Published: 02nd November 2021
This school in Kottayam churns out NEET, entrance exam toppers year after year. What is their secret?
Gowrishankar S, the Kerala state topper in NEET 2021, belongs to Placid Vidya Vihar Senior Secondary School
When it comes to bagging top ranks in entrance exams at the state level, Placid Vidya Vihar Senior Secondary School in Changanassery of Kottayam is somewhat of a happy hunting ground. How, you ask? Well, for starters they have had students who topped either the medical or engineering entrance exam in the state on six previous occasions. The latest in the line of luminary learners is Gowrishankar S. Son of Sunil Kumar and Rekha S, he secured an all-India ranking of 17 with a score of 715 out of a possible 720 in NEET 2021. This was enough to fetch him the top rank among all Kerala students in the prestigious exam.
Speaking about his study habits, he said "I had to work extremely hard. In fact, I would study for 10 hours daily. After school, I attended coaching classes at Brilliant Study Centre in Pala for two years during my Class XI and XII. My final school year was affected by COVID but even that actually proved to be a boon for me as online classes shortened school hours, giving me more time for self-study." Gowrishankar, whose favourite subject is Biology (No surprises there), dreams to become a cardiologist in the future. With the score that he has attained, it should enable him to pursue MBBS at his dream institute, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, which has been the best medical college in the entire country for several years.
But it was not all work and no play for him either. He was able to spend his leisure time watching a few Malayalam movies along the way and boost his mojo watching motivational videos on YouTube. He is also a Potterhead. What really was a gamechanger for him was the motivation and support he received from his school. The school organised interactive sessions for its students with previous toppers via online meets or in-person talks. This helped a lot, Gowrishankar says.
Father Scaria Ethirett, Principal at Placid Vidya Vihar HSS, says "We would organise special sessions for students who needed extra help such as remedial classes. For our best students, we would also have motivation and counselling sessions so that there was no pressure or stress for them. Our dedicated team of three counsellors would make sure that they contacted parents of the students on a monthly basis trying to get to know them. At the beginning of Class XI, we would provide career guidance and personality development sessions along with exam stress management orientation. I believe the systematic approach of our staff and the complete cooperation of the parents is key in the students achieving landmark achievements year after year. It is truly a proud moment for us."
It is not just the academic brilliance of students that the teachers at Placid are pleased with. Thresiamma K Joseph, Class XII coordinator, gives due importance to the character of Gowrishankar as well. She says, "Along with being an extremely hardworking student, Gowrishankar is a very cordial person in general. He is very courteous with the teachers and his peers. It is no wonder that he has been able to achieve the heights he has."