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Painted in bright colours, the school at Narasingamkootam in Kadaladi taluk of Ramanathapuram district presents a contrast to the typical government school. Established in 1975, it offers facilities on a par with any private school. And, the school provides nutritious supplementary meal in addition to regular midday meals. Thanks to the headmaster Christu Gnana Valluvan.

students are provided with umbrella

For a tiny village of 200 houses, there are 22 students at the school with two teachers. When Valluvan was transferred to the school in 2016, the school had just seven students and one teacher. He did everything to draw students from the village to the school over the last five years. His colleague, Ayyappan handles Class 1 to 3 while Valluvan handles Class 4 and 5.

The novel initiative of the school is the supplementary food provided to students. Valluvan manages to bring one or the other food items for students every day. From millet cookies to pulses, students get nutritious snacks at 11 am every day. In an effort to encourage good handwashing habit, the students have to wash hands using soap before supplementary and midday meals.

When Valluvan was transferred to the school in 2016, the school had just seven students and one teacher. He did everything to draw students from the village to the school over the last five years

Honesty shop

The school has also introduced an honesty shop concept for students. Apart from the supplementary food, they can buy snacks and drop the cash in a box. There will be no one to monitor this. Valluvan says it prevents students from going out of campus during breaks looking for unhealthy food.

Valluvan has also introduced a concept of ‘water bell’. The school bell will go thrice a day when students have to drink water. The school has provided stainless steel water bottles to every child. Parents are asked to provide boiled water for their wards. It is mandatory practice to keep the students hydrated in an otherwise arid region. Each child has been provided with a colourful umbrella for protection against the scorching sun.

Students are allocated a tree sapling planted in the school premises. Each one should take care of their sapling. The school has established bird stands in school premises. Children feed the birds with grains. During lunch break, students are trained on palm leaf crafts. The school also has 500 books and the students including old students are encouraged to use them.

In addition to regular festivities, the school celebrates National Girl Child Day on January 24 in a grand manner. Parents are called to the school and the students perform cultural programmes for them

Headmaster Christu Gnana Valluvan with his students

In addition to regular festivities, the school celebrates National Girl Child Day on January 24 in a grand manner. Parents are called to the school and the students perform cultural programmes for them. “We organize this event to encourage girl children. It is an attempt to motivate the girl students and their parents of our school,” says Valluvan.

Valluvan uses all his contacts and friends to promote facilities in his school. He mobilizes funds with the help of his friends to provide scholarship to poor students. He takes students on annual excursions too. He recently brought Muthusamy, an artist and assistant film director to train students in arts and crafts. He sets aside his salary to buy accessories to students which include sports dress, uniforms, identity cards, footwear and stationery items.

Students and teachers on excursion

Valluvan and Aiyyappan call the parents to school once in a month and they discuss school development and future plans. The future plans of Valluvan and his colleague Ayyappan include setting up smart class rooms and improve enrollment rate further. The two now want to repair the compound wall and flooring of the school.


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