The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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School example in era of tuition ban

Behrampore, Nov. 4: The Left Front government took 25 years to ban private tuitions by school teachers. But a junior school here has already set an example in how to go about it.

For about three decades, the teachers of Rabindranath Primary School, in the heart of the town, have been imparting free classes during vacations to help students secure admission in respectable high schools.

“We are a school like any other in the district, but we have been able to achieve this thanks to the teamwork among the 10 teachers who have been taking these classes for no extra salary,” said headmaster Paresh Chandra Sarkar.

He added that particular attention is given to the boys and girls of class IV, who are on the threshold of high school. “If we do not give them special attention, they find it difficult to get admitted to the better schools in town,” Sarkar said.

The example set by Sarkar’s institution is now being followed by the Krishnanath Collegiate Primary School. From the last summer recess, months after the state government made it illegal for teachers to take private coaching classes for a fee, the teachers of this school decided to train the students for free.

The Rabindranath Primary School authorities have chosen two vacations every year — during the summer and the pujas — for the free classes. “The 10 teachers, including me, take turns in coming to the school for the special classes,” Sarkar said.

The most senior among the 10, Shipra Sanyal, said: “I have been teaching here since 1973 and the teachers and the guardians work closely for the benefit of the children. When we see the names of our students on the merit list of a high school, our efforts are rewarded.”

The school with a strength of 479 admits students through lottery and the application heap mounts every year.

The school, however, had defied the government when it pulled out English from the primary school syllabi.

“Following a request from the guardians, we took English classes after school hours,” one of the teachers recalled.

“We try to make the children as comfortable as possible so that they do not lose the zeal to study,” the headmaster said, while talking about the cartoons, rhymes and Bornoporichoy painted on the walls.

“We all take pride in the Rabindranath Primary School, which began with only three teachers,” said district sub-inspector of schools Aminul Islam.

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