Uncertainty haunts 118-yr-old Kairangala primary school

Uncertainty haunts 118-yr-old Kairangala primary school

The schoolchildren take part in the morning assembly.

In the Kannada film, ‘Sarkari Hiriya Prathamika Shale Kasaragodu’ running to packed halls, everything turns out well in the end for the government-run Kannada medium primary school. Cut to reality, uncertainty haunts the 118-year-old aided Higher Primary School at Kairangala in Bantwal taluk, where the film has been shot.

For a century and more, the school has imparted education to thousands of students in and around Kairangala village. Even Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) Chairman Shyam Bhat completed his primary education in the same school.

Recollecting the education imparted at Kairangala School Dr Rajani, an Ayurveda practitioner and an alumnus of the school, said, “The school certainly has helped thousands of students like me to shape our future and become successful in life.”

“Our classes seemed to burst in its seams with students way back in 1990. In my class alone, there were more than 40 students. The school was popular for quality education. It is sad to note that the number of students has come down drastically, posing a threat to its very existence,” she said.

Devadas, a teacher in the school, said there were 700 students and 15 teachers in the past. Now, the number of students has come to down 25, he added.

“The school has only one full-time teacher and two guest teachers,” he said.

With English medium schools opening in every nook and corner of villages, aided or government-run schools have been facing a bleak future due to the decline in the admission of students, a resident of Kairangala said. 

A source in the Education Department said, “It is not just Kairangala school, a majority of Kannada medium schools in Karnataka face a bleak future. If the same situation continues, the future generation may get to see government schools only in films.’’