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A school that abides by Gandhigiri

india Updated: Jan 28, 2007 14:32 IST
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Imagine a school where teachers mark themselves absent voluntarily if they get late and the headmaster notes down his own time of arrival!

The Bawadia Kalan Middle School on the outskirts of the Madhya Pradesh capital has become quite popular with students and parents with a bit of "Gandhigiri" - a term that has come to signify winning over people with persuasion and honesty.

"I have not seen the much talked about Munnabhai's Gandhigiri but what I feel is that Gandhigiri is nothing but 'living for others by honesty' and that is what we have adopted in this school," said AN Pathak, the headmaster.

No official or local politician has ever visited the school in Bawadia Kalan village. But that has hardly been a hindrance to its smooth-functioning. The school, which has classes up to the middle level, has 454 students, 11 teachers and one head master.

"Almost all amenities like drinking water, toilets (specially for girls), lights, fans and a speaker in each classroom have been arranged with public cooperation thanks to the teachers who have become friendly with the villagers," said Pathak.

"Villagers in most places avoid sending their children to school either due to lack of facilities or because the child is not interested or both, but in our village it is not so," says Matadin who runs a grocery shop in the village.

"Teachers take so much personal interest in educating the child that neither the parents nor the child thinks of missing school."

"In case a child misses classes for more than two days, a teacher personally comes to us to inquire about him and persuade us to send him for studies regularly. They care not only for the studies of children but also for their entertainment and try to ensure that students get a homely environment in school as well," he said.

His three children, including two daughters, go to school regularly.

Unlike most government schools, teachers in Bhopal mark themselves absent voluntarily if they come late for three days in a row. All teachers as well as the headmaster not only sign the attendance register but also put their time of arrival on it.

"We treat all students as family members and give them a family-like atmosphere, so that they do not think of being absent from class," said Arvind Tiwari, teacher.

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