palakkad Sub Collector P.B. Nooh with the tribal students in Attappady who cleared the All India Sainik School Entrance Examination held in January.

Fifteen tribal students have set a record for Attappady to be proud of. They passed the highly competitive All India Sainik School Entrance Examination held in January this year, the first from the backward region to do so.

For K. Manikandan, an Irula boy from Dhonikund, “winning a national-level competitive examination was such a distant dream.” “Teachers and friends say my joining the Sainik School would help me become an armed forces officer. Except for a few films screened in my school, I have never had any exposure to the defence sector,” he adds.

Binuraj from Karadippara is happy that he could win competing with students from privileged families.

Manikandan and Binuraj were part of a group of 24 tribal students from Attappady who appeared for the examination this year under the tutelage of the 1991 batch students of Sainik School at Kazhakuttam in Thiruvananthapuram. Fifteen students cleared the examination and are now awaiting the mandatory medical examination and interview.

Buoyed by the success, the alumni association is planning to train at least 100 tribal children in the backward region for the examination next year.

Project Shine

“The students performed well in the examination after undergoing our six-month training session under the initiative Project Shine,” says Babu Mathew, a coordinator of the project. “Our alumni association undertook the task in its silver jubilee year and it is dedicated to the memory of a batchmate, Shine P. Baby, a lecturer at Rajagiri College, Kalamassery, who passed away in 2006,” says Mr. Mathew.

The students were trained for the entrance exam under the Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL) approach. The classes were held on Saturdays for six hours, from the first Saturday of July 2015 till the last Saturday of December 2015. The alumni batch provided teachers and training inputs along with meals on all Saturdays at the centralised training centre in a Attappady Hill Area Development Society (AHADS) building in Agali.

“A total of 180 hours of training — 80 for mathematical knowledge, 80 for language ability, and 20 for reasoning and logical abilities — was provided. All expenses, including transportation for writing the entrance exam, were borne by the alumni batch,” said Sunil Rajendran, another alumnus.


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Printable version | Aug 7, 2022 11:46:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/tribal-children-take-a-step-closer-to-sainik-school/article8235695.ece