Tamil Nadu

A single school puts Uthangarai in spotlight

The Sri Vidya Mandir Higher Secondary School in Uthangarai.— Photo: Special Correspondent  

When a single school in Uthangarai bagged two State ranks in Plus-Two results, it spurred the possibility of Namakkal being upstaged from its preserve of churning state rank-holders every year. Over the years, this backward taluk of Uthangarai, which is bereft of industries, has come to house educational institutions.

But unlike the cluster of schools in Namakkal, here State rank honour claims remain the preserve of a single institution. The school was in news recently for seizure of Rs.3.40 crore in cash and 245 gold coins from its premises by IT sleuths. The raid was carried following a tip-off to the election officials. The school management claimed to have apportioned gold coins as incentives for teachers churning out maximum centums. The seized cash, however, remains in the custody of the IT department for lack of supporting evidence.

“A teacher is given one gram gold coin for each centum. “For 50 centums, a teacher gets 50 gold coins. Such is the level of motivation and incentive for teachers, who have remained with the school since the time the school was started in a two-room space two decades ago,” says a source.

The craze for medicine and necessity of rote learning has only fortified the position of private schools that cater exclusively to toppers. Hence, admitting those with marks above 490 in SSLC, and grooming of the toppers to secure State ranks and medical seats is the sole mandate. A cluster of such schools has cropped up both in Uthangarai and Hosur. However, not all have churned out State ranks.

Sri Vidya Mandir Matriculation Higher Secondary School charges more than a lakh for a seat in Plus-One and that comes with the certitude of top rank. A thirteen-hour schedule, six days a week, is the drill has made this possible.

Uthangarai, bordering Vellore here, has emerged as a centre for grooming toppers not locally, but those with the means. But, the NEET has now threatened to take the sheen out of this matriculate rote-learning.


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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 8:11:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/a-single-school-puts-uthangarai-in-spotlight/article8613387.ece

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