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21 Sep 2019, Edition - 1530, Saturday

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Coimbatore

This Govt school teacher lures back students from private English schools

Vidyashree Dharmaraj

S Elavalagan and his wife spent money from pocket, get computers and books, teach English and computers to students. Villagers who saw the school children perform, have decided to withdraw their wards from private schools in the region and enroll them back in village school.

Chennai: Now here is a ‘Hindi Medium’ feature film, an Irfan Khan starrer, playing out in real life in a remote village in Tamil Nadu. But with a twist.

In the film that was released last week, Irfan Khan struggles hard to get his child admitted to a high flown private school and eventually settles for a government school.

In this school in Kottavalasa village of Perambulur district, an English teacher S Elavalagan and his wife, have weaned away all the village students from neighboring English language private schools. And successfully so.

Elavalagan and his wife Vijayashanti were transferred to this school last year in August. And found that over 50 students of the village were going to English medium private schools that also taught computers to children.

Elavalagan tried to lure the village students back to the government school, which generally have been losing students to private schools in several districts. Fiftytwo of the village’s total 174 students were going to private schools.

What Elavalagan and his wife did were to identify the main reason for this trend – English language teaching and computer skills, both of which were absent in the government middle schools, up to class 8 in the village. He immediately began to set it right.

He and his wife spent Rs 1.68 lakh from his own pocket, by taking a loan, bought 9 computers, video and audio teaching aids and set down target of reaching every child and parents to persuade them to return to the village school.

The results of the teacher’s teaching for the past few months was there to see. The villagers were amazed to see the school children speaking English and working with computers. The English teacher also managed to get 6 more computers under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and now he has an English and computer lab with 15 computers.

The school children also doubled up as canvassers, as well. Ninety per cent of the school students can speak little English, thanks to the efforts of Elavalagan. They showed what they could. Villagers seemingly were convinced and decided to withdraw their wards from private schools and enroll in the village government school again.

Not only this, the villagers also donated for computers and books. Small donations from villagers and school alumni added up to Rs 45,000, Elavalagan said.

“Now 49 students have returned to government school. The other three will also be back in the next session,” Elavalagan said.

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