Beyond the classroom

From the albums

Beyond the classroom

This photograph was taken in 2004 when I was in seventh standard and it holds many sweet memories of my schooling days. The click was taken during a Newspaper in Education (NIE) session.

I studied in Sree Saraswathi Vidya Mandira, Hanumantha Nagar, till seventh standard. I belonged to section VII ‘B’. We were about 32 students in the class. Ours was a talkative class as a whole but I wasn’t that talkative. Our principal was Mrs Janaki Ammal. She handled Social Studies for our section sometimes and our class teacher was Mrs Mangala CH, who taught Mathematics.

Apart from the regular curriculum, we also had Annual Day celebrations which used to take place at Sir Puttanna Chetty Townhall and an annual sports meet.
But the highlight was the Annual Literary Competition, which was held between the months of November and December for a span of three days.

It was an intra-school event and as many as 30 events were scheduled, including quizzes, debates, rangoli competitions, sketching, flower decoration, essay writing, dance performances and more.

I also remember our assembly time very clearly. It was a lengthy session everyday and there would be a news reading session in Kannada and English, and every class had an equal chance to participate. We had to pick out important news items from the newspaper including weather reports and sports news, and read it out in front of the entire school.

Apart from that, there was Saraswathi puja, which was held every Friday. All classes after third standard used to be a part of it. As students, we received newspapers that kept us updated with all the latest news related to current affairs, science and technology.

In order to encourage reading, we were given student editions of papers and we’d read them during lunch breaks.  I was particularly keen on solving the Sudoku puzzles.

There was an NIE class scheduled for an hour every week (usually Fridays), where we had classes related to aero-modelling, mind and attitude, music, language workshops and more.

As students, we absolutely loved those sessions as it helped us rejuvenate ourselves after monotonous class hours. Among all the NIE sessions, this particular session was indeed a very special one and very close to my heart.

It was a session related to photography and was taught by Mr Gopi Madhav. He, in particular, wanted all of us to perform or enact as he didn’t like still photography. This was totally unexpected.

Turn by turn, each and every member of the class performed and at last, came my turn. I was a shy person by nature and hence, I was the last person to go on stage. I was told to give a speech as Chandrika Kumaratunga, who was the President of Sri Lanka at the time.

Though it was an awkward situation for me, I somehow managed to do it. I spoke for about two minutes. As far as my memory takes me, I spoke about the children’s education system, a topic that suddenly came to me when I went on stage.

Surprisingly, it turned out to be good and I was thrilled.  Till today, that spontaneous talk is my first and last unprepared speech on stage!

This session was also memorable because it was the last year in the school and after finishing seventh standard, we branched out into different schools and I never stayed in touch with my classmates.

I joined a different branch of the same school, located in VV Puram, for high school. I met a few of my classmates some time back but we lost touch after that.

Time flies, and when I look back today, I regret that I couldn’t keep in touch with my school buddies. Even though I’m not in touch with them, I remember the moments spent together. And these memories will last forever!

(The author can be contacted on manasabramhanya1@gmail.com)

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