A Govt. school that does us proud

Government schools are frowned upon by many.On Children's Day, T. K. SADASIVAN tells us about Government Girl's Higher Secondary School, Ernakulam, which was awarded as the best school in the State and the Principal, the best teacher.

A GOVERNMENT school with a difference. A government school, which has set a record of sorts. Its achievements are aplenty.

Every year on Teacher's Day at Government Girls High School, Ernakulam, the students and parents honour the teachers. They offer `gurudhakshina' to teachers and teachers bless the students in the traditional way.

This year, the State Government honoured the school with two prestigious titles. It was adjudged the Best School in the State and the principal honoured as the Best Teacher. C. H. Mohammed Koya Award for Best Parent Teacher's Association was also awarded to the school.

The ninety-five year old Girl's School, renamed as Government Higher Secondary School for Girls, is one of the oldest schools in the State. Surprisingly, for a Government School, it has all the infrastructure and facilities, perhaps better than many of the private schools. Apart from fans, lights and sufficient furniture in the classrooms, the school has all modern amenities like water purifiers and water coolers. It has a well-equipped science and computer laboratory. The school runs three buses and provides free lunch for 125 poor and deserving students on all working days. Breakfast is provided for those who reach early morning for special classes.

A striking feature of this government school is that it excels in both academic and extra-curricular activities. The school results over the years have shown steady improvement and last year the SSLC Examination results were 91 per cent, while the Higher Secondary results were a thumping 93 percent. In 2001, one of the students bagged the 14th rank in the SSLC Examination, while the school stood first among the government schools in the district.

The teachers give extra coaching to weaker students with no additional fee. The school organises value education classes, training in yoga, provides career guidance and counselling. It is in this school that the Law Awareness Programme for students took off under the aegis of the PTA.

Despite the lack of a good playground, its students have fared well in sports. The school hockey and tennikoit team stood first and second respectively at the National School Games. NCC Cadets from the school participated in the last Republic Day Camp and its Red Cross group was adjudged the best in the district. For the past several years, the school team stood first in 'Thiruvathirakali' in the State Youth Festival. This year too, it won the first prize in 'Thiruvathirakali' and patriotic song competition at the Festival.

According to the Principal Ms. V. M Aripha, it is the team work of teachers, students and parents that has contributed for the success of the school. An active support of PTA and organisations like Rotary Club of Cochin have helped motivate the students and teachers to achieve better results. "Sameeksha", a school magazine brought out by the students, is at par with any professionally brought out magazine.

"It is the dedicated work of the teachers that has brought success to the school," says Adv. Mangot Ramakrishnan, who was the president of the PTA for the past two years. " A strongly committed bond exists between the teachers and the students. We support them in every possible way".

There are 1,675 students in the senior school and an average of 50 students each to a class. 330 new admissions take place each year. . " Most of them join the school because of affordable fees and lighter syllabus. We admit all the applicants without any discrimination even to senior school and allow them to take the public examination," says the Principal

The remarkable achievements of the school are the outcome of concerted efforts of the teachers, students and parents and in the process; it removes the myth about government educational institutions.

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The best is yet to be

MS. ARIPHA, Principal Govt. Girl's Higher Secondary School received the Best Teacher award in the 29th year of her service. Teaching in the school from 1989 to 1997, she returned to the school as Principal in 1999 after working as assistant educational officer, Aluva. After taking over she set a target of 95 per cent results and worked towards it. From 83 percent the results rose to above 90 per cent.

Ms. Aripha, believes her award is due to the hard work of teachers and students of the school.

"We admit all eligible student applicants to our school and allow everyone to write the public examination. Extra attention and coaching are given to the weaker students. I am confident that at this rate we will be able to achieve our set target in the next SSLC Examination" says the winner principal, who also received three other awards including a national award. " The teachers of this school have a special culture. We consider the whole institution as a family and even the retired teachers are associated with the activities of the school."

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