A vision cutting beyond the horizon

A vision cutting beyond the horizon

Alive and kicking: Mass drill by school students in the renovated school premises; well-furnished classrooms; front exterior view of the school.

The government schools that are often labelled with underperformance are now a hub of vibrant activities and experimentations at Ambedkarnagar at Nidagundi village in Raybag taluk of Belagavi district.

The school that once lacked infrastructure and quality education is a completely transformed centre today, and the most sought-after destination for primary education in the neighbourhood. The change was scripted in just less than two years by Veeranna Madiwalar, the in-charge headmaster.

Veeranna ‘s passion for teaching drove him to go an extra mile and realise his dream of a model school. From lacking a compound wall to having a website and a mobile app, this school has seen it all in just two years.

Veeranna, who is also a writer and a literary enthusiast, says, “I started working on the concept of creating a model school when I joined the teaching profession 12 years ago.” Though he attempted changes for the past 10 years, the efforts did not pay off.

“Shortly, I realised that I had landed in the right place when I analysed the school’s environs. I decided to go an extra mile to understand the school, its essential needs and difficulties, and provide with better infrastructure,” he says.

The idea was to show that quality education and infrastructure could well exist in government schools. And eventually, change the attitude of people towards government schools.

Initially, he chalked out an action plan for his dream school and roped in like-minded youths of the village. The team developed a beautiful garden within months. And students were actively engaged in the entire process.

He implemented a novel system of learning, which included setting up a classroom for each subject. A tech-savvy Veeranna posted his visions on his Facebook wall and assistance poured in from various corners.

Babu Kadur, who ran Kannada and English medium schools in Bengaluru, and shut down the Kannada school due to lack of admissions, gave Rs 15,000. One Facebook post helped them pool around Rs 82,000 and helped accelerate the pace of the work. The school compound was painted with pictures of animals, birds and other knowledge-imparting characters as well.

Besides, Veeranna worked on improving teaching standards and persuading school drop-outs to resume. In two years, the number of students increased from 76 to 111.

It became the first government lower primary school in Karnataka to have a website and mobile app when they were launched on November 14, 2018. Rajendra Bardol, a software engineer, designed them free of cost. Details of the school’s activities, students’ attendance, announcements among others, are now available online.

“Two years ago, we had no facilities and infrastructure. Now we have a garden, good infrastructure in terms of chairs, compound and other things. We spend more time in the school now,” says Basavva Ajith Kamble, a student.

“Our children are now getting quality education on par with any private English medium school,” says Gajanan Kamble, a parent. Maruti Karigar, president, school development and monitoring committee, says, “We are proud of the efforts that have made learning a joyful experience for children.”

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