Schools transformed

Schools transformed

A favoured class is the computer lab at Shivapura Government Higher Primary School.

Reading about First Lady of the US Melania Trump’s recent visit to a Delhi government school and its happiness curriculum directs one’s curiosity towards the government schools in remote areas like Doddaballapura taluk of Bengaluru rural district.

Consider the Government Higher Primary School in Beedikere village. From primary classes to standard VIII, the school has five teachers and 82 students, and is led by Principal M H Mangala Kumari. It’s a beneficiary of funding from a company located in the Doddaballapura industrial belt. 

The school is in the heartland of Doddaballapur taluk, surrounded by fields, accessed by a narrow macadam road with no traffic for miles around.

The shift

Not so long ago, classes meant students gathering under a neem tree to study, before the company donated classrooms with green boards, a computer laboratory, a dining hall where Midday meals are served, a multi- purpose auditorium, and a neat toilet block.

Roof-top solar panels were installed to take care of lighting and power needs of the computer laboratory, besides providing the students play equipment, water purifiers and kitchen equipment.

The teaching staff is also responsible for the upkeep of these facilities.

Another school, the Shivapura Government Higher Primary School has been given similar facilities. Headed by G M Nagaraju, the enthusiasm shown by his team is infectious.

This school, too, has about 85 students, with classes from primary level to class eight. The students then join class nine at the taluk-level school in Doddaballapura. Here, too, classrooms with unsafe tiles and leaky roofs have made way for contemporary classrooms. Happy and expressive kids are a common sight at the school.

And in keeping with Bengaluru’s image as the Silicon Valley of India, the students are eager to work in the computer laboratory.

Parents queue up during admissions, what with the school being a role model of sorts in the taluk. 

The way forward

The schools might soon get digital classrooms. Refresher course material for the teachers too is part of the plan.

These two schools have set the bar high for other schools in the taluk and the district to follow.

However, changes in the curriculum based on mindful breathing, telling a friend a story, listening to each other, or connecting with nature are ideas waiting to be borrowed from Delhi government schools.

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