Published: 23rd July 2019
Headmistress only one to attend this TN school, no students for current academic year
The school’s only teacher has been assigned to another school on deputation duty, the headmistress A Premakumari continues to show up at the empty school every day
This school in Tamil Nadu's Ponneripatti has the most diligent headmistress ever. She comes to a school with zero students, zero teachers every day. In a bizarre reversal of events, this government school in the Namakkal village of Ponneripatti has no student for this academic year. Even as its student strength had been at the lowest for the past four years, the School Education department has not taken steps to either merge the school with another or find more children to keep it functioning.
While the school’s single teacher has been assigned to another school on deputation duty, the headmistress A Premakumari continues to show up at the empty school every day and return home after a day of idleness.
The Mohanur Panchayat Union Primary School (PUPS) is located at Ponneripatti, 15 km from Namakkal town. According to sources in the department, the school was started in 1970 and had worked with sufficient strength until about a decade ago.
Over the past five years, it has had less than five students. This dropped to an all-time low of two last year. This year, with the last two pupils moving to middle school, the school has no one left. While villagers’ interest in moving to private schools is generally cited as a reason for the fall in patronage, people in the locality say otherwise.
The school did not make any effort — like door-to-door campaigns — to get more students. Had the school and the department organised special campaigns, they could have ensured decent strength, they pointed out. The school has enough number of classrooms with ample space and a playground too. Now, the ground is being used for sports activities, they claimed.
Chief Education Officer P Usha said that the PUPS at Namagiripettai is also in a similar place. Claiming that they have to keep the schools open as per orders, she said that they were waiting for instructions for further action.