NAGAPATTINAM: Teachers from a school in the village of Ramagovindankadu in Vedaranyam block and parents tied ‘parivattam’ on all 65 students marking the reopening of the school on Monday. Tying of ‘parivattam’ is a custom of coronating chieftains or heads and those who are revered with a headband during festivals in villages In the small hamlet of Ramagovindankadu, all students studying in Government Primary School received the honour on the reopening day.
“We wanted to encourage all school-going children in the village by honouring them. Giving everyone the same respect will instil the belief of equality and respect for all, right from a young age,” said D Ravindran, a trader, alumnus and representative of Parents-Teachers Association, whose daughter studies in the school.
The school has students belonging to multiple communities. All of them received ‘parivattam’ honours from priests and village elders at Sri Akasa Mariamman Temple in the village. The students went to school in line with music to back them up. “There has never been such a long break in the 59-year-old history of the school. We want to make the children feel comfortable and believe that they can get the best of experience from their schooling,” said D Subramanian, headmaster.
Similarly, students in schools and colleges across Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts received a grand welcome on the day. At least 700 schools in Nagapattinam and 843 schools in Mayiladuthurai reopened after the pandemic break. Collectors A Arun Thamburaj and R Lalitha led the welcome and interacted with the students. They were presented shawls, bouquets, flowers and sweets.
K Balashanmugam, an education activist and teacher from Orathur, said, “In many underprivileged schools, it was challenging to place the students with social distance during lunch hour amid the downpour. The government and administration may advise splitting the lunch break. The classes could also be split according to the teacher-student ratio. Students should be strongly sensitised to wearing, handling and disposing of masks.”