THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When the SSLC results were announced last month, those at the Govt Central High School, Attakulangara, here were on cloud nine. It had registered a 100 per cent pass, with all the 18 students who appeared for the exams from the school succeeding. The authorities and other well-wishers of the ‘uneconomic’ school had hoped this victory would make it easier to get more students the next academic year. But that does not seem to be the case. It is alleged that there have been deliberate attempts to dissuade parents from sending their wards to the school.
It is learnt that anonymous letters have been sent to school authorities informing that parents and guardians are being urged not to apply for admission to the Attakulangara school as it is about to be closed.
“The letter claimed that rumours were circulating that the school would soon be closed down and that their children should not be sent here,” said the school PTA president Gopakumar. “We are doing all we can to dispel these rumours.”
Those who have been out canvassing for new students are also finding the going tough. “There is a very negative impression about the school outside, that it is in a very bad shape with no classes happening. The safety of the students is also in question because the gates to the compound are always left open,” said Sunitha Bevi, PTA vice-president and former student of the school.
Also, only one of the teachers have been out canvassing for new students, she added.
“The word being spread is that the school will close down, but we will definitely never let that happen,” said Sunitha.
The gates, the school authorities say, are always left open for the convenience of SIEMAT, whose office functions in the same compound. SIEMAT has not responded favourably to repeated requests to hire a guard during the day. This has resulted in anyone walking into the school compound, Sunitha said, making parents anxious and reluctant to send their children.
“When classes start in June, we will sit at the school entrance and keep the gates locked no matter what,” said Gopakumar.
The 125-year-old Attakulangara school has been in the limelight since January, when the government handed over 2 acres of the school compound to the Thiruvananthapuram Development Authority (TRIDA) for developing a bus bay and commercial complex, triggering protests from different quarters.