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The nurturing schools

T.D.Babu, Sastri Nagar

I happened to study in two schools in our neighbourhood - at Sri Mylai Karpagavalli Senior School (SMKSS), Sastri Nagar, till 5th class and at Hindu Senior Secondary School (HSSS), Indira Nagar, from 6th to 10th. I would eagerly wait for dawn, to go to school as it was a place of fun and joy for me.

T.D.Babu : My group photo with class teacher Ms. Deepti in 1983-84.

SMKSS was in the same street as where I resided, so I used to walk to the school and never got to carry a lunchbox. I used to miss lunch-time fun. The teachers became our extended family and updated my grandma everyday of my ‘behaviour’ - praise or punishment! The teachers didn’t just teach from textbooks but shared stories on morals and discipline.

Principal Ms Madhavilatha, Headmistress Ms. Rajam (Science), Ms.Kumari (Social and Hindi), Ms. Geetha (Tamil), Mr. Paramasivam (English) appreciated every little thing we did. With no gender discrimination, we were also taught stitching and embroidery. I also remember our school excursion to Mamallapuram for a fee of Rs.10!

I was excited to join HSSS as it was located comparatively further away and I could enjoy my lunch break at school itself. Punctuality and sincerity were the two things that I learnt here. I was exposed to gardening, and once a month each student would carry some vegetables or greens to their home.

The teachers taught with passion and were an inspiration. Except for the assignment of writing answers to the half yearly question paper during the vacation, we all enjoyed the school! The campus was huge with large rain trees in the periphery; the space below the trees was our dining area and our sports pavilion. We even had a music teacher in this school!!!

We were also allowed to handle road traffic as the Road Safety Patrol (RSP) on the main roads. Nowadays I see only parents manage the vehicular traffic at their children’s school.

Our principal, Mr. Venkatachalam was always formally dressed, in a coat. He was very strict but also affectionate. Some of the teachers who inspired me are: Ms.Padmini Iyer (Chemistry); Ms. Visalam (Biology); Ms. RajaKalai (Physics and Maths); Mr. Ulaganthan (Maths); Mr. Thaiva Natarajan (Tamizh); Ms. Fathima (Hindi). I have also learnt a lot from ayahs and supporting staff of the school. It was too difficult for me to leave this school.

I can proudly say that what I am today is all because of my school teachers. Every nation depends on good citizens and only teachers can help in this goal. Every teacher can contribute to a peaceful and powerful Nation!

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