Kollam: Vishnu, Arya, Augustine, Syam and their friends are more than happy to go to school every day as they are the luckiest of school-goers in their locality. Their school does not put the “burden” of learning on their backs!
The Govt LPS Tholikkode in Punalur, has already earned the title of a bag-less school as students don’t have to carry their textbooks to school. The kids have two set of books. One, for the school, and the other, for studies at home. “One set is given for free by the Government and the other is contributed by the PTA. For scribbling notes, 40-page books without hard covers are given, that too according to the units in an academic year,” said K.G.Abraham, Headmaster. The students are also given weightless cloth bags to carry their pens, pencils and notebooks.
The school has 349 students including those from pre-primary classes. The PTA received the honour for the best association of its kind in Kollam last year. “We are on our way to setting up cupboards in each classroom for which we will get Rs 3 lakh from the MP’s fund. The parents are happy to see their children walking free to schools,” said V.Rajan Pillai, PTA president.
The PTA also is special in that it is the first association in the State which assembles close to students’ houses so as to ensure maximum parent participation. The students are also provided filtered water and free meals at school. The school also teaches the basics of farming. Fifty cents of land near the school was donated by a former student for this purpose. Bananas cultivated here contributed to the side dishes of ‘Onam sadya’ at the school. The excess bananas from the farm were sold off at the local market.
The school which was set up in 1956, has also trained its 11 teachers to identify symptoms of diseases among students under the ‘disease-free childhood’ programme. The headmaster says: “It’s the class teacher who understands the child far better than the parents”....