Nedumbassery: Two schools are a model to other institutions that are shutdown during the frequent hartals and other strikes that paralyse Kerala. The school authorities and the parent-teacher associations of St. Joseph's High School here came forward and vowed to keep it open during the recent two-day nation-wide strike. Our Lady's Convent Higher Secondary School at Thoppumpady in Kochi too also showed the way how to face shutdown calls.
“We are not doing this to score brownie points against anyone, but to make sure that our students score good marks in exams,” said PTA office bearers of the Poovathussery St. Joseph’s High School near here on the decision to keep the school opened during the two-day general strike.
The school, situated on the banks of the Chalakudy River, was ravaged by the floods last year and had to be closed for several days, and the students lost 36 academic days. The school came back to life many weeks after the flood waters receded from the school premises.
The teachers and students are in distress as there is limited time to complete the syllabus of this academic year. But unfortunately, the new year, 2019, dawned with more shutdowns, and the school authorities decided to ensure that the students don’t lose any more classes.
The PTA called an emergency meeting on January 7, and took a decision that the school would function as usual on the days of general strike on January 8 and 9. The students, who used public transport on normal days, were ferried to the school in school buses. PTA office-bearers travelled with the students on the bus and the Chengamanad police station provided security cover to the students and teachers.
The school, which has close to 1,100 students, held classes for pupils from class V to class X, and the attendance was 95 percent.
At Thoppumpady, the Our Lady’s Convent Higher Secondary School also functioned on the days of strike. The school authorities decided to conduct classes as the students lost many academic days. The school buses plied with police protection and the attendance was a healthy 65 percent, said school principal Sister Lissie Chakalakkal.