Kerala's Student Police Cadets set up fourth study centre for tribal kids, as pandemic doesn't show signs of relenting 

The latest study centre is designed to act as a career studio that will also raise awareness against social issues
The inauguration of the student study centre at Eettimoodu settlement (Pic: Sourced)
The inauguration of the student study centre at Eettimoodu settlement (Pic: Sourced)

Getting tribal students to come to school can be a challenge. But to get them to fall in love with their studies is nothing short of a long-term achievement. But young people have been known to achieve some pretty astonishing things. 

The Student Police Cadet (SPC) unit of Vithura in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, has just established a fourth student study centre or kuttipallikoodam (which translates to small school in Malayalam) at Pallipura Karikkakam, which is part of the Eettimoodu settlement in the state's capital district. The centre-cum-career studio was inaugurated by Thiruvananthapuram rural additional SP ES Bijumon in the presence of Vellanad block panchayat vice-president SL Krishnakumari.

The kuttipallikoodam programme has been initiated by the SPC cadets of Government Vocational and Higher Secondary School in Vithura under the guidance of the Vithura Janamaithri Police Station to help the students of various tribal settlements to get education facilities. This project gained popularity in particular during the lockdown period when the learning process for children in the settlement came to a complete halt. At that time, the SPC set up a centre with TV, DTH connection, whiteboard and study materials for the children so that they could come there and continue with their classes. The previous study centres were established at Kallupara, Kongamarathinmoodu and Ilavinmoodu settlements. 

The new study centre is also designed to be a career studio for the children. "At a very young age itself, we intend to give career counselling to the students who attend classes here. In addition to that, we plan this to be a hub of zero tolerance for initiatives against social evils like alcoholism and drug addiction. Other issues that we would focus on include child marriage, digital safety and women security," said Anver K, teacher-cum-community police officer. 

The study centre's online tools have been sponsored by Anas Rahman Junaid Foundation. Commenting on how SPC would constantly be supervising the activities at the kuttipallikoodam, Anver adds, "The cadets who have graduated from our school ie the Student Police Volunteer Corps would be in constant touch with the students at the study centre as well as their community. If children find certain subjects or topics difficult to learn, then these volunteer corps would be at hand to enable their learning. The career guidance would be provided by expert faculties, SPC officials and police officers."

Under the Vanajyothi project, temporary teachers have been appointed to the study centres. The SPC is also in the works of setting up a library to promote reading habits among the people of the settlement. Vithura gram panchayat vice-president Manjusha Anand, who was present during the inaugural function, will be in charge of looking after the activities at the study centre from here on.

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