THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vanchiyoor Government High School is nearly 70 years old and, sadly, showing its age. The school set a record in the SSLC examination this year by grooming just five students - the least number to appear for the exam in a school in the State. On Thursday, when the results were announced, all of them crossed the hurdle as a big sigh escaped the teachers here. But that doesn’t settle all the worries of this grandmother of a school; it is yearning for a redemption.
The school premises once used to be a big pond. That explains why water-logging is still a big problem here. In its initial years, the school was considered a boon by the locals since it had high school classes and later pre-primary too. The children from the poor families nearby trotted in as the school lit the hopes within them. But, gradually, only the kids from the nearby colonies - Rajaji Nagar and Rishimangalam - entered its gates as children from financially sound families deserted the school for better ones.
Presently, there are less than 65 students in the school. Last year, only five students reached class X - Akhil R, Gokul Dileep, Manoj Thampi, Vinod S and Vishnuprakash. The boys visited the school as soon as their results were out and shared their happiness with headmistress Prasanna. By afternoon, it was again deserted and in no celebration mode.
‘’It might be the lack of infrastructure that keeps students away. Only the children from the nearby Bund Colony still make use of it,’’ says Prasanna. There are less than 11 teachers in the school. And five of them prepared the five boys for the SSLC examination. One teacher conducted classes in Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
It is almost the same scene at the Govt City VHSS at PMG, where eight students took the examination this time. And, thankfully, all of them have passed. Of them, three are girls. Vijayaleela, principal of the school, repeats the words of Prasanna when she says better schooling conditions would have attracted more students. Right now, only children from poor families study in the school.