Published: 22nd August 2018
TN villagers pool money to buy second hand Omni van to ferry government school students
This, according to them, will attract the students presently studying the private schools in the nearby vicinity to get enrolled because of the new facility
Private schools mushrooming in village panchayats deter enrollments in government schools as the former offers transport facility that picks up children from the doorstep where the latter does not. To overcome this, the villagers of A Kudikadu in Pudukkottai district pooled in money for buying a second-hand Omni van for ferrying the students of Panchayat Union Primary School in the locality.
This, according to them, will attract the students presently studying the private schools in the nearby vicinity to get enrolled because of the new facility. Panchayat Union Primary School in A.Kudikadu which has been there for 50 years now had a strength of more than 100 students a decade ago. But, since a few years past, the villagers started noticing a number of private school buses for ferrying the students. However, this made the parents to enrol their wards in private counterparts by keeping the government school at a far reach.
Even, a couple of months ago, the government school had only nine students that indicated closure or merger of school in adjoining panchayat union. So, this is when the school got a new Headmaster P Ramanaraja, "The school painted a sorry state of affairs by the time I made my visit. The students studying in this school are from the underprivileged background and so do most of the villagers. I took this to all the parents to know which is lacking behind."
Ramanaraja said the parents are much aware of their children in sending to private schools because of the transport facility that ferries kids safely. After that, the HM spoke to a couple of villagers about the plight of the school that instantly made many to agree on helping with transport facility. One of the villager, G Karuppiah, also the president of Kasavayal Primary Agricultural Co-operative Credit Society (PACCS) led the campaign to talk to village men and pooled money. They finally decided to buy a second hand Omni van to ferry government school students in three km radius.
The moment the decision was announced in the village, as many as three students were enrolled in A.Kudikadu Panchayat Union Primary School. A few days ago, four new admissions were done, now with the total strength of 16 students. Karuppiah said, "The cost of the van came around `90,000. Contributions were done by the villagers of what they can offer. We all will be saving a part of our monthly spendings under one organisation to bear the fuel expenses."
Even, HM Ramanaraja left no stone unturned as he spent nearly 40,000 to renovate the old infrastructure of the school and gave a new lease of life. Now, parents who are sending their wards to private schools have promised to get their children enrolled in K.Kudikadu school in the upcoming academic year.