Lack of teachers puts lone Tamil school in Tirupati on the verge of closure

Lack of teachers puts lone Tamil school in Tirupati on the verge of closure
Highlights

Tirupati has a rich Tamil background which is evident from 20 percent of its native population comprising Tamils. The temples here including the famed Lord Venkateswara is replete with ancient Tamil inscriptions.

Tirupati has a rich Tamil background which is evident from 20 percent of its native population comprising Tamils. The temples here including the famed Lord Venkateswara is replete with ancient Tamil inscriptions. The ancient texts like Tholkoppiam mentioned the temple city as Tiruvengadam andVada Vengadam and the 12 Alwars - the exponents of Vaishnavism - extensively eulogized the pilgrim centre as the holiestamong the 108 DivyaKshetrams.

But sadly there is no facility for education in Tamil for the linguistic minorities living in and around the pilgrim centre. The lone 48-year old Tamil High School is fighting for survival.The apathy of the corporation authorities in filling up the vacantteacher posts has resulted in the student’s strength coming down fast.The school started by Tirupati Cultural Association (TCA) with primary classes i.e. 1-5 in the early seventies to fulfill the educationalneeds of Tamil populace was upgraded into upper primary after few years and ashigh school in 1995.

After a prolonged fight, the school which was under the control of TCA was brought under municipal corporation and abuilding in Kennedy Nagar was allotted to house the school, boostingthe strength to about 400 with seven teachers including two Vidya Volunteers. However, the corporation failure to take timely step to fill theteacher posts that fell vacant due to retirement led to the decline in the number of the students.

In 2004 Head Master Arumugam who served the school rightfrom its inception and was instrumentalin its development retired from service followed by two more in 2008 and one in 2014. The VidyaVolunteer system also stopped leaving only one teacher in the school.With no teachers for the main subjects like English, Mathematics and Sciences the students particularly from class 8 to 10 left the schoolwhile the admission also started sliding fast since 2010.

The repeated representations from the school, teachers, parents andsome of the Tamil Associations here failed to move the corporationeven as the strength now coming down to just 40 against 400 ten yearsback. Saddened at the plight of the school local Nadar Sangam on its owncost engaged a teacher for primary classes to prevent the school frombeing closed for want of students.

PC Srinivasan and many native senior citizens of Tamil origin observed``most of the linguistic Tamil minorities here are now educating theirchildren in English or Telugu medium as there is no facility for Tamileducation. But the government should rejuvenate the Tamil school in the interests of thousands of poor Tamils who came here in search oflivelihood and are engaged in construction works, petty business and service sector who are keen on educating of their children in Tamil.

Tirupati Tamil Sangam vice president Ravindran and secretary U Jayachandran who are crusading for the development of the school development have appealed the corporation authorities to fill up the vacant teacher postswithout delay. C Hari Kiran who recently took over reins as Municipal Corporation Commissioner, told the Hans India that he will look into the Tamilschool issue and do whatever the corporation can to develop theschool.

By G Sridhar

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