Published: 23rd April 2021
Tribals in Dharmapuri want a higher secondary school in their area to prevent children from long travel during COVID
Keeraipatti Government High school near Harur lies on the fringes of several tribal hamlets including Tholthooki, Vallimadurai, Kudimiyampatti, Indiranagar Keeraipattipudur and Achalvadi
Residents of Keeraipatti village near Harur and surrounding villages requested the School Education Department to make efforts to bring a Higher Secondary school in their village. Parents alleged that the closest higher secondary school is over 7 km away and with the pandemic raging across the country, increasing a school in their locality would ease the parents' worries.
Keeraipatti Government High school near Harur lies on the fringes of several tribal hamlets including Tholthooki, Vallimadurai, Kudimiyampatti, Indiranagar Keeraipattipudur, Achalvadi and a dozen others. In order to avail education beyond Class 10 the students from these tribal hamlets travel nearly seven km to Harur for the nearest high school. Hence upgrading a local school will improve education in the area, they added.
Speaking to TNIE, Kaliappan, a resident of Keeraipatti said, "The Keeraipatti High school has a total of 250 students among them more than 200 students are either tribal students or students belonging to the Scheduled Caste community. After finishing their schooling, many students opt to go to Harur Higher Secondary School as it is the closest school. The next schools lie in Theerthamalai or Sitheri which are 20 km and 26 km away respectively. Hence upgrading a nearby school will greatly benefit the students."
Srinivasan, a resident of Indiranagar said, "Keeraipatti lies at a centre of a dozen tribal hamlets, and upgrading the school will greatly aid the students belonging to poor economic backgrounds." He added, "At present, over 100 students from these tribal hamlets will appear for the government exams amidst the pandemic. This travel could cause students to contract COVID-19. If a Higher Secondary school is built in Keeraipatti or the infrastructure in the existing school improved, students could safely receive quality education even during the pandemic"
Srinivasan alleged that the area has increasing dropouts as many parents are unwilling to send female students a long distance to study. This could also be eliminated if the school is upgraded, he added. When TNIE contacted the Chief Education Officer of Dharmapuri, N Geetha, she said, "This year we have sent a proposal to upgrade five schools across the district, including Keeraipatti. But on a priority basis, schools in Uttamalai and Pillahalli village were upgraded. Moreover, the PTA would have to pay a certain fee for an upgrade and the Keeraipatti school PTA has been notified on the matter. The school PTA has not contacted us, thougj. We would again contact them and look into the issue."