Tirur: As academic activities alone can't make education enriching and meaningful, institutions encourage extra-curricular activities by students. The students of
Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University never shy away from such activities. Its Students Union has initiated a programme to help students of coastal areas near the
University to improve their studies by mentoring them. The Kudumbashree Mission is also associated with the social outreach programme .
The programme is focussed on students from three coastal wards that are part of the Vettam Panchayath of Malappuram district. The Malayalam University, which is located at Vakkad, Tirur, is part of this Panchayath.
The classes for students are held at the Lower Primary School at Vakkad. Every Sunday almost 180 students from Class 8 to 10 attend the sessions keeping aside all other activities. Most children from three wards -- Vakkad, Arikanchira, Unnyal -- who cannot afford private tuition benefit from this programme called Theerashree which was launched in July 2019 under the aegis of the Students Union at the university.
The participating students are given personal attention and their learning needs are taken care of by the mentors. The mentors also help them to overcome language barriers so that the communication skills of the attendees improve.
Prime focus is given to more than 40 students who are appearing for the Secondary School Leaving Certificate examination. Subject specific classes are also given to them.
More than 90 scholars, including researchers, are volunteering as mentors under this programme. Each week three scholars conduct the classes at the Vakkad school which is near to the university compound.
Kudumbashree coordinators and parents ensure the students attend the special classes. I has been found that students are making improvements in subjects.
"This project helped us to build a rapport with local people who belong to the fishing community. As students this is a way by which we can help those marginalised sections. And we believe that this University should not be a mere building for the people around but it should be a live and inclusive institution. The happiest thing is students are also wholeheartedly involved in this," Theerashree student sordinator Vishnu Somarajan said.
Theerashree's success is encouraging nearby panchayaths to look up to the initiative a model worth emulating.