“It worked well during last year’s admission and will this year too,” said AS Raji, Assistant Headmaster of Government Boys HSS in Kattumannarkovil who is one of the brains behind this idea. Raji recalled that the 91-year-old government school was a favourite until recent years when a number of private matriculation schools mushroomed in the vicinity and succeeded in drawing students away from the government school, which would have a strength of 3,500, but the attendance is hardly 360 now.
As the number of admissions gradually declined, the teachers sat together to devise a method to save the school and decided to start with an incentive of Rs 1,000 each to students during Class 6 admissions. the funds would be borne by the teachers. “This yielded positive results and we could secure 11 admissions in 2019. The money was distributed to the parents during the Teachers’ Day celebrations,” said Raji. The school has children coming largely from poor and disadvantaged sections of society. The response in 2019 was encouraging and hence the incentive money was increased to Rs 2,000, he added. As the new academic year commenced, the teachers made multiple visits to the villages urging all parents to ensure admission of their children in the government school. The teachers also distributed pamphlets containing the special features door-to-door and till Monday, they could secure seven admissions.
The school offers smart classrooms, spacious and well equipped library, free bus passes, free coaching for NEET, safe drinking water.