Nation Other News 30 Jan 2018 How education transf ...

How education transformed a Palakkad Dalit colony

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AMIYA MEETHAL
Published Jan 30, 2018, 1:13 am IST
Updated Jan 30, 2018, 1:13 am IST
Colony which used to draw zero in SSLC now has many graduates.
Students at Kongapadam colony in Palakkad.
 Students at Kongapadam colony in Palakkad.

KOZHIKODE: An education model from a remotest Dalit colony in Kongapadam village of Palakkad has entered the recent Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) in Thiruvananthapuram.  The unique tuition programme began five years back had transformed the colony drawing a zero in SSLC to have many graduates. “It is a remarkable achievement," said Sajith Kumar C.D., the man behind the initiative. 
"We started from scratch. We sowed seeds of education in the minds of the colony dwellers. It has sprouted and will take wings now.” The Kozhikode native came here to do his BTech at the nearby NSS College of Engineering during the 90’s and was shocked to find that none in the colony had cleared the SSLC. “Children are going to school. But the boys end up as concrete labourers and girls housemaids,” he said. 

Mr Kumar commenced tuition classes in math, English and science in the morning and evening. Engineering students and teachers joined him. The Anganwadi in the colony became the classroom. But it was challenging to bring pupils to classes in the beginning. Slowly the children and their parents realised its potential. Even when working as an engineer in Qatar, he overhauled the centre and hired teachers to keep it going.  “It was a revelation for us. Earlier there was no facility to focus on education, nor we did know its significance,” says Guruvayoorappan K., a colony resident. 

 

His daughter, Vismaya, has qualified B.Ed now.  NSS Engineering College professor Dr P.R. Suresh vouches for its efficiency. It was Dr Suresh who arranged engineering students to take classes.  Mr Kumar had submitted the model to the Planning Board. After his presentation at LKS, Kunnathur, Kozhikode North, and Thrikkaripur MLAs had expressed their desire to replicate it in their constituencies.

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Location: India, Kerala




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