School turns into ‘train coach’ to attract students

One government school in Nanjangud taluk says it has found a “remedy” to the problem of low admission numbers and the consequent threat of closure.

Thanks to the school’s headmaster and three teachers, the nondescript building of the Government Higher Primary School at Haropura, a remote village in Tayooru Gram Panchayat, has been painted to look like a train coach.

With this, the school has now become a centre of attraction and children, who were irregular to classes and eventually dropping out, are flocking to the building that looks like a train passing through the village.

“Many people and children of this village haven’t seen a train. The children are not missing classes and there is full attendance ever since we got this painted. The children are happy as they feel they are attending classes sitting inside a train,” said headmaster Basavanaik.

Mr. Basavanaik and teachers Doreswamy, Tarannum and Netravathi spent Rs. 25,000 from their own pockets to paint the three-classroom building like a train coach.

They employed two artists from Mysuru for it. The school has 55 students studying in classes 1 to 7.

But forget a train, the village does not even have direct bus connectivity and people have to travel a fair distance to catch a bus, said Mr. Basavanaik.

Block Education Officer M. Narayana told
The Hindu
that children from the village were getting admitted in private schools in the nearby town and bigger villages, and this had become a cause for concern for the school authorities.

“The teachers came up with the plan of making [the building] attractive. While browsing the Internet, they got the idea,” he said.

At a time when government schools are facing pressure from private schools, the teachers’ effort to save the school has drawn the attention of the Education Department. The local authorities have a new-found interest in the school, with the gram panchayat coming forward to build a compound wall. The foundation stone for it was laid on Wednesday.

The authorities are hoping to attract more children even from nearby villages which lack schools in the coming years and turn the government school into a ‘model’ one.

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