DIET initiative to save schools facing closure threat
By Express News Service - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
18th August 2012 11:21 AM
Kumarakom might have earned its right place in the tourist map but Government UPS Kumarakom has been struggling to cope up with division fall over the past few years.
Situated in the middle of a bustling tourist centre, the school has however joined hands with nine similar schools, which are also on the verge of closure, to make a change.
The ‘school with a difference’ project launched by the Kottayam DIET (District Institute of Educational Training) has given reasons to these ten schools to think afresh and start anew.
The programme is all about bringing changes in the teachers, their approach and attitude, mobilising local support for school development, roping in elected representatives to do their bit for the school and thereby creating a small group who consider the school their responsibility. The group would undergo the training all through the year to plan projects for their respective schools to be implemented for the next academic year.
As many as 45 headmasters were given training about the concept initially. The representatives of the ten schools, who were part of the programme in the initial phase, along with the PTA members, elected representatives and DIET officials then attended a five-day camp on humanistic psychology which was headed by Thomas Abraham, a Theme-Centered Interaction- India (TCI) member.
The group had then visited a couple of schools in Thiruvananthapuram which had made a difference in the recent years by adopting a new look and attitude.
Says A P Gopi, the grama panchayat member of Kumarakom: “Kumarakom UPS bears the flip side of tourism though it has seen its glorious days too. So, we have joined hands with DIET to dream of a better school atmosphere from next year onwards. Through the programme, we are realising that it is a concerted effort to keep a school going.”
DIET officials led by principal Sasidharan Nair have been engaged in taking the idea to many schools in Kottayam. Government HS & LPS Kudamaloor, Government UPS Arumanoor, ABM Government UPS, Kumarakom are some of the other schools which are part of the programme.
“For many reasons, these schools are not faring well and the programme is to enable the school authorities and local leaders to think on what should be done to make a change, to arrest division fall, to attract more students. Once the different activities in these ten schools come into open, we hope more schools will be willing to change,” said a Kottayam DIET lecturer.
The training for teachers is aimed at bring out the leadership quality in them enabling them to think, plan and work for their schools’ development.
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