Reported By: Soumya Kalasa
Last Updated: August 27, 2023, 00:03 IST
The biggest challenge for teachers and wards in an academic setup is sending kids to school and maintaining a decent attendance level, especially in rural areas. Teachers and faculty can vouch for this fact as bringing kids to school in villages is a greater challenging task compared to teaching them.
However, a government school in Karnataka’s small town Naregal has found a solution to this grave issue.
For a government school in Naregal, a town in the Gadag district of Karnataka, it was a big deal to have a class full of students. But today, all classes from 1 to 7 are filled up. This school has a strength of 307, which includes 182 girls and 125 boys.
This was possible only after the school learned to take advantage of the sweet tooth of the students. During Sravan Maasa (Month of Saawan) in 2021, the school decided to give sweets to children with mid-day meals to lure them to attend the classes. The school calls this sweet initiative Amrit Bhojana.
The school sought support from the locals to collect different varieties of sweets for the children and people of the town came forward and donated happily since it was the festive season.
Gradually all those kids who were irregular in classes showed up every day.
Along with Laddu and Pysum, Obbattu, Huggi, Jalebi and Mysuru Pak are also on the list.
“Giving sweets with mid-day meals is a good plan to raise attendance. The results are right in front of us today. It is a very healthy and doable initiative. Competition for government schools from private counterparts is always huge. The desserts just helped this school score better. Other schools can follow this as well” says Chandru M, a resident of Naregal.
This costs an additional Rs 2000 per month which is not covered in the government grant. But donors have been generous all along and kids continue to enjoy lip-smacking sweets as they look forward to attending school every day.
“Once the attendance issue was sorted thanks to our donors, teachers concentrated on the quality of education. So now the overall development of students has improved well. They don’t want to miss a class and we make sure they make the best of the time spent in school” says B B Kuri, Headmaster of the school.