MADURAI: When the history of our times is written, the great minds wielding the pen would talk about our race’s fortitude. And a tiny drop that added to the sea of resilience would be from the Govt Thirumangalam School, where the staff has proven that teachers, indeed, affect eternity.
The teachers and the headmaster have decided to foot the exam fee of the students affected by the pandemic, so that their studies are not affected.
The Government Thirumangalam Higher Secondary School has 330 students on the roll between classes VI and XII. According to the headmaster of the school, Baskaran: His staff volunteered to foot the students’ exam fee along with the yearly contribution to the Parents Teachers Association Fund (Rs 50).
“We arrived at the decision after assessing the situation in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. We came to know that a majority of the parents — daily wage labourers — could ill-afford to shell out even the nominal fee,” he said. As part of their outreach programme, the headmaster and staff (totalling 25) decided to shell out Rs 3,000 each to give their students a financial leg-up. And this is not the first time that the school has set an example in humanitarian works during the pandemic.
NOVEL EFFORTS BRING MORE KIDS TO SCHOOL
“In May, we identified 80 parents struggling to make ends meet, and distributed `850 worth of essential items, including rice, dal, oil etc.,” Baskaran said. At a time when parents prefer private schools over government- run institutions, Government Thirumangalam Higher Secondary School stands as a study in contrast. “We have students coming from a clutch of 30 villages, including Alappacheri, Ammapatti, Alagusirai, Alchangulam, and Ammapatti, among others, using the free bus pass issued by government,”
The school has been pioneering novel methods to gain fresh admissions, said Baskaran, adding, “With a view to attracting more students, I circulated a message on social media informing parents that no fee will be collected. I also placed a board at the entrance of the school carrying the message. It has garnered
a great response. Till now, 12 students have been admitted to Class VI.”
Help during pandemic
As many as 330 students are studying in the school from Class VI to Class XII. The government is providing them books, bags, uniform and slippers. But, the students have to pay for question and answer scripts, apart from the annual Parents-Teachers Assn membership charges.