VELLORE: Teachers of the Government Boys Higher Secondary School in Tirupattur on Wednesday allegedly made some students climb up the school’s 30-ft-high arch at the entrance, in utter disregard for their safety, to remove a portion of the school’s name. The incident follows the school administration applying to the Education Department to convert the boys-only school to a co-educational institution to increase its strength of about 300 boys. Ten years ago, the school had boasted of a student strength of 1,500.
Before the school administration received permission to convert the school into a co-ed institution, it changed the name on the school’s arch by adding the word Irupalar (co-educational).
However, when parents and locals questioned the change before permission was granted, the administration sought to remove the word irupalar from the arch. The name was changed about four months ago.
At 3 pm, three students were spotted perched on the arch of the over 50-year-old school, knocking off the word irupalar, while teachers watched them from the ground.
Passersby and residents thought the students were up to some mischief, but later learned that they were following the instructions of the teachers. The boys found it difficult to climb up the arch.
P Priyadharshini, district education officer (Tirupattur), admitted that the students were made to scale the arch. “The teachers told me that the students mounted the arch to correct the school’s name and they were carefully watching them,” said the DEO. A local said there is a high-tension wire close to the arch which would have posed additional danger to the students.
They sat on top of the arch and removed the word Irupalar reverting to the original name - Government Boys Higher Secondary School.
“Politicians had assured us they would get us the permission from the Directorate of School Education, but nothing happened,” said a teacher of the school. Another teacher, when asked about students’ safety, refused to comment. A member of the Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary Vocational Teachers Kazhagam said, “The act is condemnable. Teachers should give paramount importance to students’ safety.”