Published: 10th October 2022
From 20 to 130 students, here's how this TN primary school scaled up its strength
A school bus, better infrastructure and enlisting the help of alumni to appoint more teachers seem to have turned around the fortunes of this school
The Panchayat Union Primary School at Nanjanad, located 15 km from Ooty, Tamil Nadu, has gone the extra mile to attract and retain students. Explaining the turnaround in the fortunes of the school, which was started in 1922, Headmistress N Jaya told The New Indian Express, “In 2017-18, the student strength was just 20, with one teacher and HM. We wanted to increase the strength, as the school was to celebrate its centenary. During our admission campaign the next year, parents expressed reluctance to admit wards stating the school did not have enough teachers. We sought help from alumni and SMC members towards increasing admission.”
The Headmistress added, “They formed a trust in the name of Shri Nanjundeshwara Educational Trust (SNET). As the first initiative, classes for LKG and UKG were started and seven teachers were appointed on a temporary basis for a salary of Rs 10,000. Infrastructure such as toilets and classrooms was developed. The student strength increased to 80 that year.”
As news spread, parents in Palada, KK Nagar, Kallakoraiada and Moddarai, which are areas five kilometres away from the school, came forward to admit their children here. “The student strength is 170. We purchased a bus to pick up and drop them off. Around 130 students benefit from this scheme,” Jaya informed TNIE.
Coordinator of SNET, P Ravikumar, an alumnus of the school, told TNIE, “After COVID-19, we rented a van and jeep for students for up to six months. We decided to purchase a bus second-hand.” Praveena Arunkumar, whose son is a Class I student said, “Thanks to the bus service, my son travels to school safely.” R Karthik is another alumnus who has admitted his two children to the school.