English is not an alien language any more for elders in rural Kalachery hamlet near Needamangalam. For, they listen every day to the children in their homes speaking in English with ease.The elders are quick to attribute the credit for the language proficiency of their children to teachers at Panchayat Union Middle School, Kalachery (West)
“I am delighted to know that proficiency in English will stand me in good stead to pursue higher studies,” said S.Ramya, a class 8 student. The ability of her seniors to excel in academic activities at Government Higher Secondary School in nearby Munnavalkottai.The possibility of more than a dozen boys and girls securing a seat for a B.A. degree course in English in colleges in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur appear to have influenced Ramya and her classmates to make up their mind to derive full advantage of the support extended by the teaching staff led by V. Thilagam, headmistress, to learn the basics of English language.
Pround parents say they are indebted to the school. Their sense of relief stems from the thought that henceforth their wards will be considered on par with their peers in urban schools. “Although many in the village have not completed even schooling, we are confident that the next generation will be able to compete with urban students while pursuing higher studies. The teaching staff have made this possible,” a parent said.
The consistent efforts put in by the headmistress, the English teacher, T. Anand, and others in teaching the language has resulted in the school bagging ‘Pramerica Spirit of Community Award’ twice in 2016 and 2017 in the group category and once in individual category in 2018.The award sponsored by Prudential Financial Inc., USA, is an annual nationwide search to identify and recognise school students who have made a positive difference in their communities.Last year, S. Banupriya of the school secured a gold medal in the individual category for her paper “Changing mindsets around mensuration”.
She narrated how she was able to ward off the beliefs and superstitions attached to menstruation at her village.Banupriya says she has been inspired by the social activism of her school teacher, Anand, to prevent suicides.
Through counselling and guidance, Mr. Anand has made the villagers realise that ending their lives does not provide solutions. Children, who draw inspiration and confidence from Mr. Anand, say they are convinced that knowledge is key to scaling greater heights in life.
(source : The Hindu)