All aboard: Jharkhand principal’s initiative brings students back to school


Express News Service

RANCHI:  In a bid to make children interested to attend school, Principal Arvind Tiwari painted the Utkramit Madhya Vidyalaya, Tangarain in Jamshedpur, to resemble a train coach waiting for passengers to enter. Even the school floor has been painted as a giant Snake-and-Ladder board game so children can enjoy the game at class.

After the school reopened post Covid lockdown this year, this makeover became the talk of the town, such that the school saw 75 new students on September 24, compared to the 30-35 students that walked in last year. At present, the school has 269 students in Classes 1-8.

After he was transferred to this school in 2017, Tiwari observed that the children were least interested to attend school. “I heard that the teachers had already been trying out unique initiatives to attract students, and even I decided to come up with a plan. After various brainstorming sessions during the lockdown, I decided to give my school a shape of train. This has actually worked,” says Tiwari. Apart from making children punctual so that they don’t ‘miss’ the train, new admissions have shot up. Interestingly, six students who earlier studied in private schools, sought admission to this school, despite their village already having a school.

Apart from the hope that the children enjoy studying, Tiwari said the aim was to make the children feel that even though theirs is a government school, they must feel proud and in no way inferior to students in private schools. 

Gram Pradhan Mangal Pan also asserted that the initiative has succeeded in drastically improving daily attendance. This is probably first school in the region, Mangal says, where the number of students has been increasing by the day, even from the neighbouring Jonodih, Khidirsai and Siling villages. “Various ways were adopted so that the children do not get bored,” says Mangal.

Saurabh Pan, a Class III student, says it is “so much fun” to attend school these days. “We are being taught in very simple language and also allowed to play games in between the classes. Entering school every day feels like I am boarding a train to go somewhere, which is exciting!”

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